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Can You Sue a Doctor for a Misdiagnosis - morgan and morgan
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Can You Sue a Doctor for a Misdiagnosis?

Can You Sue a Doctor for a Misdiagnosis?

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Can You Sue a Doctor for a Misdiagnosis?

When you are sick or injured, it is a good idea to seek qualified medical care. Patients have a right to trust that their doctors and care providers will adhere to a professional standard of behavior.
Unfortunately, tens of thousands of people experience medical malpractice every year in the U.S. Some cases are obvious instances of medical negligence.
For example, suppose that a surgeon leaves a piece of equipment inside of a patient while doing a procedure. This is a clear case of medical negligence.
But other cases are not so clear-cut. For instance, what if a physician provides you with the wrong diagnosis? Can you sue doctors for misdiagnosis? Read on to find out.
Below, we will discuss some of the most important issues to help answer the question, “Can you sue doctors for misdiagnosis?” It is important to understand the elements of a valid medical malpractice claim before you decide to file.
When you need legal representation following an injury, reach out to America’s best law firm: Morgan & Morgan. Our skilled team has years of experience recovering compensation for the victims of medical negligence.
You should not have to carry the burdens of an accident or injury that another person caused. Complete the easy-to-use contact form on our website today. Our friendly staff will schedule a no-cost and no-obligation legal consultation for you.

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  • Understanding Misdiagnosis

    Can you sue doctors for misdiagnosis? Before answering this question, we need to discuss the concept of misdiagnosis. 
    When a physician diagnoses your condition, they use evidence to categorize your illness or injuries. This will determine appropriate treatment options. Typically, doctors will use signs and symptoms to diagnose your medical issues.
    A misdiagnosis happens when a physician wrongly assesses a patient’s medical condition. When a doctor misreads a patient’s test results, it also qualifies as a misdiagnosis.
    When a medical professional misdiagnoses an illness, injury, or other condition, it can:

    • Make the patient’s condition become worse
    • Delay a correct diagnosis for the patient’s condition
    • Cause additional harm or result in the patient’s death

    A misdiagnosis does not require the doctor to provide an incorrect assessment of your medical condition. Failing to diagnose your injury or illness completely also qualifies.
    Any instance in which a care provider provides the wrong diagnosis or fails to provide the correct one counts as a misdiagnosis. This type of carelessness violates the high standard of medical care that patients have a right to expect.
    So can you sue doctors for misdiagnosis? When the misdiagnosis results in harm, yes. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can pursue compensation for any of the harms and losses that you have suffered.

  • Common Examples of Misdiagnosis

    According to recent research, nearly 5% of U.S. patients are misdiagnosed by a care provider. This can result in serious conditions going untreated.
    With an incorrect diagnosis, the patient may consent to inappropriate treatments, medications, or surgeries. In many cases, misdiagnosed patients sustain physical, psychological, and financial damage.
    Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions and illnesses include:

    • Heart attack(mistaken for panic disorder or indigestion)
    • Asthma (mistaken for recurring bronchitis)
    • Lyme disease (mistaken for depression, mononucleosis, or flu)
    • Lupus (mistaken for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome)

    These are only a few examples of common misdiagnoses. There are many types of conditions that share symptoms and are possible to misdiagnose. 
    Depending on the type of illness or condition you have, you may be able to pursue financial recovery through a misdiagnosis lawsuit. Speak with the skilled injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to explore your legal options.

  • Steps to Take if You Get Worse After Visiting a Doctor

    When your medical condition becomes worse after visiting a physician, you may wonder if you have been misdiagnosed. If you experience a medical emergency following a doctor’s visit, go to an urgent care center or emergency room immediately.
    Your health and safety should be your main priority. After you have sought additional medical help, a personal injury attorney can help you to determine the best course of action.
    As a personal injury claimant, you have a responsibility to follow your physician’s instructions unless you become worse. This means:

    • Do not wait if you need additional medical care
    • Do not allow your condition to become worse intentionally
    • Do not avoid further care on your doctor’s orders

    Fulfilling these important duties is known as “mitigating damages.” In a medical negligence case, the doctor’s behavior is not the only relevant element. The claimant’s behavior will be reviewed, as well.
    This is to ensure that the plaintiff is not making a fraudulent claim of medical negligence. When a patient makes their injury or illness worse intentionally, they can be held accountable for fraud.
    Injuries that occur because you avoided necessary medical care cannot be considered as part of your misdiagnosis claim. These additional injuries and issues are your responsibility.
    It is vital to have a knowledgeable attorney represent your best interests throughout the entire legal process. The legal experts at Morgan & Morgan understand how to build a powerful claim for victims of medical misdiagnosis.

