What to do About Misdiagnosis

Post 9 of 33

Going to the doctor’s is something most of us dread, even if it’s just for a routine check-up; at the same time, doing these visits is essential for our well-being, and it is much better to prevent than to cure. However, doctors are human beings just like us, so they are prone to the errors we all suffer; the only exception is that an error produced by a physician or surgeon can have serious and grave consequences, and medical negligence is not something to take lightly. Malpractice is supervised under tort law in common law, and those who have been misdiagnosed use that law.

Misdiagnosis Misdiagnosis picture

While many malpractice cases feature situations where the doctor acted in a way that provoked damage to the patient, some of these cases are about misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Both can have the same negative effects as actual malpractice, because failure to diagnose someone correctly, or on time, could lead to the worsening of their situation, or even their death. Yet although it is a very serious matter, a malpractice lawsuit can only be sustained if there is proof of damage. For example, misdiagnosis is more common in emergency rooms because the people working there are always more stressed and tired, having to deal with hundreds of different cases every day.

If you have been misdiagnosed and are thinking of claiming compensation, there are certain things that you must know and do, and they will determine whether you have a case or not. First of all, the law doesn’t hold doctors responsible for diagnostic errors, unless you are able to prove further damages and relations. Here are the three main things you must prove for a medical negligence suit:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship;
  • Proof that the doctor was negligent, that his/her diagnosis and treatment were not at expected standards;
  • The causation of the injury; proof that the doctor’s methods led to a worsening of the patient’s ailment, or to different damages and injuries altogether.
Medical record Medical record blank and a stethoscope

The second and the third elements are the most important in a misdiagnosis case, and if you are not able to prove them without a doubt, your claim will find no compensation. While being misdiagnosed or receiving a delayed diagnosis is not negligence or malpractice in itself, showing that the differential diagnosis method used by the doctor did not manage to provide the right results and answers is. The same goes for proving that diagnosis tests were not performed correctly; you have to show that the equipment was faulty, or that human error occurred and the samples were misplaced, misused or contaminated.

Finally, it is good to have a team of reliable professionals at your side, so you must make sure you hire a medical negligence solicitor that you trust and feel comfortable with.

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