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Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice if I Was Misdiagnosed?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Rockford misdiagnosis attorneysMedical professionals attend years of rigorous schooling before they are licensed to practice medicine. They learn about thousands of medical conditions and the signs and symptoms of those conditions so that they can properly diagnose patients. However, doctors cannot always provide an immediate diagnosis. If a doctor fails to provide a diagnosis or misdiagnoses a patient, is he or she guilty of medical negligence? Does the patient have a right to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit? As with most personal injury matters, the answer depends on a variety of factors.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of an Illness, Disease, or Other Medical Condition  

When we visit a doctor or medical specialist, we expect to receive answers. We need to know what condition is ailing us so that we can get the proper treatment. In many cases, the sooner a patient can start receiving treatment, the greater his or her chance of recovery. This is especially true of illnesses like cancer and heart disease. If a doctor does not diagnose a patient or diagnoses the patient with the wrong condition, that patient will not receive the potentially life-save medical care he or she needs.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

A doctor or other medical worker is not automatically guilty of medical malpractice if he or she fails to diagnose a patient’s condition properly. Malpractice occurs when the following components are present:

  • Duty – A doctor-patient relationship has been established.
  • Breach of duty – The doctor did not meet the duty expected of him or her. The “medical standard of care” is the standard used to determine whether a doctor fulfilled his or her duty of care to a patient. This standard is described as the type of care a doctor with similar background and training would have provided in similar circumstances. In a medical malpractice case, medical experts are typically called upon to give their opinion about whether a doctor’s conduct met the medical standard of care. The doctor’s actions may also be compared to medical studies, the currently accepted practices, and previous medical malpractice cases.
  • Injuries – The patient’s condition deteriorated, or the patient suffered harm because of the doctor’s misdiagnosis.
  • Damage – The patient suffered losses such as additional medical bills or lost income due to missed work because of his or her injuries. If the patient died prematurely because of the misdiagnosis, the patient’s family may sue for damages due to wrongful death.

If each of these elements is present, the doctor may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The patient or the patient’s surviving loved ones may be entitled to financial compensation for damages.

Contact a Rockford Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one were misdiagnosed or a doctor failed to diagnose your medical problem promptly, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, to discuss a potential medical malpractice claim. Call our team of skilled Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneys at 815-215-7561 today. We offer free initial consultations.

Source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088386/

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