Can I Sue For A Wrong Diagnosis Or Misdiagnosis?
- Posted on: Apr 20 2017
Too many patients are misdiagnosed in US hospitals. According to a 2014 report, 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed every year – that’s one out of 20 patients. One of the worst things about a misdiagnosis is that it sets you up for a longer treatment cycle therefore you spend more on medication and treatments, you lose wages as a result of being away from work, you suffer emotional and psychological pain and your condition may end up getting worse. It happens. Out of the 12 million annual US misdiagnoses, six million result in complications or harmful side effects.
Every citizen has a right to the highest medical care and treatment standards possible. If you have been misdiagnosed as a result of the negligence of a physician or clinical practitioner, you have been wronged and have a legal cause of action. Reach out to a New York medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
What Are The Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions Or Illnesses?
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Heart attack
- Lyme disease
What Are The Types Of Misdiagnoses?
Misdiagnoses can either take the form of:
- Delayed diagnoses where a physician fails to perform timely tests to treat a severe illness or condition
- Failure to diagnose where physicians or medical practitioners overlook symptoms of a disease, overlook aggravating conditions or allergies, or misread test results
- Cancer misdiagnosis where doctors fail to diagnose cancer costing patients valuable treatment time.
These misdiagnoses can cause significant financial burden on the family of the patient. In worse cases, they can aggravate the illness or condition, causing hospitalization or even death.
Suing for misdiagnosis
A patient has a valid medical malpractice cause of action for a misdiagnosis arising from negligence – where the doctor or dentist acted negligently.
To succeed in a medical malpractice claim, a patient has to prove that his/her doctor acted negligently. He/she must prove:
- A duty of care existed – The patient must show a doctor-patient relationship existed, as a result of which the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient to provide the best medical care possible.
- Breach of duty of care – The patient must prove that the doctor breached that duty of care. Simply proving the misdiagnosis will not be enough to support a claim of breach of care; it must be shown that a reasonable doctor in a similar position would have given the correct diagnosis. It must be proven that the act or omission was below the acceptable standard of care
- Breach resulted in injury – This is perhaps the toughest bit to prove. A patient must prove that the breach of the duty of care caused injury or loss. For example, one can provide evidence that a misdiagnosis caused wrongful death given that a proper diagnosis would have enabled the patient to get timely medical treatment.
- The injury led to damages – The misdiagnosis caused damage such as high medical costs or lost wages.
Have you or a loved one suffered because of a negligent misdiagnosis? Schedule a consult with the experienced malpractice attorneys at the New York Medical Malpractice today and start your journey to full compensation.
Posted in: Medical Malpractice