When you are seeking treatment or care from a doctor or nurse practitioner, you should be able to expect that you will receive a high quality of care and that your healthcare provider will not make a mistake that leads to your injury. However, healthcare providers make mistakes much more frequently than you might think, and patients can sustain severe and even deadly injuries.
Johns Hopkins Medicine identifies medical errors as the third-leading cause of death in the United States, which should be shocking since nearly all medical errors are avoidable. Are some medical errors more common than others? Many patients want to learn more about the differences between medication errors and diagnostic errors.
What is a Medication Error?
Medication errors involve any kind of medication mistake surrounding the prescribing or filling of a medication. Physicians can prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong amount, or fail to consider the patient’s medication history and current drug regimen when prescribing a medicine that will have a harmful interaction. Pharmacists can also make medication errors in filling a prescription.
What is a Diagnostic Error?
Diagnostic errors occur when a patient does not receive an accurate or timely diagnosis. In other words, a physician misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a patient’s actual condition. In some cases, defective lab reports can be a cause.
Does the Type of Medical Error Matter for My Claim?
Under Ohio law, regardless of whether you have sustained injuries due to a medication error, a diagnostic error, or another type of mistake, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations for different types of medical errors may vary given the ways in which patients learn about the harm they have suffered. Let me explain in more detail.
In general, Ohio has a one-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits, which in theory applies to any kind of medical mistake. However, Ohio law also says that certain types of medical errors in which the patient, “in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, could not have discovered the injury resulted from the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the claim” within the time period set by the statute of limitations, then that patient may be permitted more time to file a claim.
In such cases, a patient may have one year from the date of discovering the injury—or the date on which a reasonable person would have discovered the injury—to file a lawsuit. For example, diagnostic errors often do not become known to patients until much later on when the patient actually receives an accurate diagnosis. In such cases, the statute of limitations may be different for a delayed diagnosis claim.
Contact My Office to Get Help with Your Medical Malpractice Case
When a healthcare provider’s negligence results in your injury, it is critical to do everything we can to make sure they pay. You should not have to face the financial consequences of a doctor’s mistake, and you certainly should not be expected to pay for your medical care or to find a way to make up for lost wages when your physician or another healthcare provider is to blame. When it comes to medication mistakes and diagnostic errors, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office today at 877.944.4373, and I can evaluate your medical malpractice claim.