Most Malpractice Claims Caused by Missed Diagnoses and Medication Errors

Medical malpractice happens anytime a doctor, nurse, hospital, or health care provider fails to adhere to the appropriate standard of care and a patient is injured or dies as a result. Medical malpractice can happen in a number of situations, but new data indicates that most medical malpractice claims against primary care physicians are a result of missed diagnoses and medication errors.

The most common diagnosis errors in adults involve cancer and heart attacks, with missed diagnoses for appendicitis, ectopic pregnancies, and fractures also common. The most common diagnosis errors in children involve meningitis and pediatric cancer.

The data, which was collected by analyzing 34 published studies of medical malpractice claims, supports other research findings indicating that most medical malpractice payments (28.6 percent) are for diagnostic errors, followed by treatment mistakes and surgical errors.

The data indicates that the medical errors leading to malpractice claims often involve a number of factors. For instance, one study reported that in 43% of errors, two or more clinicians were involved in the missed diagnosis, and in 16% of errors, three or more clinicians were involved. The most frequent causes of a delayed or missed diagnosis included failure to obtain a diagnostic test, failure to develop an adequate follow-up plan, failure to obtain a complete history or do a physical examination, and misinterpretation of a diagnostic test.

An accurate and timely diagnosis is essential to proper medical care since procedures, treatment, and medication decisions may vary depending on the diagnosis. A missed or delayed diagnosis can result in exacerbated injuries, additional medical problems, longer hospital stays, increased medical bills, and lost wages. Regardless of the cause of a missed diagnosis, it is important that doctors be held responsible when their medical errors cause injuries or death.

At Ankin Law, LLC, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to helping the victims of medical malpractice claims of all kinds, whether based on a missed diagnosis and medication error, obtain full and fair financial recovery. Other common types of medical malpractice include:

  • Birth Injuries
  • Emergency Room Malpractice
  • Hospital Malpractice
  • Surgical Errors
  • Anesthesia Errors
  • Drug Interactions
  • Unnecessary medical treatment or procedures


At Ankin Law, LLC, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys focus on representing the victims of medical malpractice in lawsuits against negligent doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. As a result of our considerable experience and familiarity with medical malpractice cases, including misdiagnoses and medication errors, we have the skill and knowledge to refute and overcome common defense legal arguments and tactics.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, including a missed diagnosis and medication error, contact our office at (312) 481-6405 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Chicago medical malpractice attorneys.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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