Misdiagnosis Malpractice

Serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & New Jersey

The misdiagnosis of a medical condition by a doctor can have severe and long-lasting consequences for a patient. A doctor or medical facility may be liable for damages caused by a misdiagnosis, or a delay in properly diagnosing a medical condition.

Misdiagnose or failure to diagnose medical conditions may result from medical professionals:

  • failing to order the appropriate tests;
  • failing to properly and promptly act on the results of tests;
  • failing to listen to a patient when the patient is explaining their symptoms;
  • failing to recognize complications from a diagnosis or other conditions;
  • taking too long to properly diagnose a condition.

Each time a diagnosis is delayed or is reached after another diagnosis was ruled out does not necessarily mean there was malpractice. However, if a doctor was not providing the level of care and professionalism that most other doctors in similar circumstances would have provided, then there may be cause for a medical malpractice case.

If you have suffered harm due to a possible misdiagnosis and/or delay in diagnosis by a medical professional, then you may want to consult with a misdiagnosis malpractice attorney.

You may have a claim for the damages you sustained because of the missed or delayed diagnosis. An attorney may be able to help you recover monetary compensation to help with the pain and suffering and worsened outcome caused by the negligent actions of medical professionals.

If a doctor acted negligently and misdiagnosed or failed to timely and accurately diagnose your condition and this negligence, in turn, resulted in increased harm to you, then you may want to consult with an attorney about a potential misdiagnosis malpractice claim.

What Constitutes a Negligent Diagnosis?

When there is a misdiagnosis that results in a failure to treat or delayed treatment, or improper treatment which breaches the doctor’s duty of care owed to a patient, then there may be a claim for negligent misdiagnosis malpractice. This claim may result in an award of legal damages for any harm caused by the delay or misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

Essentially, in establishing negligence, the plaintiff must show that there was some wrongdoing or carelessness on the part of the doctor that resulted in a misdiagnosis. Whether these actions were negligent or not will depend on how other medical professionals would have acted under the circumstances. If most would have agreed that they would have acted differently and the actions taken by the doctor were contrary to most medical training, then negligence may be proven for any injuries that directly resulted from this carelessness or wrongdoing.

Common Types of Conditions in Misdiagnosis Malpractice Cases

Medical conditions that are more frequently misdiagnosed include:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Nerve Injury
  • Blood Clots
  • Fractures
  • Appendicitis
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Bowel Perforation

Many misdiagnosis malpractice cases occur with cancer and an allegation that the doctor or nurse failed to act promptly to diagnose and treat the condition, which resulted in further harm to the patient. When this failure breaches the standard of care owed to the patient and treatment is not performed in a professional manner consistent with most other healthcare professionals in similar situations, then this may constitute malpractice.

Can the Doctor Who Misdiagnosed You be Held Liable?

Doctors owe a standard of care to their patients. This standard is generally based on how most other doctors would have acted in similar circumstances. The patient should be able to expect that the doctor will perform his or her duties professionally and reasonably. When doctors fail to do so, and this causes harm to a patient, then they may be held liable for any damages.

Any potential claim will also depend on the applicable local and state laws. Some will require the showing of different elements. An attorney can help you better understand whether the facts of your case give you the right to take legal action against a doctor for misdiagnosing a condition.

In most cases, if you suffered injuries due to negligent acts of a doctor in failing to give a proper diagnosis, then you may be able to seek compensation from the doctor who gave you the misdiagnosis. To have a viable claim, the doctor’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must have caused you further harm or increased the risk of future harm that you otherwise may not have suffered. The harm sustained must have also resulted from the delayed treatment or failure to treat an otherwise treatable condition or a condition that could have been less severe with a more timely diagnosis.

Usually, when there is a claim for misdiagnosis due to malpractice, you can seek compensation for damages from the doctor as long as you can show the required elements. Sometimes, the hospital or care facility may also be a potentially liable party. Additionally, emergency medics and other healthcare or administrative personnel may be part of a misdiagnosis malpractice lawsuit case, although this is rare.

When Is A Misdiagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

A misdiagnosis is not always medical malpractice. It is considered malpractice only when the doctor acted negligently or in a way contrary to that in which other similarly situated doctors would have acted.

An example of this negligent behavior is when the doctor should have tested for a certain condition but failed to do so even though most other doctors in that field would have ordered the test. This type of malpractice can also occur when the doctor performs the wrong tests or reads the tests carelessly and then gives an incorrect diagnosis.

When the misdiagnosis rises to the level that it breaches the standard of care that the doctor owes to that patient, then there may be a claim of misdiagnosis malpractice for the injuries sustained by the patient.

What Compensation Can You Recover in A Misdiagnosis Malpractice Claim?

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a misdiagnosis, failure, or delay in diagnosing a medical condition, then you may be entitled to a legal award of damages. Typically, these damages will compensate for the harm caused by additional medical expenses, pain, and suffering, and emotional suffering, due to the malpractice.

The types and amount of compensation to which you may be entitled in a misdiagnosis malpractice claim will depend on the applicable state or local laws. It will also depend on the condition and the severity of injuries that were directly caused by malpractice by the medical practitioner.

What Is The Statute of Limitations in a Misdiagnosis Case

The statute of limitations in a misdiagnosis claim will depend on the applicable state law. It refers to the time period in which a claim must be filed to be considered by the court.

In some states or jurisdictions, the statute of limitations begins when the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. In others, it is when the harm occurred. Many jurisdictions have different time limits for filing a claim based on different scenarios.

Time is of the essence in many claims involving potential medical malpractice or misdiagnosis malpractice. As such, if you are unsure whether you have a claim and if you should pursue it, then you should promptly seek a consultation with a misdiagnosis malpractice attorney.

Contact An Attorney at Raynes & Lawn Today About Your Misdiagnosis Case

If you are considering pursuing a misdiagnosis malpractice lawsuit, consulting with a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice attorney is a good place to start. To speak with one of our attorneys about your potential misdiagnosis malpractice claim, call us at (800) 535-1797 or fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your possible misdiagnosis malpractice case.

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