Georgia Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Lawyer
Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Claim
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It is a serious infection that, if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, can result in brain damage, loss of hearing, paralysis, seizures, and even death. If you or a loved one were stricken with meningitis and healthcare professionals failed to diagnose, misdiagnosed, or delayed diagnosis of the disease, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Because the injuries associated with meningitis can be deadly or seriously debilitating, you'll want to get a settlement or other recovery sufficient to cover the current and future care needs for yourself or the injured family member. To get such a recovery, it is vital that you seek the representation of a qualified medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta.
Atlanta's Grant Law Office has been recovering compensation for the losses suffered by Georgia injury victims for over 30 years and will use the knowledge they've gleaned during that time to get you and your family a just settlement. Wayne Grant is board-certified in medical malpractice law by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA). Less than 1% of lawyers who hold themselves out as medical malpractice lawyers are board-certified. Certification is restricted to attorneys who have extensive experience in medical malpractice law. In addition, lawyers who wish to receive board-certification must pass tests that cover both medical and legal knowledge . Call (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955 today for a free consultation.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Meningitis comes in both viral and bacterial forms, and is a fairly uncommon disease. In an average year, there are about 3,000 diagnoses of meningitis in the United States. Bacterial meningitis is the most dangerous, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that one in every ten cases ends up being fatal. For this reason, it is important that physicians remain vigilant and watch out for symptoms of the disease, including:
- Intense headaches
- Fever and flu-like symptoms
- Neck stiffness
- Blurry vision
- Slurring of speech
- Trouble maintaining balance
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Decreased consciousness
- Changes in mental status
- Changes in posture
- Bulging fontanelles (soft spot of infant's skull)
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to go to the emergency room immediately. Since two thirds of bacterial meningitis cases occur in children under five years old, it is vital that parents and other adults watch closely for these symptoms in children.
Why Does Misdiagnosis Occur?
Misdiagnosis of meningitis is often the result of impatient medical professionals mistaking the symptoms for other maladies, such as flu, swine flu, jaundice, pneumonia, or even shaken baby syndrome. Misdiagnosis, or a failure to diagnose, is often the result of a cognitive error on the part of the physician.
Cognitive errors include jump to conclusions. Studies indicate that during the first 30 seconds of patient presentation, physicians have formed an opinion as to the likely diagnosis. This is dangerous, especially when a second cognitive error occurs such as “anchoring.” Anchoring occurs when the physician clings to the initial diagnosis despite facts that make that diagnosis less likely. For example, a physician may conclude that a patient is suffering from the flu when the patient actually has meningitis. There will often be neurological signs (for example, double vision) that accompany meningitis. Disregarding the fact that flu does not cause neurological changes is the type of anchoring error that results in tragedy.
In order to properly diagnose meningitis, the gold standard test is a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. With this test, cerebral spinal fluid is obtained and tested. This test will provide an accurate and rapid diagnosis of acute bacterial meningitis. And, of course, prompt diagnosis allows for prompt treatment. Universally, medical science confirms that early diagnosis and treatment can avoid or minimize injury.
The other tests that can be done in an effort to diagnose and/or treat meningitis are:
- Blood culture analysis
- CT scan of head
- Chest X-ray
Compensation for Damages in a Case of Meningitis Misdiagnosis in Atlanta
Meningitis that isn't diagnosed quickly can lead to death or serious permanent injuries, often resulting in lifelong care issues. A proper settlement in such a case should include compensation for:
- Damages for permanent disability or impairment, including paralysis or blindness
- Damages for inability to perform the normal activities of daily living
- Damages for any other injuries or restrictions caused by the failure to timely diagnose and treat
- Damages for loss of enjoyment of life
- Present and future medical bills, including rehabilitation and other treatment
- Loss of future income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs of hiring in-home care
- Costs of institutionalization if necessary
- Household and vehicle modifications (wheelchair ramps, etc.)
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages if someone has to forfeit their career or work less hours to care for the victim
- Wrongful death damages
- And more
Doctors and hospitals carry medical malpractice insurance policies to protect themselves from financial responsibility resulting from malpractice (jurors are never told of this insurance). These insurance companies retain powerful lawyers to defeat or reduce legitimate claims for injury caused by medical malpractice. Many defense attorneys view their job as having to ruthlessly defeat malpractice claims at all costs, regardless of the merits of the case. Part of their motivation is to make sure that the insurance company continues to send them a stream of cases to defend, which will continue their stream of income.
Learn More About Failure to Diagnose Meningitis in Atlanta
To get a just recovery in your case, you'll need an accomplished legal team at your side. The attorneys at Atlanta's Grant Law Office will use their more than three decades of experience to fight for you and your family, and see that you get the compensation you deserve. If you think we may be of help to you, please contact us. Call (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955 for a free case evaluation.
Recent Failure to Diagnose Meningitis Verdicts and Settlements
- $3 Million - Failure to diagnose meningitis and brain infection.
Click here for more verdicts and settlements.