Misdiagnosis can result in delayed treatment for the actual illness or injury and can affect the outcome of a patient’s care. It also might lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment. In severe cases of misdiagnosis, the illness can progress, causing additional complications, more serious consequences, additional recovery time and even death.
There are several reasons why misdiagnosis can occur. Medicine is not always an exact science, and patients differ in the ways that they respond to illnesses, injuries and treatments. Sometimes misdiagnosis is not related to a doctor’s negligence. However, there are instances when misdiagnosis is the result of negligence or incompetence on the part of the medical professional responsible for the patient’s care. In these cases, the misdiagnosis could be malpractice.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed and suffered harm due to the diagnosis error, call us about options for recovering compensation.
Determining When Misdiagnosis is Malpractice
As a patient, you may be convinced that your misdiagnosis was caused by a doctor’s failure to provide an acceptable level of care. You may be correct. However, there are some important considerations that you need to take under advisement prior to investing time and money in a malpractice lawsuit. Call us to review your case and ascertain whether you have a viable claim.
Keep in mind that due to the complex nature of medicine, there are many variables that can affect the accuracy of a diagnosis. Even the very best and most attentive doctors can make erroneous diagnoses. A judge will look for the following conditions when reviewing your case.
- Medical relationship: The judge will look for an established professional relationship between the patient and the medical professional when reviewing a malpractice case. The judge will need to see that the doctor had the opportunity to examine, test and communicate with the patient.
- Negligence: You must be able to prove that you would have received a higher level of care from another professional with comparable credentials, experience and education. You may point to factors that demonstrate that your doctor did not exhaust all methods to find an accurate diagnosis. There may be opportunities for additional testing or referrals for input from specialists. If you can prove that there were opportunities and that the doctor should have gathered additional information, you may have a viable malpractice case.
- Harm: You must be able to document and quantify the negative impact the misdiagnosis had on your health and your life. If you required more invasive treatment, a lengthier recovery time or incurred additional medical bills, you will need to show these damages to the judge as part of your malpractice claim.
If your misdiagnosis stems from a laboratory or other testing mistake, you will need to prove how and why the error occurred. There may be other parties involved in the substandard care provided to you, and you will need to work with us to identify any potential causes of the misdiagnosis. Your lawsuit may be against someone other than — or in addition to — the diagnosing doctor.
Get Help with your Malpractice Case from Gacovino, Lake & Associates
Gacovino, Lake & Associates are lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice law. We can help you with your claim and advocate on your behalf. If you’ve been affected by the negligence of a medical professional, our team is here to help you build a strong case and obtain compensation for your losses.