Suing for Misdiagnosis in Medical Malpractice Cases
May 09, 2021
If you have been misdiagnosed for a disease that you do not have, or if you have an illness that was not detected, you may be able to sue your doctor or hospital for negligence and medical malpractice. Physicians are expected to carefully look at a patient’s symptoms and arrive at the best possible conclusion as to what that individual may have. If a doctor writes off possibilities, then this may be interpreted as negligence.
To prove that a doctor committed medical malpractice, a plaintiff is required to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed between the two parties and that the doctor was negligent in his diagnosis. This means that the doctor did not provide treatment in a reasonable skilled and competent manner or actually caused injury to the patient.
A misdiagnosis alone is not enough to create a viable medical malpractice case. Doctors make diagnostic errors all the time, and cannot be held liable if they make an honest error. It all depends on how the doctor arrived at the improper diagnosis. If he did not act competently or failed to diagnose a condition what was obvious then this may be reason for a lawsuit.
Lawyers and plaintiffs need to look at the “differential diagnosis” method used to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Normally, a doctor identifies a variety of different illnesses with similar symptoms and then runs tests on a patient to determine which diagnosis is the most solid.
In order to prove that a doctor was negligent, the plaintiff and lawyer need to show that another doctor in the same specialty under the same circumstances would not have made the same mistake. Also, if a doctor failed to perform appropriate tests or seek opinions from specialists, and this resulted in a misdiagnosis, this would be another reason to seek compensation.
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