Is a Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice?
Is a Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice?
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Is a Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice?
When people suffer illnesses or injuries, they trust their doctors and surgeons to provide them with a reasonable standard of medical care. Patients have an expectation that their medical care providers will help them — not cause them harm.
Unfortunately, many doctors fail to live up to this professional standard of care. When this happens, patients may sustain harm because of a physician’s negligence.
Some instances of medical malpractice are clear. For instance, suppose that a surgeon does the wrong procedure on a patient. This would be an obvious case of malpractice.
But what if your doctor wrongly assesses your condition? Is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice? Read below to find out.
However complex the factors of your case may be, the medical malpractice attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help. Our legal specialists have years of experience aiding medical negligence victims in securing the financial compensation that they deserve.
If you have sustained harm as the result of a medical misdiagnosis, consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.
At Morgan & Morgan, we believe that all medical malpractice victims deserve justice. We will gather relevant evidence in your case and build the most powerful case possible. Our legal team knows what it takes to recover maximum compensation for our clients.
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Understanding Medical Misdiagnosis
What is a misdiagnosis? A misdiagnosis happens when a physician or doctor wrongly categorizes a patient’s illness, injury, or condition.
This may occur because the care provider guesses incorrectly about medical signs and symptoms. It may also happen when a doctor, nurse, or surgeon misreads a patient’s test results.
Any time a medical care provider offers an incorrect prognosis, misdiagnosis has occurred.
A doctor does not have to assign the wrong diagnosis in order for misdiagnosis to happen. When a physician fails to provide any prognosis, it can also qualify as a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis can result in many negative consequences for patients.
Many misdiagnosis victims experience additional medical expenses, as well as physical and emotional difficulties. If you have sustained injuries as the result of an incorrect diagnosis, you can pursue financial compensation for the damages that you experienced.
You may be wondering, “Is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice?” Below, we will discuss what is necessary for proving that your misdiagnosis amounted to medical negligence.
Explaining Negligence in Misdiagnosis Cases
Like most other types of tort claims, medical misdiagnosis cases usually revolve around the legal concept of “negligence.” In order to successfully recover compensation, the victim must show that their medical care provider behaved in a careless or reckless manner.
A seasoned injury attorney will examine the circumstances of your case to determine whether you have a valid negligence claim.
The legal concept of negligence involves four distinct elements. To prove that a doctor was negligent, the claimant must show all four of the following:
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must prove that the liable party owed them a duty of care. Typically, this involves showing that a doctor-patient relationship was established.
Doctors have a responsibility to provide patients with a high standard of medical care. They have this legal duty of care in virtue of their role as medical experts.
It is usually simple to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed in misdiagnosis cases.
Breach of Duty
The claimant also needs to prove that their physician breached the existing duty of care. When a medical care provider fails to fulfill their duty to a patient, they can be held responsible for resulting harm.
Breaching a duty of medical care can involve a misdiagnosis. This is especially true if the incorrect diagnosis results in damage to the patient.
The plaintiff must successfully argue that another doctor would have provided a correct diagnosis in a similar situation. This will prove that the physician in question breached their duty to provide a professional standard of care.
The injured patient needs to prove that the doctor’s breach of duty was the cause of the damages that they sustained. If another event or factor contributed to the harm that the patient suffered, it may be challenging to prove medical negligence.
For example, suppose that a physician provided an incorrect diagnosis and the patient was injured in a car accident the next day. In this case, the misdiagnosis would have no causal relation to the damages that the patient suffered.
Finally, the plaintiff needs to prove that their physician’s misdiagnosis led to actual damages. The potential of harm is not enough to rise to the legal standard of negligence.
The claimant must provide evidence that they suffered actual harm for which they are owed compensation. Any financial or personal damage resulting from the accident or injury will affect the value of the malpractice claim.
To better understand the legal requirements of negligence, reach out to the skilled personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. Our dedicated team has the experience and specialized knowledge to recover maximum compensation in your case.
So is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice? Yes, as long as the actual damages resulted from the misdiagnosis.
Is a Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice? Who Can Be Held Accountable?
