Medical Malpractice: Misdiagnosis

What is a medical misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnosis by doctors and other medical professionals is a serious issue and can greatly affect a patient’s prognosis (projected outcome). Misdiagnosis can take many forms and may lead to other errors by the physician or medical staff. These may include the following:

  • Failure to Diagnose: This is where the physician completely fails to diagnose or detect an existing condition. For example, a person may be suffering from a headache, but the doctor misses the connection between the symptoms and the actual underlying condition, such as meningitis.
  • Misdiagnosis: When a physician makes an incorrect diagnosis. For example, attributing shortness of breath and chest pain to stress, instead of a blood clot.
  • Delayed diagnosis: This is where a doctor fails to make a proper diagnosis until much later, when further injury may have occurred. For example, if a CAT scan is misread and a cancerous tumor is missed, the tumor may continue to grow without essential early treatment.
  • Erroneous treatment: This is not necessarily a diagnosis problem, but if the physician has made an incorrect diagnosis, it may lead to erroneous or unnecessary treatment resulting in further injury.

Medical misdiagnoses can happen at any time if a physician is not exercising a reasonable degree of skill and care. However, the following conditions are commonly misdiagnosed by medical professionals:

How can a misdiagnosis lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Diagnosing a patient is one of the most important aspects of a physician’s job. When a patient seeks medical treatment from a physician at a hospital or other medical facility, it is expected that the doctor will provide a reasonable degree of skill and care in detecting and treating their illnesses. Often times, several illnesses will have similar symptoms and a physician must know when to do further testing to make sure they are correctly diagnosing the patient. However, proper protocols are not always followed.

When the duty of care is breached, and a serious medical condition goes untreated, the health consequences can be severe. A medical malpractice lawsuit may be warranted if the health care provider failed to follow standard procedures or failed to exercise that degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider in a similar circumstance.

What should I do if I have been misdiagnosed?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or harm as a result of a misdiagnosis, you should begin by insuring that you find a doctor who can properly treat you from that point on. Nothing is more important than your own personal health. Once the health condition at issue is being treated, you should contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers of Lopez McHugh for a free consultation to understand what legal rights you may have, and how a lawsuit may provide compensation for your medical care and prevent injury to others.

The attorneys of Lopez McHugh have the knowledge and resources to fight for your recovery and protect your financial interests. We have a proven track record of success in handling complex medical malpractice lawsuits.

You should contact the lawyers at Lopez McHugh without delay because every state has deadlines for when compensation may be pursued. The attorneys of Lopez McHugh will thoroughly investigate your case and advise you of the merits and challenges involved. Contact us now for an initial consultation, free of charge. If we agree to accept your case we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means that we get paid for our services only if there is a recovery by way of settlement or verdict.

Back to Medical Malpractice