Failure to Misdiagnosis?
Failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis can be considered malpractice and is often connected with a claim that the doctor failed to properly identify or treat the illness. Any injury that resulted from the doctor's failure to provide the appropriate treatment will be considered in determining malpractice and damages. Many city and state health codes also require doctors to inform those in close contact with the meningitis patient that they are at risk for contracting the disease. Doctors are also expected to administer early antibiotic treatment to prevent such exposure.
A study conducted by the Physician Insurers Association of America that breaks down the areas in which pediatric malpractice suits are occurring, shows that the most common pediatric malpractice cases involve the alleged delay of the diagnosis of meningitis and meningococcal infection. These lawsuits also involve allegations associated with a delay in hospitalization and failure to recognize a complication of treatment.
"Claims involving meningitis are both the most frequent and expensive for this specialty and account for over 22 percent of the total indemnity paid," the report states, "with an average indemnity payment of $399,500 on 44 closed paid files."
Some of the damages a plaintiff can claim in bacterial meningitis malpractice claims depend on the kind of injuries caused by the doctor's actions. In fatal cases, lost future earnings may be considered as well as loss of consortium, in other words, the emotional-and social loss to the family of the deceased. In case of long-term disabilities such as paralysis, brain damage, hearing loss or amputation of limbs, medical expenses may be covered as part of damages.
You may be entitled to damages if your physician refused to see you in a timely manner; if your doctor refused to do the necessary diagnostic tests or simply failed to do those tests; or if the doctor did not give you the kind of treatment you needed at the time.
If you or a loved one has suffered death or permanent health damages as a result of bacterial meningitis, call us for a review of your case and to find out if you have a viable medical malpractice claim.