How To Begin Recovery From A Diagnosis Error
In other professions, a mistake can lead to inconvenience or extra expenses. However, in the medical field, a mistake can keep you from receiving the beneficial or lifesaving treatment you need. They can literally be a matter of life or death.
At The Pagan Law Firm, P.C., we believe that when you suffer the needless consequences of another person’s errors, you need to hold them responsible. If you have suffered because of a diagnosis error, an attorney can represent your interests and protect your rights. Our New York City office knows how challenging it can be to take on a hospital’s legal team. We know what to expect, and how to prepare accordingly.
Holding Professionals Accountable For Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but your medical providers have a duty to uphold the trust that you place in them. Doctors need to provide a standard of care that includes being extremely thorough with their diagnosis investigation. While a misdiagnosis may be a simple mistake, it’s one that can come with some heavy consequences, such as:
- Worsened condition through neglect
- Expensive unnecessary treatments
- Treatments that make the illness worse
- Emotional suffering through misdirected hope
We understand how important it is to maintain accountability, especially in a field as important as medicine. Our lawyers will fight to get you the answers you need.
Don’t Let Your Suffering Go Unanswered
If you are struggling with medical needs, you are likely in an extremely vulnerable state. When medical staff fail to do their job and endanger your wellbeing, they betray the trust you placed in them. But you don’t have to simply accept a missed diagnosis.
If you or your loved one suffered because of a misdiagnosis, let one of our lawyers fight for you. We can help you find answers and get the outcome you want for your case. Contact us via email for a free consultation, or call us at 212-967-8202.Read More
There should be no room for error when the stakes are life or death. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is all too common in the medical field. In fact, approximately 12 million adults receive the wrong diagnosis annually, which can have serious, negative impacts on a patient’s health. In many of those cases, it even becomes life-threatening.
Whether you received a wrong diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis from your doctor, it’s important to hold them accountable for medical malpractice. Our experienced misdiagnosis lawyers at The Pagan Law Firm in New York City have successfully represented many patients in medical malpractice cases. We have a proven track record of fighting for the rights of those who have been wrongfully harmed by negligent medical professionals.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor arrives at the wrong conclusion about a patient’s condition. This can happen for several reasons, including:
- The doctor ordered the wrong tests
- The doctor misinterpreted test results
- The doctor failed to order any tests at all
- The doctor misread a patient’s chart
- The doctor made only one diagnosis and didn’t consider all possible diagnoses
- The doctor did not ask for a second opinion from other medical experts
There are two main types of misdiagnosis: wrong diagnosis and delayed diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis is when a doctor fails to diagnose the patient’s condition correctly. In contrast, a delayed diagnosis occurs when there is a failure to diagnose a patient in a timely manner.
Whether it’s a wrong diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis can have severe consequences for patients and physicians alike, as they open the door for a patient to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against their healthcare provider. In the United States, medical malpractice claims are among the most common.
Common Medical Condition Misdiagnoses
There are certain conditions that doctors commonly diagnose incorrectly because of the patient’s symptoms. Some of the most common diagnostic errors include:
- Lupus: Misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart attack: Misdiagnosed as indigestion, acid reflux, or panic attack
- Asthma: Misdiagnosed as recurring bronchitis
- Stroke: Misdiagnosed as a headache or migraine
- Appendicitis: Misdiagnosed as stomach flu
- Infections: Misdiagnosed as the flu or a cold
- Tuberculosis: Misdiagnosed as pneumonia
- Lyme disease: Misdiagnosed as the flu, a cold, depression, or mononucleosis
- Parkinson’s disease: Misdiagnosed as depression, stress, stroke, or Alzheimer’s
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): Misdiagnosed as a viral infection.
These are just a few examples. In reality, any condition can be misdiagnosed by a doctor who believes anything else to be the correct diagnosis.
A doctor is expected to give you an accurate and timely diagnosis. If they fail, these diagnostic errors can lead to unnecessary treatment, surgical procedures, delayed medical treatment, death, or other serious injuries.
Identifying Liability in a Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
To file a successful misdiagnosis lawsuit, you must prove that the doctor was negligent in their diagnosis. This means manifesting evidence that they failed to deliver the standard of care expected from an experienced and competent doctor.
In some cases, a nurse, a radiologist, a medical technician, or another medical professional may be held liable for a misdiagnosis. In rare cases, the hospital can also be the responsible party. It’s important to note that liability varies case by case and that not all incorrect diagnoses will result in liability. For there to be a liability, you will need to prove that the doctor’s negligence harmed the patient.
Can You Sue Your Doctor for Medical Negligence?
If you’ve been the victim of a doctor’s misdiagnosis, your medical malpractice claim is as good as the evidence you have to back it up. You will need to prove that your misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis was negligent and that this negligence resulted in your injuries.
That’s why it’s important to find personal injury lawyers experienced in medical malpractice cases. An attorney with whom you establish a good attorney-client relationship can help you obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Proving Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis as a Valid Medical Malpractice Case
Defined by the National Library of Medicine, medical malpractice is “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” Therefore, in order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit based on the argument of wrongful diagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you and your lawyer will have to prove all of the following:
A Doctor-Patient Relationship Exists
You were under the care of the doctor you are suing, and they had a duty to provide you with competent medical care based on their expertise and your own medical history. Proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed is relatively simple and is typically done by showing that the patient received treatment or medical advice from the doctor about their medical condition using medical records. These records are required to be kept by the physician under the law. The length of time a doctor is required to keep these records varies by state and can range anywhere from 5 to 10 years, with the exceptions being Massachusetts, which requires they be kept for 30 years following discharge, North Carolina, which requires 11 years, and Minnesota which requires they be kept permanently.
Evident Negligence From the Medical Professional
You will need to show that the doctor’s actions, or lack thereof, were negligent resulting in the doctor’s misdiagnosis and how it has caused you harm. This means they did not provide an acceptable standard of care to the medical community, which you must prove.
To do this, you must show what a competent medical professional would have done in the same situation and that the doctor in question did not meet that standard. For example, if a reasonable doctor would have ordered a certain test, but the doctor you are suing failed to do so, that may be considered negligence.
Evidence of Harm From the Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Medical negligence leads to a delayed or incorrect diagnosis. If the doctor had given the correct diagnosis, you would not have suffered any injuries. You will need to prove that you experienced the actual injury or illness. You will need evidence to support this claim, including medical records, expert testimony, or other documentation.
The Process of Filing a Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
If you believe that you have been the victim of a doctor’s misdiagnosis, the first step is to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. They will be able to review your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
If they believe you do have a claim, they will gather evidence to support your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawyer will then negotiate with the insurance company to try and reach a settlement. The case will go to trial if both parties can’t reach a settlement.
At trial, you will need to prove all of the elements of your case in order to win. If you are successful, you may be awarded damages to cover the cost of your injuries.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Medical Malpractice Attorney
No one should suffer because of a doctor’s incompetence or negligence. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of wrong and delayed diagnoses and other medical errors, we can help.
At The Pagan Law Firm, our misdiagnosis attorneys have extensive experience and legal resources with medical malpractice lawsuits. We will review your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.