  • How to Prevent a Misdiagnosis

    When you are visiting your healthcare professional, it is critical to do your part to help avoid misdiagnosis. While your physician holds the responsibility for your medical care, you can help them to avoid simple mistakes by communicating as clearly as possible. 

    Decrease the chances that you will experience a misdiagnosis by taking the following actions:

    • Ask specific questions if your condition does not improve
    • Get a second opinion from another medical professional
    • Ask your physician to review your test results and records
    • Take notes during your medical appointment
    • Ask about terms or concepts that you do not understand
    • Ask for alternative diagnosis possibilities
    • Find a physician who is highly reviewed
    • Schedule a visit with a medical specialist

    Medical mistakes can happen to anyone. However, these important actions will help to reduce your risk for misdiagnosis.

  • Can You Sue Doctors for Misdiagnosis? Proving Negligence

    When you have experienced harm because of an incorrect diagnosis, you have the right to pursue legal action. Most successful medical malpractice claims involve proving that the opposing party was negligent.
    Physicians, doctors, nurses, and medical facilities may be held accountable for any negligent actions. The legal concept of negligence involves four specific elements.
    To file a successful medical negligence lawsuit, you’ll need to prove the following:

    A Duty of Care
    For their case to be successful, the claimant needs to show that the doctor owed them a duty of care. Typically, doctors owe a reasonable duty of care to their patients.
    Proving a duty of care usually involves showing that there was an established doctor-patient relationship. Medical care providers have a legal responsibility to act in a way that a reasonably competent doctor would behave.

    Breach of Duty
    The plaintiff also needs to show that the medical professional breached their duty of care. The fact that a physician misdiagnosed a condition is not sufficient to prove negligence.
    The claimant needs to show that a competent medical professional would have made the correct diagnosis in a similar situation. This will prove that the defendant failed to provide a reasonable standard of care.

    The claimant needs to provide evidence that the relation between their misdiagnosis and the harm they suffered was causal. In other words, the misdiagnosis must be the primary reason for the damage to the plaintiff.
    If another event or circumstance was the primary cause of the damages, the victim will be unable to prove medical negligence.

    Actual Damages
    Finally, the victim must show that they sustained actual damages because of the misdiagnosis. If the misdiagnosis did not cause you any harm, you will be unable to prove negligence. 
    For instance, suppose that a physician diagnosed you with the flu and you actually had a common cold. But if the doctor prescribed a medication that helped with your cold, the misdiagnosis did not result in harm to you.
    In order to successfully recover compensation, you need to prove that your misdiagnosis resulted in actual damages.
    So can you sue doctors for misdiagnosis? If you can prove these four elements of negligence, yes, you can.
    If you are wondering whether you have a valid personal injury claim, consult with the accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan. Our medical malpractice experts will review your case and provide you with trustworthy legal guidance.

  • What Types of Damages Are Available Through a Misdiagnosis Claim?

    Like other types of tort claims, victims of medical misdiagnosis can pursue many kinds of financial compensation. The financial recovery from a medical negligence case is not only intended to compensate for the monetary losses that the victim experienced.
    Many of the most devastating consequences of a personal injury are not financial. These intangible losses can be compensated for through damages, as well.
    Some of the typical examples of damages in a medical negligence case include compensation for:

    • Additional medical and surgical expenses
    • Ongoing medical care and therapies
    • Lost wages and income caused by missed workdays
    • Pain and suffering
    • Mental distress and anxiety
    • Depression
    • Disfigurement and disability
    • Long-term decreased earning capacity

    Determining the value of a misdiagnosis claim is very complex. That is why it is vital to consult with a seasoned personal injury expert.
    The team at Morgan & Morgan will accurately estimate the value of your case and fight for maximum compensation for you.

  • Can Hospitals Be Held Accountable for Negligence?

    Yes. Hospitals are usually public or private corporate entities. In some cases, hospitals can be held vicariously accountable for the negligence actions of their workers. This can include doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other care providers.
    If you are unsure about who is liable for your medical injury, reach out to a trusted lawyer. 

  • Premier Misdiagnosis Attorneys at Morgan & Morgan

    You should not have to manage the negative outcomes that arise as the result of medical negligence. If your doctor has failed to properly diagnose your condition, you may be owed financial compensation.
    Reach out to the firm at Morgan & Morgan for the best legal representation available. As America’s largest personal injury firm, we have recovered more than $15 billion in compensation for our clients.
    Complete the simple contact form on our website to arrange a free consultation to discuss the facts of your malpractice case. The legal experts at Morgan & Morgan will fight diligently for you!

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Last updated on May 31, 2023

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