• Apr
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Is a Misdiagnosis Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

    Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

    When we seek assistance from a physician, we do so on the assumption that they will apply all of the education and experience that they’ve attained to give us the best possible level of care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes doctors make mistakes, and sometimes they are negligent in the care they provide. Both can lead to a misdiagnosis, but only one is always considered grounds for medical malpractice. Though our legal system does not expect absolute perfection from physicians, and allows for mistakes to be made, when a misdiagnosis is the result of a physician failing to provide a reasonable duty of care in a manner that is expected of somebody in their position and it causes injury to the patient, that is considered medical malpractice.

    Determining whether a physician is negligent when they have diagnosed a patient’s illness incorrectly often requires expert witness testimony from other doctors, who can provide invaluable information about what a typical differential diagnosis would be in the face of the same symptom, what kind of tests would be used to rule out the various possibilities, and whether appropriate referrals were made. Misdiagnosis can happen, but if the mistake is one that experts judge no other competent physician would have made, it is an indication that the physician has been negligent.

    There are numerous variables on which a physician makes a diagnosis. These include the results of lab tests and other diagnostic procedures. If the result of any of those tests were inaccurate, then there could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the responsible party would have been the technician, laboratory, or practice that provided those inaccurate results.

    One of the most important aspects of a medical malpractice lawsuit is proving that the misdiagnosis caused an injury or condition to get worse – in other words, that actual damages occurred. A medical malpractice lawsuit will be groundless if no harm was suffered, however, if a patient died because cancer was not diagnosed, or was diagnosed too late, then there would be an obvious and real injury.

    When you or someone you love has been injured or your condition has grown worse as a result of a physician’s misdiagnosis, you may have the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. To speak to one of our experienced attorneys to see whether you have a case, contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.


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