Can You Sue For A Misdiagnosis?
Your doctor has a duty to examine you thoroughly and conduct appropriate tests to diagnose any potential medical conditions. Doctors attend years of school and receive extensive training for that purpose. However, when that duty is breached and a diagnosis is missed or given incorrectly, irreparable harm can result.
If a doctor was negligent in diagnosing you or a loved one, he or she can and should be held responsible. At Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, our Charleston attorneys have extensive knowledge of both the legal and medical aspects of malpractice cases.
How A Misdiagnosis Can Occur
A misdiagnosis can occur in a few different circumstances. One example would be if you had a medical condition, such as cancer, and your doctor failed to correctly diagnosis that fact. If you were not aware of your condition, you could not receive the proper treatment and that could be fatal. Or perhaps your doctor did eventually give you the correct cancer diagnosis but in the meantime, you suffered as a result of not receiving proper treatment. Finally, suppose you had cancer but your doctor diagnosed you with and treated you for a different condition. That would also be considered a misdiagnosis since receiving treatment for a condition you did not have could have caused you great harm.
In order for a lawsuit for a missed diagnosis to move forward, a few elements need to have been present. For one, you must have been a patient of the doctor in question and must have gone to them seeking help for a medical issue. Then, based on your symptoms, the doctor should have conducted a battery of tests to either confirm a correct diagnosis or rule out an incorrect one. The standard that most courts use is whether one of your doctor’s peers with the same experience and training would have reached a different conclusion than your physician did. If that is the case, then negligence may have occurred.
The consequences of a missed diagnosis can be extremely damaging and even deadly. Compensation received from a negligent doctor or hospital can help with things like bills, lost income and funeral expenses. In some cases, damages may also be awarded due to the unnecessary pain and suffering you or your family endured.