Can You Sue the Doctor Who Misdiagnosed You?

Can You Sue the Doctor Who Misdiagnosed You?

Posted By Maher Law Firm || 11-Apr-2018

Medical errors happen much more frequently than you might expect and one of the most common errors occurs when a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a patient or does not diagnose the patient in a timely manner. However, just because you received a delayed or incorrect diagnosis does not mean you have a viable medical malpractice case. The critical question here is whether a doctor with the same training and experience in the same medical community would have been able to identify the problem or if the doctor’s actions breach the medical standard of care.

The Most Common Types of Misdiagnosis

Any condition can potentially be misdiagnosed when a medical professional is acting negligently, but some are generally more common than others, including:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Lymph node inflammation
  • Staph infection

Many of these misdiagnoses can lead to painful and unnecessary treatment or inadequate treatment that can cause a patient’s condition to considerably worsen in the absence of proper care. Oftentimes, a misdiagnosis involves a delay in diagnosis or a mismanagement in testing. It could also involve:

  • The failure to screen for certain medical conditions
  • The failure to refer a patient to an appropriate specialist
  • Misinterpreted lab results
  • The failure to consult with a patient regarding his or her symptoms
  • The failure to follow-up or investigate the potential causes of any symptoms a patient reported

Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice

Generally, for cases involving a misdiagnosis, your primary care physician would be sued for the misdiagnosis. In some circumstances, it might be possible for other healthcare professionals, such as nurses or lab techs, to also be held liable if their negligence contributed or caused harm to the patient as well. However, the hospital facility where the doctor works likely cannot be held liable since most doctors are independent contractors, rather than hospital employees.

That said, a failure to provide the right diagnosis is not enough to prove medical malpractice. A case such as this can only be successful when it is shown that the misdiagnosis ultimately caused harm to the patient. Examples of this include:

  • Exposing a patient to treatment that is much more aggressive than what would have been required if the condition were diagnosed in a timely manner
  • Exposing the patient to unnecessary harmful courses of treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy
  • Performing unnecessary surgical procedures
  • Increased chances of complications
  • Increased chances of death

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, it is critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. There is a limited window of opportunity for one to file a lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years from the date you sustained the injury or two years beginning from the date it should have reasonably been discovered. Consult with an attorney to ensure you do not miss out on any important deadlines.

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Florida

If you or a loved one sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of a medical professional, you should not have to suffer in silence. At The Maher Law Firm, our Orlando team of medical malpractice attorneys are here to fight on behalf of those who have been injured by the careless actions of those to whom they entrust their health and wellbeing. Let us secure justice for you.

For the skilled representation you deserve, contact our office today at (855) 338-0720 to schedule your free initial case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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