When a doctor fails to make a correct diagnosis, either by making a wrong diagnosis or no diagnosis at all, there can be serious consequences. Without a proper diagnosis, there usually isn’t proper treatment. Without proper treatment, a patient’s condition often gets much worse and can even lead to death.
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is not sufficient cause for a medical malpractice suit on its own. In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for misdiagnosis, you have to prove some sort of negligence was at play.
Types of Diagnostic Errors
Incorrect Diagnosis – Making a completely wrong diagnosis of your illness or injury.
Delayed Diagnosis – When long delay before correct diagnosis leads to complications.
No Diagnosis – The doctor wrongly says there is nothing wrong with you.
Failure to See Complications – The doctor does not recognize complications arising due to your injury or illness that results in further harm.
Failure to Diagnose Other – Failing to diagnose another disease related or even unrelated to your primary reason for seeking medical help can constitute a diagnostic error.
Proving Diagnosis Errors as Malpractice
Since the law does not really hold physicians liable for diagnostic errors, patients who are harmed due to these errors have to show that the doctor or medical staff acted negligently. To determine whether or not the doctor acted competently, a medical malpractice attorney and another medical profession will review the actions and decisions your doctor made to make the diagnosis.
Essentially, you and your medical malpractice attorney have to show that another doctor with the same specialty could reasonably have made the correct diagnosis in your situation.
Misdiagnosis Due to Test Error
Diagnostic errors can also be made when a doctor makes decisions based on results from tests that were inaccurate or had been contaminated. In these cases, while the doctor may not be liable, you can still have a case against the hospital and other staff members.
Faulty medical equipment and human error are very common causes for misdiagnosis.
What Can I Do If I’m Harmed by Misdiagnosis?
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complicated and require the help of a variety of different professionals, including doctors, attorneys, insurance providers and more. It is extremely important that you talk to a medical malpractice attorney about your case if you want to have a real chance at compensation.