A mistaken diagnosis can result in delayed treatment or the wrong treatment, which then leads to further pain and suffering or even lifelong complications. Misdiagnosis can fall under malpractice if you can prove that it was due to negligence. The following guide can help you determine if you have a case.
What constitutes as malpractice?
Doctors aren't typically held responsible if they simply make the wrong diagnosis, since errors can happen and determining the cause of a health condition can be difficult. It only becomes malpractice if you can prove there was negligence in the diagnosis and that this negligence lead to injury.
For example, if a doctor fails to perform tests that are commonly issued for your complaint, and one of these tests would have accurately diagnosed the true ailment, you may have a case – but only if the misdiagnosis lead to further problems or an actual physical injury. This can include unnecessary surgery, or a worsening of your condition due to the failure to get prompt treatment.
Would a similar doctor make the same misdiagnosis?
Proving negligence can be the most difficult part. Medical professionals use a diagnostic system that weighs your symptoms against the probability of each possible diagnosis. If you see a similar specialist in the field and they make a similar misdiagnosis, then it will be harder to prove that negligence was involved. The same is true if your initial symptoms did not match with the usual symptoms for your true diagnosis, or if you didn't fit the usual patient profile for the diagnosis. As an example, a young non-smoker with no family history of cancer wouldn't fit the patient profile for lung cancer, so it may not be considered negligence if the diagnosis is originally missed.
Is the doctor the actual responsible party?
In some cases, it isn't the doctor that made the diagnosis that is to blame, but another medical professional. For example, if the doctor performed all the proper tests one would expect for your symptoms and patient profile, yet your original results didn't find the ailment, then the doctor likely wouldn't be considered negligent.
In this instance, it may actually be the manufacturer of the test or diagnostic equipment, or the technicians using the equipment, that are to blame. For example, if your blood sample for an important test is mishandled in the lab, then the lab technicians may be responsible.
A medical malpractice attorney can help you identify the true responsible party so that you can begin building your case. Contact McLaughlin & Lauricella Lawyers for more information.
About a year ago, I was left dealing with injuries sustained during a serious car accident. I was worried that I would never be the same, so I decided to start looking into ways to make things right. After thinking about the wreck, I realized that since it wasn't my fault, I shouldn't be left with all of the medical expenses. I decided that I needed to look into things a little further, and I decided to file a personal injury lawsuit. My lawyer helped me to come to grips with the extent of my injuries and helped me to make things right. This blog is all about understanding personal injury lawsuits.