When you visit the doctor for medical treatment, you usually assume that the physician is qualified to provide the medication or procedures you need to improve your condition. If you receive an inaccurate diagnosis, you can sue the physician for medical malpractice or negligence. Here is some important information to increase your chances of winning your case.
What Is Medical Misdiagnosis?
If you don’t receive an accurate diagnosis for your injury or illness, you have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. A misdiagnosis is not necessarily considered medical malpractice, which means every hospital or clinical error can result in a valid lawsuit. Keep in mind that even the most qualified lawyers make mistakes from time to time. In order for a medical misdiagnosis to result in a case you can bring to court, you will have to provide proof of delayed treatment, no treatment, or improper medical treatment. If you don’t know which sickness or condition you have, you won’t receive the correct medications or procedures to improve your health, which can have permanent effects on your body and mind.
Evidence You Must Present
If your a patient trying to prove that a doctor misdiagnosed you, you have to show the courts that a physician who specializes in the same or a similar discipline would not have misdiagnosed your injury or illness. For instance, if you visit an oncologist and receive a cancer diagnosis, only to find out that you didn’t have cancer after enduring emotional distress and expensive medical bills, you likely have a case that will hold up in court. You have to present evidence to the judge that another oncologist or cancer specialist would have properly diagnosed you. Or, if the physician properly diagnosed you but failed to perform the right procedures or screenings to provide you with the correct treatment, you can file a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
Misdiagnosis can also occur if there is a faulty test or lab result. Mistakes in test results sometimes happen because of human error and flawed equipment. Sometimes, a technician will administer the test incorrectly or a secondary physician will misread a lab result. The doctor who made the incorrect diagnosis can be liable for your misdiagnosis. The hospital will be responsible for your misdiagnosis if a member of the hospital staff made a mistake concerning your diagnosis.
Exceptions To Be Aware Of
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters are usually protected from medical misdiagnosis lawsuits in most states. However, if the EMTs engage in intentionally reckless or dangerous behavior when caring for or transporting a patient, the case can go to court. First responders may not receive the same legal protection if they are tending to a patient in the emergency room. In some states, a physician has to be extremely negligent to be held responsible for any harm that is done before the patient is in stable condition.
It is also important to note that many physicians are not employees of the hospitals where they are providing medical services. Generally, the hospital can’t be held liable if the doctor is negligent–you’ll have to file the case against the doctor and not the medical facility. However, if a patient is admitted into the emergency room, the hospital can’t tell the reveal the doctor’s employment status to the patient. This means that the hospital could be held responsible for medical malpractice if the doctor in the emergency room does not provide proper treatment.
Understanding medical negligence involves hiring an experienced attorney who knows how to handle medical malpractice cases. Be sure to tell your lawyer about all the evidence surrounding your misdiagnosis and present this information as soon as possible to increase your chances of winning your case and getting the settlement you deserve in a timely manner.