From the moment you set foot in the doctor’s office, you trust your doctor to help you find what’s wrong and to offer you a treatment that can help you get back on your feet. But if they diagnose you incorrectly , you are bound to have questions. Did they fail to order a test that could have given you the answer? Did they overlook a symptom, or a potential issue caused by an existing medical condition? Could a life-changing medical complication have been avoided?
What does misdiagnosis look like?
For a misdiagnosis to qualify as medical malpractice, it must have caused harm to you and must have been a clear result of negligence. This can take a variety of different forms:
- Wrong diagnosis—Your doctor diagnoses you with a medical condition that you do not actually have, leaving your actual medical condition untreated while also exposing you to side effects from treatment for the wrong condition.
- Missed or delayed diagnosis—Your doctor might decide that you are healthy despite your symptoms, either dismissing you entirely or delaying while your condition grows worse.
- Failure to recognize complications or a related disease—Many diseases have related conditions that could damage your health if left untreated. Even if your doctor correctly identified the primary condition, they could fail to identify these related issues and put your health at risk.
These misdiagnoses can leave your illness untreated or let other important health concerns slip through undetected.
How harmful can a misdiagnosis be?
In a word, very.
The fact is that misdiagnoses result in thousands of deaths every year, and many of those deaths could have been prevented. Many Americans are unaware of how widespread this problem is.
Has a misdiagnosis harmed you?
If a medical professional has betrayed your trust, working with an attorney that you rely on can help right that wrong. Talking to a lawyer that has helped clients through complex medical malpractice cases before can give you the answers that you need, explore the legal options available to you and get you the support you need after the injury that you have suffered.