Medical malpractice cases are not limited to what happens after a medical care provider treats a patient. In some instances, a successful claim of malpractice can be made for failing to diagnose a condition in the first place. If you want to sue your doctor or other health care provider due to a misdiagnosis, here is what you need to know.
What Cases Are Usually Misdiagnosed?
There are many different conditions which could be misdiagnosed by a doctor, but some conditions are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. For instance, a misdiagnosed case of indigestion or a panic attack could actually be a heart attack.
Other conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed include asthma, strokes, staph infections, and lymph nodes.
What Causes a Misdiagnosis?
When a doctor mistakenly misdiagnoses a patient, it could be the result of a failure to properly screen for the condition. It can also occur if the doctor hasn't properly vetted the symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
If there is reasonable cause to suspect that a more serious underlying condition might be present and the doctor fails to refer the patient to a specialist, this could be considered malpractice.
If another factor led to your misdiagnosis, your malpractice attorney can review it and decide if it is truly a contributing factor.
Who Can You Sue?
Some mistakenly believe that medical malpractice cases are limited solely to doctors. Even though you can sue your doctor if he or she is responsible for your injuries, there may be others who are responsible, too.
For instance, if a lab tech improperly read the results of your tests, you can also sue him or her. The same is true for specialists, hospitals, and nurses.
Some defendants might be more difficult to hold responsible than others. For instance, the hospital might not be liable even though the doctor's misdiagnosis occurred there. A large number of doctors are independent contractors. As a result, the hospital is usually off the hook for the actions of the doctors unless there are extenuating circumstances.
What Do You Have to Prove?
In a medical malpractice case involving a misdiagnosis, you have to prove that the failed diagnosis resulted in harm. For instance, if you were diagnosed with cancer and had to endure chemotherapy, but it turns out you did not have the disease, you could cite the pain from the treatment as cause for the suit.
Medical malpractice cases benefit from the help of an experienced attorney. The cases are extremely complicated and you will need someone who can understand the legal aspects on your side. If your case focuses on an injury that is specific to the Hispanic ethnicity, consider seeking the expertise of a Hispanic attorney to build your case.