A Medical Misdiagnosis Could Leave You in a Worse Condition
Posted in Medical Malpractice on September 13, 2021
When we begin to experience worrisome symptoms, our first course of action is to visit a doctor and receive a diagnosis. We trust these medical professionals to help us identify the cause of these symptoms and help treat our condition. While most doctors have the competency to deliver an accurate diagnosis, errors can occur. A medical misdiagnosis could leave you with a worsening injury or illness, resulting in long-term, potentially life-threatening complications.
What Is a Medical Misdiagnosis?
Doctors typically diagnose patients by conducting an exam and running tests based on common conditions associated with the patient’s symptoms. A medical misdiagnosis is a situation where a medical professional incorrectly offers a prognosis during this process.
The doctor may have analyzed each of the symptoms and performed certain tests but commits an error that leads to an incorrect diagnosis. In other situations, a doctor informs a patient that he or she is fine when he or she is actually suffering from a medical condition. This is known as a missed diagnosis.
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions include the following
- Heart attacks
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim After Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnoses can be very dangerous. Your symptoms and condition may worsen, leading to a more severe prognosis than if you had received the right medical attention. You could receive the wrong treatment, leading to painful side effects and complications. You may also develop additional injuries and complications, impacting your quality of life.
If you are misdiagnosed by a doctor, you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her to recover compensation for these losses. However, you are only eligible to recover compensation if the doctor’s negligence led to your misdiagnosis. You and your attorney will need to provide enough evidence to support four key elements.
- Duty: The medical professional owed you a duty of care. All healthcare providers have a duty to provide the same level of care that a similarly trained and reasonable professional would have done under the same circumstances.
- Breach of duty: The medical professional breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. Misdiagnosis cases often constitute a breach of care. Your case may involve negligent acts such as the failure to order the wrong tests, failure to take a patient’s history, or failure to adequately assess a patient’s symptoms.
- Causation: The breach of duty caused your worsening illness or injury. If a doctor fails to accurately diagnose you in a situation where a similarly trained and reasonable provider would have provided an accurate prognosis, you can establish causation.
- Damages: You sustained damages due to the at-fault medical provider’s negligence that you can collect in your lawsuit. These may include medical bills, lost wages, disability accommodations, and pain and suffering.
Speak to a Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Proving a medical malpractice claim can be complex. In these situations, it is important to speak to a medical malpractice attorney who can represent your claim.
Your lawyer will have the knowledge, resources, and skills necessary to conduct a full investigation into your case and craft a compelling case to prove the at-fault party’s liability. He or she can also enlist the help of medical expert witnesses who can evaluate your case and prove that the medical professional deviated from his or her standard of care.
As soon as possible following your misdiagnosis, speak to a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case and legal options.