Imagine you are experiencing abdominal pain; you visited a reliable doctor, who then diagnosed you with appendicitis. Unfortunately, After the appendix was removed, the symptoms persisted. You may have been misdiagnosed with an incorrect illness, leading to more pain and complications. Could this be an instance of medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis? Are you aware of your options? Taking legal action for medical negligence is a critical decision and should not be taken lightly. Yet, sometimes it is the only way to receive remuneration for the harm caused by the misdiagnosis.
The Granite Law Group is here to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your options if you are looking to take legal action as a result of being misdiagnosed.
What Is Misdiagnosis? How Does Misdiagnosis Happen?
Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider incorrectly diagnoses a medical condition or illness. This could mean diagnosing a patient with a condition they do not have, failing to diagnose a condition that the patient actually has, or giving the wrong diagnosis. Misdiagnosis can be a result of misinterpreting lab results, overlooking symptoms, failing to order the appropriate tests, not recognizing complications, or simply making an incorrect diagnosis. It is important to note that some degree of misdiagnosis is to be expected. Doctors are human, after all, and no doctor can be 100% accurate in every diagnosis. As such, there needs to be some allowance for medical errors when determining if a misdiagnosis has occurred.
When diagnosing an illness or condition, doctors must rely on their experience, expertise, education, and training. Additionally, they must consider all available information, including patient history, physical examinations, laboratory test results, and imaging results.
In some cases, a misdiagnosis can occur if the doctor does not take the time to thoroughly review all available evidence before making a diagnosis. Additionally, mistakes can happen when a doctor does not ask enough questions or does not provide adequate follow-up care. In other cases, the problem may be due to medical negligence or carelessness. Finally, advances in medical technology and procedures can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis. Inaccurate tests or misinterpreted results can lead to incorrect conclusions about a person’s health. Similarly, new diseases or conditions may be mistaken for something else or may be difficult to diagnose at first.
When a misdiagnosis occurs, the consequences can be dire, especially if the correct diagnosis is delayed or overlooked. This can lead to delayed treatment and an incorrect course of action, potentially resulting in serious injury or even death. For this reason, it is essential that healthcare providers take the necessary steps to ensure accurate and timely diagnosis of their patients’ conditions. In some cases, misdiagnosis may be considered medical malpractice if the healthcare provider’s negligence resulted in harm to the patient. If you believe you have been misdiagnosed and suffered harm as a result, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Are The Consequences Of Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis can have devastating consequences for patients. It is estimated that approximately 12 million adults are misdiagnosed in the United States each year, with around 10 percent of those misdiagnoses having serious, long-term health implications or even resulting in death.
The consequences of misdiagnosis can vary depending on the nature of the incorrect diagnosis and how it is treated, but they may include:
- Prolonged suffering: The patient may suffer from their underlying condition for longer than necessary if the correct diagnosis is not made.
- Missed opportunities to treat the illness: If the correct diagnosis is delayed, the patient may miss opportunities to treat their condition before it progresses to a more serious stage.
- Worsening of symptoms: If the incorrect diagnosis is treated, the patient’s symptoms may worsen instead of improving.
- Unnecessary medical treatments: When misdiagnosis occurs, a patient may undergo treatments that are unnecessary or even detrimental to their health.
- Injuries caused by medical mistakes: Patients may suffer injuries as a result of being given the wrong medication or undergoing the wrong type of surgery due to a misdiagnosis.
- Death: Misdiagnosis can be fatal in some cases, especially if the patient’s condition progresses beyond the point where it can be effectively treated.
When a patient is misdiagnosed, it is important for them to seek legal advice about whether filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is an appropriate course of action.
What Are The Steps In Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit For Misdiagnosis?
If you feel that you have been misdiagnosed, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice is defined as a form of professional negligence and it occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, fails to provide adequate care or treatment that causes injury or death to the patient. It’s important to understand the steps involved in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit before taking action.
Step 1: Contact an Attorney – The first step in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can review your case and advise you of your legal options. An attorney at Granite Law Group can determine if you have a legitimate claim and guide you through the process.
Step 2: Review Records and Obtain Expert Testimony – A medical malpractice lawsuit requires proof that the healthcare provider was negligent in their care of the patient. Your attorney will review your medical records and enlist the help of an expert witness, such as a physician, to provide testimony as to whether or not negligence occurred.
Step 3: Prepare and File the Complaint – Once it has been determined that negligence occurred, your attorney will prepare and file a complaint with the court. This document will outline the facts of your case and explain why you are entitled to damages.
Step 4: Negotiate a Settlement or Litigate – After the complaint has been filed, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant (the healthcare provider). If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may be litigated in court.
Step 5: Seek Damages – In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff (you) is seeking damages for any physical, emotional, or financial losses they have incurred due to the negligence of the healthcare provider. These damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the misdiagnosis.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for misdiagnosis is a complex process that should be handled by an experienced attorney. However, with the proper guidance and representation, you may be able to receive compensation for any losses you have suffered due to medical negligence. Our lawyers at Granite Law Group are always dedicated to seeking justice for our clients. Call us at (603) 883-4100 to schedule a consultation today.