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September 13, 2019

Can You Sue the Doctor Who Misdiagnosed You?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 11:09 pm

When you think about the reasons for which a doctor might be predisposed to be sued, misdiagnosing his patients might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. In fact, people believe that a doctor can be accused and sued for malpractice because he had made a fatal mistake, more or less consciously, when performing surgery on a patient or because of a wrong medical treatment recommendation he had done.

Surprisingly as it can be, in the majority of the time, doctors are being sued for having made the wrong judgment about your medical condition, hence misdiagnosing you.

Misdiagnosis – A Common Problem
It has been proved that one out of five patients receive a false diagnosis when they seek medical help for the first time. Some of the reasons behind the misdiagnosis are:
the failure of asking the patient for an advanced description, both verbally as well as visually, of his symptoms,
failing to check his medical history records,
failing to correctly interpret the results of the lab,
failing at the task of directing the patient to the proper medical specialist.
So, when is someone eligible to sue a doctor who failed at diagnosing a patient? Since medicine and law are two distinct areas, first of all, you need to be aware of the fact that not every misdiagnosis, medical mistakes or tragic outcome is eligible for trial. A high number of these errors can be visible in the emergency room where, due to the pressure of the time and the number of patients, doctors are more inclined to make mistakes.

In case of a trial, it is important to check whether the medical standard of care has been met or not. In other words, you need to check if, under the same circumstances, a doctor with the same level of experience in its field, would have identified the right cause of the damages.

You Need Strong Evidence
It has to be proven by an advanced doctor that the incriminated doctor had failed to provide standard care for his patient and as a result of this, the patient was harmed. Failing to make the correct diagnosis is not enough to make the doctor eligible for malpractice.

A specially trained lawyer, such as a colon cancer attorney (a type of disease commonly misdiagnosed), has to prove that the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis has harmed the patient. This can be done by showing how the patient’s health took a turn for the worse when being applied treatments that were too harsh and not necessary for their actual disease. This can also happen when the medical treatments were too light and failed at curing the disease or when these treatments increased the probability of complications and even death.

When filing a complaint for misdiagnosis, you have to be aware of these so-called “statute of limitations”. These refer to the time frame within the malpractice occurred, then discovered and finally had been complained against. These limitations can vary from country to country and even from state to state – so, make sure to look up for these time spans.


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