Every day, thousands of people across the United States seek medical advice from healthcare professionals. Whether patients have fallen ill, are dealing with a serious ailment, or have broken an arm, it is imperative that they receive timely and accurate care for their conditions.
Over one million Americans receive negligent medical care that worsens their injuries and illnesses. Although patients seek the assistance of highly qualified and respected individuals, medical professionals occasionally provide careless treatment that often makes conditions worse. In some cases, victims end up losing their lives. Statistics show that nearly 20% of fatal illnesses are caused by medical misdiagnosis.
When victims suffer injuries and damages as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, it is crucial that they reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights. Those harmed may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the costs of medical treatment, pain and suffering, and more.
The Malpractice Group understands the challenges patients face after enduring unnecessary pain and suffering due to a negligent medical professional. Our team investigates claims for victims, gathers documents and evidence, and aggressively negotiates full and fair settlements to ensure those harmed are able to move forward, get the necessary treatment, and recover in the best way possible. Contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to discuss legal options available for you.
What is Medical Misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor tells an individual that they have a specific illness or injury when they, in fact, don’t. Instead of diagnosing with the ailment properly, a patent will receive a diagnosis that may show similar symptoms.
When patients suffer worsening conditions, or death, related to a misdiagnosis, they may be entitled to file a legal claim against the responsible party. Legal claims for this category of medical malpractice allow injured patients to collect compensation to cover medical treatment, lost wages, and to provide a financial remedy for the pain and suffering they endure. Each state has its own rules and regulations for misdiagnosis lawsuits. In any case, a victim will need to meet the burden of proof to succeed.
Types of Misdiagnosis
A misdiagnosis can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s ability to recover from an injury or illness. Tens of thousands of people are impacted by these negligent actions each year. A misdiagnosis is something that can come in several forms. Some of the most common types of misdiagnosis we see at The Malpractice Group include:
Diagnosing the Wrong Disease: In order to treat a medical condition, an accurate diagnosis must be made. When doctors fail to diagnose medical conditions appropriately, it can prevent patients from receiving adequate and timely treatment. As a result, their health can worsen, which may be life-threatening.
Failure to Diagnose in a Timely Manner: Some illnesses, like cancer, require timely diagnosis so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Not diagnosing a medical condition in a timely manner can have a negative impact on a patient’s ability to receive treatment and overcome the illness.
Diagnosis without Underlying Cause: It is essential to diagnose a medical condition or ailment appropriately. It is equally important to identify the underlying causes of the illness or injury. When underlying conditions or reasons are not properly identified, it is difficult or impossible to address and rectify the cause. As a result, patients continue to endure pain and suffering without remedy.
Misdiagnosis Related to Medications: There are instances where patients experience side effects from medications. Rather than recognizing that the illnesses the patient is experiencing are consequent to the drug, they may diagnose it as another condition. Instead of removing the medication, doctors will prescribe new medicines, which opens up the door to multiple stacking ailments and worsening of conditions.
Any of these misdiagnosis scenarios can result in worsening or fatal consequences. If you were injured as a result of a misdiagnosis, or your loved one lost their life, contact a medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience to explore legal options available for you.
The Burden of Proof for Misdiagnosis
Although diagnostic errors often have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of patients, not every error is grounds for misdiagnosis case. In fact, it is crucial that injured patients are able to prove negligence occurred when filing their lawsuits in order to succeed. There are three things that injured patients will need to prove in order to collect compensation for their legal claims. These three elements include:
A Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed: Patients must be able to prove that they received medical treatment from the defendant. They must prove that it was the doctor who made the misdiagnosis that is the topic of the claim.
The Doctor was Negligent: The element of negligence must demonstrate that the medical professional failed to provide treatment in a competent and skilled manner. This could elaborate evidence that a doctor did not evaluate the symptoms a patient experienced or engaged in other actions to make an accurate and timely diagnosis.
The Negligence Caused Injuries: A victim must further prove that the negligence of the medical professional was the cause of the injuries and damages they endure.
The majority of malpractice cases surrounding misdiagnosis hinge on proving the second or third element, or both. It is crucial to be able to prove that negligence did exist, and the patient suffered as a result. Working with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney will provide you with the best chances of getting the justice you deserve.
Why Misdiagnosis Occurs?
A misdiagnosis is considered to be medical negligence as it directly deviates from the medical standard of care. Misdiagnosis continues to impact the lives of thousands of patients across the country each year.
There are specific actions that continue to result in misdiagnosis of conditions for patients. Some of the most common causes of misdiagnosis include:
- Failing to order the correct screenings for illnesses and diseases.
- Misinterpreting lab and test results.
- Not referring patients to specialists when necessary.
- Not spending adequate time with patients in order to address symptoms.
- Not providing timely and thorough follow-ups to patients.
- Not checking on test results in a timely manner.
- Not following up with specialists about patients.
There are also cases where misdiagnosis occurs in a radiology center or a medical lab. As you can imagine, not interpreting these critical tests can have a life-threatening impact on the health and wellbeing of patients. Mistakes at this level can cause a serious of inaccurate tests to be performed. This can drastically delay an accurate diagnosis.
Studies find that approximately 5% of all diagnoses made across the United States are inaccurate. Although this may seem like a small percentage, the results are substantial. These misdiagnoses can occur at any time during the care process, which can dramatically impact a patient receiving appropriate life-altering care. If you suffered injuries and damages, as a result of a misdiagnosis, it is crucial that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens you face.
The Malpractice Group Can Help You
Patients who are subjected to misdiagnosis are at an increased risk of suffering worsening conditions. In some cases, patients have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the medical treatment necessary to address and correct the resulting damages. It is crucial for patients to act quickly to ensure their legal rights are protected. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, which victims must follow in order to seek compensation and justice for their injuries. Ignoring the consequences of a misdiagnosis can prevent victims from recovering and negatively impact their health and welling indefinitely.
Enduring a misdiagnosis can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s life. In many cases, being inaccurately diagnosed with an injury or illness prevents a patient from receiving the medical attention they desperately need. Some victims endure life-altering consequences of misdiagnosis that force them to deal with pain and suffering indefinitely. If you suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis, it is crucial that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
The Malpractice Group has decades of experience helping patients protect their legal rights after suffering from medical negligence. Our team provides aggressive legal representation to ensure victims are able to get the justice and compensation they need and deserve. We are dedicated to helping patients understand their rights so they are in a better position to move forward and recover. Contact our medical malpractice attorneys at your earliest convenience at (312) 561-4324 to explore legal options available for you.