Medical Malpractice: Can I sue my doctor for misdiagnosis?

When it comes to our health and well–being, the only person we believe is a doctor, but they are also human. Mistakes can happen from anyone, but when mistakes are related to your health, results can be fatal.

Possibilities are there that your doctor misdiagnoses you, and you might suffer due to mishandling. In this situation, you may ask yourself can I sue my doctor for misdiagnosis?

You went for treatment to your doctor and his misdiagnosis has caused you costly sufferings. If you are thinking of ways to sue your doctor for misdiagnosis, then you need to understand some important things first.

Keep in mind that you can’t sue your doctor against every misdiagnosis relating it to medical malpractice.

You may need to hire an experienced attorney to figure out if you are eligible to sue your doctor under medical malpractice law or not. Your attorney will determine whether your claim of misdiagnosis is enough to file a lawsuit against your doctor and what steps you should take to receive monetary compensation.

What should be considered Malpractice?

A misdiagnosis doesn’t always have to be medical malpractice. This means that you’re not automatically eligible to get compensated. Because we put blind trust in our doctors and we expect them to give us high standards of medical care which are called reasonable care.

Reasonable care means that your doctor must and should provide you the standard care and protect your health and avoid misdiagnosis. But, they are humans, and guaranteeing successful diagnosis is impossible.

However, the doctor may have provided you care with the best of his ability but you have suffered from his decision. In this case, suing your doctor and file a claim may not be possible.

What is Misdiagnosis?

When your doctor comprehends your injury or the test results wrong, it is said to be a misdiagnosis. Due to misdiagnosis, it is possible that:

  • It has worsened your medical condition (For instance, did not diagnose you correctly and you get a cardiac attack)
  • Delayed your diagnosis (For instance, a patient was first diagnosed with kidney stones, so was prescribed treatment for that. Later, it was clearly obvious that the pain was because of appendix so the treatment is changed)
  • The misdiagnosis resulted in more serious consequences, such as death.

Misdiagnosis can also be done in the state of an emergency where the doctor refuses to treat you at all. Other situations may also hold hospitals and pharmacies liable as well.

Any conditions like these violate the standards of care that we expect from a medical professional.

  • Common misdiagnosis

Doctors at work have an over 95% success rate, this means that every 1 in the total of 20 patients gets misdiagnosed.  A misdiagnosis means a disease that has gone untreated for a longer time. Additionally, because of this, the patient has suffered unnecessary treatment. The most commonly misdiagnosed illness contains:

  • Heart Attack – misdiagnosed as a panic attack
  • Asthma – misdiagnosed as recurring bronchitis
  • Parkinson’s – misdiagnosed as a stroke or Alzheimer’s
  • Lyme disease – misdiagnosed as depression and flu
  • Lupus – misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and rheumatoid arthritis.

What to do if you are feeling worse even after seeing the doctor

In case of an emergency, go straight to the emergency room right away. Taking intensive and instant care should be your top priority. Once you recover from the emergency, you can contact a lawyer who will guide you further to proceed. Your lawyer will explain to you that you have the duty of:

  • Following your doctor’s advice should be your priority unless the treatment is not making any improvements or making it worse.
  • Not waiting for the time when you start feeling worse
  • Not waiting because your doctor told you so.

In some cases, you can sue a doctor for your original illness and injuries under medical malpractice laws. But waiting to get those injuries to worsen cannot be taken under a trial.

Having an attorney at your back from the beginning will be the best way to remain on a stronger side of the case.

How can you prevent getting misdiagnosed?

Undoubtedly, a misdiagnosis from a doctor can be unfortunate, but man is made to mistake. Although you can minimize the chance of getting misdiagnosed following some simple steps:

  • Keep asking questions if you are not feeling better or not seeing improvements.
  • Asking your doctor to look over your results and reports again
  • Taking another opinion from any other physician
  • Keeping everything in writing whether terms, directions, notes or anything impossible to understand
  • Asking for alternate treatment if the current apprehensions are not working enough.
  • Asking for recommendations for another specialist or physician.
  • Contacting a better doctor,

How to start the process if you want to sue your doctor?

Now you are misdiagnosed and want to sue your doctor, the first thing you should start with is a free consultation. First, contact a medical malpractice attorney and ask for the requirements for eligibility.

Look for an experienced medical malpractice firm or attorney and look for the advice they provide. It is also important to keep in mind that until you hire an attorney or firm, you don’t have a client-attorney relationship.

Firstly, find out your liability of the medical malpractice, this will allow you to see what elements you can list down for a claim.

If you fall eligible to claim a lawsuit against a doctor for medical malpractice, then affirm that you have given all the information about the finances you have spent on your medical malpractice treatment along with the medical bills. This will be essential to calculate the total of your possible monetary compensation and will prove the damages as well.

You can have myriad reasons to be misdiagnosed. Whatever be the reason, protecting yourself from getting severe injuries should matter the most. However, not getting satisfactory results can be frustrating. But, it is your right to receive exceptional reasonable care from any source. 

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