Suing a Doctor for Misdiagnosing Alzheimer’s
Posted in Medical Malpractice on July 22, 2021
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious neurological disorder that leads to memory loss and the deterioration of important cognitive functions. This condition usually occurs in elderly people but can occur in patients of all ages. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease.
Since this condition does not have a cure, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating for many families. However, studies suggest that many patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease do not actually have this condition. In some cases, patients who are diagnosed with another mental condition actually have Alzheimer’s disease. If you believe you or a loved one received an Alzheimer’s misdiagnosis, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
The Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Misdiagnoses
According to a 2016 study from researchers at the University of Toronto, over 20 percent of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses may be incorrect. This research examined 1,033 patients found on the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database. Out of these patients, the study discovered the following results.
- 78.4 percent of patients had a clinical Alzheimer’s diagnosis and showed neuropathological confirmation of the disease.
- 10.8 percent of patients had a clinical diagnosis but did not show neurological signs of Alzheimer’s disease, also known as false positives.
- 10.8 percent of patients showed neurological signs of Alzheimer’s disease but did not have a clinical diagnosis, also known as false negatives.
- The false positive patients showed neurological signs of other conditions, including frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia, and primary vascular disease.
The Dangers of Medical Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosing a condition can cause severe harm to patients. If your loved one lives with Alzheimer’s disease but is diagnosed with another condition, he or she will not receive the treatment he or she needs. The care your loved one receives from his or her physician will be ineffective, leaving the Alzheimer’s to progress and worsen without clinical treatment.
Additionally, if your loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis but lives with another condition, he or she will also receive ineffective treatment. He or she may also experience significant psychological distress if he or she believes the diagnosis. The financial, physical, and emotional toll of an Alzheimer’s disease misdiagnosis can be difficult to bear.
In these situations, you or your loved one may qualify for litigation against the doctor responsible for misdiagnosing the condition. Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, you or your loved one can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses sustained due to the misdiagnosis, including the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Disability accommodations
- Live-in caregivers
- Depression and anxiety
- Rehabilitation and therapy
How to Prove an Alzheimer’s Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
To secure compensation in an Alzheimer’s misdiagnosis claim, you will need to prove that the at-fault provider deviated from the accepted standard of medical care through a negligent act or failure to act. Simply put, you will need to prove that his or her actions deviated from what a similarly trained and reasonable medical professional would have done under the same circumstances, leading to the misdiagnosis. You will also need to prove that you suffered injuries or damages due to the misdiagnosis that you can recover in your lawsuit.
In these situations, a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer can help. Your attorney can evaluate you or your loved one’s case and craft a compelling claim for your right to recovery. After discovering the misdiagnosis, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.