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MA primary care doctors most often sued for diagnosis errors


Going to the doctor can be a scary experience. Many times patients feel as if something is wrong with them, but they do not know what. This is where the expertise of a doctor is supposed to come to the rescue. While many doctors rely on their years of training and experience to accurately and timely diagnose conditions, others fail to do so. A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can be a serious mistake leading to a worsened medical condition or death.

According to a study conducted by a doctor and published in JAMA Internal Medicine, errors in diagnosis account for most of Massachusetts' Medical malpractice claims against primary care physicians. The study analyzed data from two Massachusetts insurance companies that insured most of the state's primary care doctors from 2005 to 2009. Researchers discovered 72 percent of primary care malpractice cases stemmed from diagnosis errors. The majority of these diagnosis errors were related to cancer. Other forms of malpractice found in primary care included medication error, communication error, and patient safety issues.

One who has been harmed by doctor negligence might be left with physical pain, emotional scars, and financial challenges. Everyday activities may become difficult and painful, a delayed diagnosis can wreck one's hope for a full recovery, and paying for additional medical care can become difficult if not impossible. When the stress of these overwhelming burdens becomes too much, an individual in a situation like this should seek legal assistance.

A Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer can help a victim determine whether a medical malpractice lawsuit is in his best interest. If the claim moves forward, the attorney can assess medical documents, witness statements, and the victim's account of the incident to develop a strong legal argument in the victim's interest. Putting forth the best legal argument may lead to a quick, favorable settlement or, if that is not possible, a ruling in the victim's favor after a trial.

Hospital negligence that causes a personal injury is unacceptable and preventable. Filing a successful lawsuit not only potentially allows the victim to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, but it also punishes errant medical professionals so that safety will hopefully once again become the priority it is supposed to be.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Massachusetts primary care malpractice claims related to alleged misdiagnoses," Sep. 30, 2013

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