Should You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Misdiagnosis?

Should You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Misdiagnosis

We are all in debt to our healthcare heroes who have helped patients all over the world get through the recent COVID pandemic. Where would we be without their constant service, risking their lives to care for others? Thinking about a medical malpractice claim for a misdiagnosis seems out of the question when you think about those working so hard to keep us healthy. But it’s something you need to consider when tragedy strikes.

Why would a medical malpractice claim be necessary, you might ask? There are several reasons we will look at today, including what kind of misdiagnosis happens most often.

Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice Explained

Many of us tend to put quite a bit of trust in our doctors and nurses. Often, we don’t even question the treatment we receive. While most healthcare providers are working hard to care for their patients the best way they can, misdiagnoses do happen from time to time.

A misdiagnosis in the legal sense isn’t just when your doctor misses an illness that you have. Instead, evidence for a successful medical malpractice case must demonstrate that your doctor was negligent in their treatment.

You must prove that your doctor (or another healthcare provider):

  • Had a doctor-patient relationship with you. This relationship required them as a provider to follow a professional standard of care when treating you.
  • Failed to meet the standard of care that was required. Also, demonstrate that your provider was obligated to provide you as the patient by diagnosing you how they did. This standard of care means that a similarly trained and experienced healthcare provider would have made the same diagnosis under similar circumstances.
  • Caused you harm by diagnosing you with the wrong ailment.

Misdiagnosis a Top Reason for Medical Malpractice Claims

While you may think that medical malpractice claims usually occur because of botched surgeries or mistreatment from healthcare providers, misdiagnosis is actually the top cause of medical malpractice claims.

Researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland found that up to 63% of medical malpractice claims in primary care are in some part due to a missed diagnosis. In most cases, patients filed a lawsuit against their medical provider when a disease was not diagnosed. Some of the most common diseases that are most frequently missed or delayed in diagnosing include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Attacks
  • Meningitis (especially in children)

Unfortunately, the result of these diseases being missed and/or delayed in diagnosis is death.

What Is Considered ‘Harm” in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Simply stating that your doctor should have diagnosed you correctly or that other doctors wouldn’t have missed the diagnosis is not good enough to file a medical malpractice claim. You must prove that the misdiagnosis you received from your doctor caused you harm and suffering. Some of the “harm” that medical malpractice victims commonly bring forward include things like:

  • Their existing condition worsening
  • Complications arising because of the misdiagnosis
  • Receiving treatment (even aggressive treatment) for the diagnosed condition that would have not been done save it were for the misdiagnosis.
  • Experiencing ill effects because of the unnecessary treatment that was undergone. Examples include receiving chemotherapy for misdiagnosed cancer or taking medication for a diagnosed condition that worsened your health.
  • Having surgery or undergoing unnecessary procedures and obtaining scarring and/or a loss of function because of it.
  • Increased chance and risk of death.

If you can prove that your healthcare provider caused anything listed above, you could have a good chance of receiving compensation. The case will involve reconciliation for what you have lost and the suffering you have undergone because of the misdiagnosis that you received.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims?

You may wonder if it’s too late to file a misdiagnosis medical malpractice claim for something that happened years ago. The statute of limitations will depend on the cause of action.

The timeline you must file a claim begins from the day your “injury” happens or sometimes the day you realized your injury occurred. Every state is different in its medical malpractice claim statutes of limitations. It is in your best interest to talk to a lawyer sooner than later after a possible medical malpractice occurrence. Time is ticking!

Why Should You File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

A medical misdiagnosis is a big deal and possibly life-changing for you and your family. Sometimes medical providers get lax in their diagnosis, and follow-up is delayed or not done at all. More attention needs to be given to these types of reoccurring issues in our healthcare system. So many times, misdiagnosis or other types of medical malpractice occurrences aren’t even reported. If people continue to ignore misdiagnosis or “sweep it under the rug,” no one will be held accountable, and changes will not be pursued.

Besides making negligent healthcare providers responsible for their actions, you deserve to be compensated for the way it has and will affect you. Your life trajectory can completely change as a result of a misdiagnosis.

Do you Need to Hire a Lawyer to Help with Your Case?

Medical malpractice claims that involve a misdiagnosis can be difficult to maneuver. You must prove that your doctor misdiagnosed you and that another provider would have diagnosed you differently. Then demonstrate that there was harm done to you because of your misdiagnosis, which you wouldn’t have undergone if the correct diagnosis was made in the first place.

Proving all these things for your medical malpractice claim can be difficult. For example, gathering the evidence required to prove your claim can be extensive and time-consuming. A medical malpractice attorney team knows exactly what they need to do to be successful with this type of claim and is ready to fight for you and the compensation you deserve for your misdiagnosis. Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. is that attorney team that has your back. Call us at (504) 522-2304 to get our expert team working for you today!