Medical Malpractice in the Field of Radiology
When a person is under the care of a medical professional, they have the right to expect a certain standard of care. All treating medical professionals should provide the accepted standard of care, no matter how much or how little contact they have with the patient.
Radiologists often have little to no direct communication with a patient, but their skills are essential to accurate diagnosis. Medical malpractice in the field of radiology can result in physical, emotional, and financial damages. Medical malpractice lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC can help individuals in the Oklahoma City, OK, area pursue financial compensation for damages caused by medical negligence.
The Role of Radiology
A radiologist is a medical professional who has been trained to read and interpret images collected through x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Radiologists usually work in conjunction with a patient’s treating physician. If the physician believes their patient may have some type of internal injury or illness, they order imaging.
Images are sent to a radiologist who examines them and then writes a report summarizing their findings. A radiologist’s report is sent back to the physician who ordered the images so that an appropriate treatment plan can be made.
Types of Medical Errors in Radiology
The primary role of a radiologist is to interpret images so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. Because of this, nearly all medical malpractice cases in the field of radiology are related to a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.
There are two general errors that a radiologist could make that would result in a failure to diagnose: misreading an image or communication failure.
- Misreading an Image - A radiologist may misread an image by failing to see something that is present, or by seeing what is present but misinterpreting it. A misread image can result in a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.
- Communication Failure - Radiologists must communicate effectively with physicians to report their findings. They are responsible for writing a report and following through to ensure it has been received. A failure at any point in the communication trail can lead to a failure to diagnose.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Not all medical errors can be defined as medical malpractice. A radiologist’s job is complex and it is natural for some mistakes to be made. However, any patient who has suffered prolonged illness or injury due to a medical error in radiology should discuss their situation with our Oklahoma City lawyers to determine if there is grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
A medical malpractice claim can be made if we prove three key factors:
- The patient was under the care of the radiologist
- The radiologist made an error that would not have been made by other reasonably competent radiologists
- The medical error resulted in physical and/or financial damages for the patient
To prove that a medical error would not have been made by another reasonably competent radiologist, our lawyers rely largely on expert testimony. We consult with other medical professionals to show that medical neglect resulted in our clients’ losses.
Potential Medical Malpractice Damages
Victims of medical malpractice may suffer a wide range of losses. Our lawyers demonstrate those losses so that clients can collect compensation for their full extent of damages, which may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or a loss of earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages (i.e., funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of consortium), if the patient dies
Schedule a Consultation
If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to pursue your rights to financial compensation. To schedule a consultation with the lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC, contact us online or call our Oklahoma City office at (405) 607-1400.