Misdiagnosed? You May Have a Malpractice Claim
When you talk about medical malpractice, most people immediately think of some kind of surgical error. However, diagnostic errors are one of the most common sources of medical malpractice claims. Failure to make a proper diagnosis can result in delays in treatment – delays that can do serious harm to the patient’s health and, in some situations, result in an incurable illness. If you believe that you have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for help.
Causes of Misdiagnoses
Some illnesses are simply difficult to diagnose and the fact that there was a misdiagnosis does not necessarily mean that your doctor committed malpractice. Instead, you must prove that the doctor was negligent in some way. Because doctors require extensive education and training, it can be difficult to determine what went wrong. Some of the most common causes of misdiagnoses include the following:
- Failure to make a thorough evaluation – it may seem obvious, but doctors need to thoroughly examine their patients in order to make an accurate diagnosis. This includes asking questions, listening to you describe your issue, and evaluating your symptoms. When doctors rush the examination or cut corners, they can miss vital information.
- Failure to review your medical records – doctors should carefully review a patient’s medical history prior to making a diagnosis. Similar to performing an inadequate examination, doctors can miss important information when they fail to carefully review your records.
- Misinterpretation of test results – test results often require careful study and an educated interpretation. A misdiagnosis can occur when your doctor fails to carefully review your test results.
- Faulty testing – poor testing protocols can yield false results. This could be due to broken testing equipment, mishandling of the samples, or poorly trained lab techs. In this situation, it may be the lab that should be held liable rather than your doctor.
In each of these situations, healthcare professionals are failing to provide treatment according to the established standard of care. As a result, you may be entitled to compensation for any harm that was caused to your health. A knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney will know how to prove your case.
Delayed Diagnoses Can Also Be Malpractice
Unreasonable delays in making a diagnosis can also constitute medical malpractice. A delayed diagnosis can be caused by a variety of mistakes including the following:
- Failing to make a timely referral to a specialist
- Failing to follow up with the lab on test results
- Losing your test results
- Failing to review test results in a timely manner
- Failure to schedule follow-up appointments
- Practice mismanagement
Time is of the essence when it comes to providing medical treatment. Failure to provide a timely diagnosis can result in irreparable harm to your health. You should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer if you received a delayed diagnosis.
Call Medical Malpractice Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles Today
Medical malpractice claims are extremely difficult for non-lawyers to pursue. Medical malpractice attorney Thomas E. Pyles can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 301-705-5006 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation.