Yes, you can sue the doctor if you feel like he or she gave you an incorrect medical diagnosis. Improper diagnosis could lead to continued illness or administration of the wrong medication. Both of those things could cause huge losses, such as loss of a job due to the inability to perform your duties.
A misdiagnosis means that the healthcare provider did not make the correct conclusion about the patient’s conditions. It could also happen if the doctor misreads or misinterprets the results and could have serious effects such as the worsening of the patient’s medical condition. This means that you will not receive the medical care you need when you need it. In some cases, a misdiagnosis might even lead to death.
This kind of lawsuit is known as a medical malpractice lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawsuit falls under personal injury law while personal injury cases fall under the category of civil cases. When the misdiagnosis leads to loss of life, however, it could become a criminal case.
As any medical malpractice lawyer will tell you, however, it is not enough to show that the doctor made a misdiagnosis. This is because the case can only be prosecuted successfully if the court is shown how the misdiagnosis caused harm to the patient.
In a medical malpractice case, the critical point is demonstrating that the healthcare provider went against the medical standard of care. In most cases, the plaintiff has to establish that another healthcare provider of the same training would have diagnosed the patient correctly.
If it is proven that a healthcare provider of the same caliber would have the ability to identify the problem correctly, then the healthcare provider may be found liable. It is imperative to note that a doctor refusing to give any diagnosis might also fall under misdiagnosis.
If a doctor fails or refuses to recommend a specialist for a patient, he or she might also become liable for a misdiagnosis. This is because healthcare professionals are expected to follow up and ensure that they get to the root of the symptoms exhibited by a patient. Failure to do that, combined with failure to consult the patients adequately about their symptoms, can also fall under misdiagnosis.
What Are the Common Types of Misdiagnosis?
- Lymph node inflammation can be misdiagnosed as appendicitis
- Asthma is sometimes misdiagnosed as recurring bronchitis
- The misdiagnosis of cancer can lead to painful and unnecessary medical procedures, such as chemotherapy
- Heart attack can be mistaken for issues such as ingestion or panic attacks
- Some practitioners may dismiss stroke cases by misdiagnosing it as migraines
Whom Should I Sue?
The primary physician is usually the one who is sued for the misdiagnosis. However, in certain cases, other medical care workers, such as nurses and lab technicians, can be sued if their actions or negligence leads to harm to patients.
The plaintiff must observe the statute of limitations. This is because medical malpractice is just like other lawsuits and has time limitations on when one can take the case to court. The initial documents must also be filed within a certain amount of time after the harm was suffered.
It is important to note that most doctors are independent contractors. As independent contractors, the doctors are not hospital employees. As a result, your medical malpractice lawyer cannot sue the healthcare facility where the doctor practices in a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
What Do I Do if I Am Worse After Seeing a Doctor?
Many people have been in such a situation. After seeing a doctor, they end up feeling worse than they did previously. In such a case, what do you do? Well, if it’s an emergency, then you should rush to an ER.
Any medical malpractice lawyer will tell you that getting medical attention should be your main priority, the rest they can handle. After getting better, the attorney can begin the process of launching a lawsuit.
In malpractice lawsuits, the patient will be examined to establish whether the condition got worse due to the doctor’s actions. This is known as mitigating damages. The best way to protect yourself is by ensuring you have a medical malpractice lawyer.
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