If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed, you might consider taking legal action against your care provider. An accomplished legal expert can review your case and help you to determine the best course of action.
Still, you may be uncertain about who is responsible for the resulting medical malpractice. In a medical negligence case, any party responsible for the harm may be held accountable.
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have plenty of experience determining liability in medical negligence cases. The following parties are often responsible for medical negligence:
Especially in misdiagnosis cases, the most common at-fault party is the patient’s doctor. Doctors are not typically employed directly by a hospital. Because of this, victims can hold their physicians accountable for a misdiagnosis and the resulting harm. Nurses and surgeons can also be sued for medical malpractice.
Hospitals can be held responsible for their employee’s actions. So if a nurse or medical technician was the reason you sustained an injury, you can pursue compensation from the hospital.
Medical malpractice cases can become extremely complex. In some instances, it can be difficult to determine liability.
Because of this, you should speak with an attorney who has plenty of experience in medical malpractice cases. The legal team at Morgan & Morgan will help you build a powerful claim against the parties who are responsible for the damages that you have sustained.
How to Find the Right Misdiagnosis Attorney for Your Needs
Even if you know that you have a valid medical malpractice claim, you may not know how to find the right legal representative. Most reputable personal injury attorneys provide new clients with a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
This initial meeting is an excellent opportunity to ask questions that will help you make your decision. One of your first questions may be, “Is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice?”
Even if you know that you were misdiagnosed, you should ask questions about the validity of your claim. Ask any questions that will help you decide whether the attorney is right for you.
Some of the most common questions that new clients ask their lawyers include:
- How many years have you practiced law?
- What is your current case success rate?
- Do you have prior experience with medical misdiagnosis cases?
- Do you believe that I can win this case?
- How much do you believe this case would be worth?
- Who do you believe is liable for my injuries?
- How long does a personal injury claim take?
- What is your negotiation strategy?
These are only a few examples of the questions that can help you decide whether a particular attorney is right for you. You should never hire a legal professional that you do not completely trust.
If the attorney says or does anything to make you feel uncertain during your meeting, keep looking. The skilled lawyers at Morgan & Morgan understand what it takes to successfully fight for our clients.
We will work tirelessly to recover the financial compensation that you are owed.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Misdiagnosis Case?
“Damages” is the term for financial payments to victims in personal injury cases. In most medical malpractice cases, there are two main categories of damages.
The first category is “economic” damages. These payments are meant to compensate the victim for their financial losses.
Common examples of economic damages are:
- Current medical costs and expenses
- Property damage
- Anticipated future medical bills
- Missed wages and lost income
- Decreased earning capacity
The second category is “non-economic” damages. These payments are intended to make up for non-monetary losses that the victim experiences.
Typical examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental stress, anxiety, and panic
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of ability to enjoy life
When medical malpractice results in the death of the patient, their surviving family has the right to seek financial recovery. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have years of experience helping families pursue successful wrongful death claims.
No matter how tricky your case may be, our legal professionals can help.
How Will an Attorney Help With My Medical Malpractice Case?
When you hire one of the trusted experts at Morgan & Morgan, we will handle every element of your misdiagnosis case. This will allow you to focus completely on your physical and mental recovery.
Our attorneys have plenty of experience with the following:
- Gathering relevant evidence in malpractice cases
- Reviewing medical documents and records
- Speaking with specialists and experts, if needed
- Determining legal liability for injuries
- Calculating the full value of malpractice claims
- Drafting and submitting legal documentation
- Ensuring that all legal time limits are met
You should not have to manage the complex requirements of a personal injury claim. Let the compassionate attorneys at Morgan & Morgan oversee the logistics of your case.
Morgan & Morgan Is Ready to Fight for You
When you need top-quality legal representation, look no further than the largest law firm in America: Morgan & Morgan. Our attorneys have decades of experience recovering compensation for the victims of medical misdiagnosis.
Getting the wrong diagnosis can cause significant financial and physical problems for victims. You should not have to bear the burdens of damage that a medical care provider caused.
Our compassionate legal experts will gladly provide you with a no-obligation case review. To schedule your free consultation, fill out the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website today.