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Philadelphia Misdiagnosed Stroke Lawyer

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Many strokes occur despite good medical care. But the misdiagnosis of a stroke as a less serious condition can cost critical time when proper treatment would save a patient from suffering preventable harm or death. Stroke is among the most commonly missed diagnoses, and women are more likely to be misdiagnosed, studies indicate.

When stroke patients are misdiagnosed and suffer preventable injuries, the doctor may be held liable for medical malpractice if he or she failed to follow the recognized standard of care in delivering treatment. The lawyers for stroke victims at The Colleran Firm are committed to helping clients in the Philadelphia area with stroke misdiagnosis claims. We know how devastating a misdiagnosis can be for an individual and his or her family. Doctors have a legal duty to provide a certain level of care, and when they neglect to do that, injured patients deserve to be compensated.

Our law firm has handled numerous malpractice cases involving strokes and has more than a century of combined legal experience. Our attorneys have helped stroke victims and their families in Pennsylvania and New Jersey recover full compensation for injuries sustained as a result of medical negligence. Our attorneys have consistently been recognized by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® and have obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of victims of medical malpractice. Review a sampling of the verdicts and settlements we have secured. If you choose The Colleran Firm and we represent you, we will handle your stroke misdiagnosis lawsuit on a contingent fee basis. We will pay the up-front costs of pursuing a malpractice lawsuit and receive a share of any settlement or jury verdict only if we obtain compensation for you. If you do not receive compensation, you do not owe us a legal fee.

Compensation Available to Stroke Victims

No legal action can undo the damage caused by a doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat a stroke in a timely fashion. But compensation may help you and your family copes with life’s challenges and provides some financial security after a debilitating stroke.

A stroke misdiagnosis victim or the family of a patient who has been significantly injured or died as a result of a health care provider’s negligence may be eligible to pursue compensation for:

  • Medical bills and rehabilitation expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income as a result of injuries
  • Loss of future earning capacity if your stroke prevents you from returning to work
  • Pain and suffering.
Doctors and hospitals rarely inform patients or their loved ones of a stroke misdiagnosis error. You and your family may be left wondering what occurred and whether anything could have been done to prevent the harm caused. To determine what really happened, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will need to obtain your medical records, review them and, if necessary, consult with the appropriate medical experts to determine whether the health care providers followed the proper treatment protocols in evaluating you or your loved one.

Each stroke diagnosis case has factors that make it unique. Other malpractice cases are not predictive of the outcome of your case. But The Colleran Firm does have a proven record of securing notable settlements and jury verdicts for many clients.

Symptoms of a Stroke

Proper diagnosis of a stroke is extremely important for patients to receive the proper medicine and treatment. Given that medications for certain types of strokes typically need to be provided within a specific time frame for a patient to recover, a delayed stroke diagnosis can be life-threatening.

There are different kinds of stroke including hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, embolic stroke and thrombotic stroke. Stroke victims may exhibit some common symptoms, which may alert a doctor that a stroke is in progress.

The signs that someone is having a stroke include, but are not limited to:

Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
Loss of strength, coordination, sensation or speech
Loss of ability to understand speech
Loss or dimness of vision, particularly in one eye
Dizziness or loss of balance
Nausea, fever or trouble swallowing
Severe headache followed by loss of consciousness

Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Therefore, a doctor may be more likely to misdiagnose a woman’s symptoms as something other than a stroke. Women are usually older when they have strokes.

Diagnostic errors appear to be the most dangerous and costly of medical errors, according to a study of 25 years of U.S. malpractice claims data published in the British Medical Journal.

The failure to diagnose and treat a stroke can cause a lasting disability including permanent brain damage. If your doctor had an opportunity to treat your stroke, but failed to order the proper tests or follow the recognized standard of care, you may have a valid claim for medical malpractice.

Early Treatment

The goal of stroke treatment is to minimize damage to the brain and any neurologic losses. Early treatment improves the chances of a patient recovering from a stroke and lowers the risk of the patient suffering a second stroke.

About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes caused by blocked or narrowed arteries supplying blood to the brain. If a patient is a candidate for fibrinolytic therapy, which aims to break up clots disrupting blood flow, the therapy must be administered within a relatively short time (the exact time remains the subject of ongoing research) from the onset of symptoms, according to the American Heart Association.

Transient ischemic attacks (TIA), which involve temporary disruption of blood flow, may be a warning of an impending stroke. About a third of patients who have a TIA eventually have a stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic. A TIA can provide an opportunity for health care providers to take steps to prevent a stroke.

Emergency Room Misdiagnosis Errors

Hospital emergency rooms are fast-paced, high-stress settings where the lives of patients depend on accurate assessments and quick action by health care providers.  When a trauma center is overwhelmed, doctors and staff may overlook symptoms and misdiagnose a stroke or heart attack as a less serious condition. A stroke patient should be admitted to an intensive care or stroke unit quickly, the American Heart Association says. Because of a misdiagnosis, a stroke patient may wait hours to receive proper treatment as their condition deteriorates.

A 2014 stroke misdiagnosis study published in the medical journal Diagnosis said that stroke is among the most common, dangerous missed diagnoses. Emergency doctors are particularly susceptible to overlooking signs of a stroke in women, minorities and younger patients, according to the study.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. A temporary disruption of blood flow may cause a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke.

The health conditions that increase the likelihood of having a stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking cigarettes, sleep apnea, heart disease and being 55 or older.
What are the financial impacts of a stroke?
A stroke survivor and his or her family have may financial stress because of a stroke. The lifetime expenses associated with an ischemic stroke can be extremely high according to the Stroke Association.  You or your loved one may be eligible to apply for Social Security Disability if a stroke has left you unable to work. If a doctor misdiagnosed your stroke, you may also have a right to seek compensation through a stroke misdiagnosis lawsuit. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can discuss your legal options with you.
What to do if you if believe you have had a stroke that was misdiagnosed?
You should discuss the specific facts with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. If a lawyer who handles stroke misdiagnosis lawsuits believes you may have a valid claim, the lawyer will obtain your medical records and have them reviewed by medical experts who can determine whether medical negligence occurred in your diagnosis. Having a skilled attorney review your medical records is the only way you are likely to know whether your stroke was initially misdiagnosed or could have been prevented.

Contact Our Stroke Misdiagnosis Attorneys

Please call or contact us online for a free, no obligation consultation with a compassionate attorney about a doctor’s failure to diagnose a stroke.

The attorneys at The Colleran Firm handle serious injury cases caused by health care provider negligence and medical malpractice in Pennsylvania & New Jersey.

Connect With Us:

The Colleran Firm

2005 Market Street # 1940
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 972-8000
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