Being misdiagnosed or failing to receive a diagnosis can be an incredibly frustrating experience with potentially deadly consequences. In fact, misdiagnosis is the #1 cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States. We put a great deal of trust in doctors to keep us safe and accurately identify and correct medical issues when they arise. When doctors or medical professionals fail to meet the expected standard of care, the effects can be devastating.

When Misdiagnosis Amounts to Medical Negligence

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional deviates from the standard of care expected in their profession and consequently, causes injury to the patient. Misdiagnosis can be a form of medical negligence. However, it’s important to understand that not every misdiagnosis amounts to medical negligence. Medical conditions can be complex and difficult to diagnose. Further, many conditions have significant overlap in symptoms. Even doctors who act in good faith, perform necessary tests, and act in the best interest of the patient, can arrive at the wrong conclusion on occasion.

In order to be medical malpractice, the doctor must have been negligent in arriving at the misdiagnosis. This means that in arriving at the diagnosis, or in failing to diagnose, they deviated from the standard of care other medical professionals would have adhered to. In other words, if a similarly situated doctor in a similar specialty as your doctor would have arrived at the same conclusion they did, then it does not amount to medical malpractice. However, if a similarly situated doctor would not have arrived at the same misdiagnosis, this is a strong indicator that you will succeed in a medical malpractice claim.

Failure to Diagnose is also Medical Malpractice

One often overlooked form of medical malpractice is failure to diagnose. You may or may not realize that failure to diagnose a medical condition is actually a form of misdiagnosis. In some cases, a failure to diagnose a medical condition can be an even stronger grounds for a medical malpractice claim than misdiagnosis. This is because a misdiagnosis implies that some action was taken to diagnose the symptoms of the patient, even if it was done so incorrectly. In the case of failure to diagnose, it’s possible that no action was taken on the basis of valid patient concerns, which can be grounds for negligence. For instance, failure to respond to symptoms of a cardiac episode can result in a heart attack, stroke, or even death.

The Benefits of Bringing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

While nothing can keep the error from being made, a personal injury lawsuit for medical malpractice can help avoid the financial consequences related to the error. Failure to diagnose and errors in diagnosing serious medical conditions can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Without a lawsuit, you may have to carry the burden of the financial fallout alone. A successful medical malpractice claim can provide compensation for all expenses and medical treatment related to the injury caused by the misdiagnosis. If you miss work or are unable to return to your job due to the harm suffered, you can also receive compensation for lost wages and reduced earning potential. Additionally, compensation for pain and suffering is also available.

Talk to a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered an injury or disability due to a medical misdiagnosis, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Schedule a free initial consultation with the  personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.

Comments are closed.