Can I Pursue A Medical Malpractice Suit If Misdiagnosed?

If you have been misdiagnosed by a doctor or healthcare professional and it has caused you further pain and suffering, there are legal ramifications you need to understand. If you have been misdiagnosed, you will want to consider contacting a medical malpractice lawyer to see if you have a case.

An Increased Rate of Misdiagnosis

It used to be that errors in taking prescription drugs or getting operated on the wrong part of the body were the most common types of medical errors. That is no longer the case. While being misdiagnosed is nothing new, misdiagnosis is becoming the most common type of medical error. For many patients, being misdiagnosed has resulted in further pain and suffering and for some it has even resulted in death.

Here are just some of a few cases where patients were misdiagnosed:

  • A 2009 study states that out of 583 patients who were misdiagnosed, 28 percent of them were rated as major errors and involved a delay in the correct diagnosis of illnesses including pulmonary embolism, drug reactions, cancer and stroke.
  • A 2012 study says that as many as 40,500 adult patients in the United States who are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) die on an annual basis as a result of being misdiagnosed.
  • In a study done at a Veterans Affairs facility, of 190 cases, there were 68 diagnoses that were missed including congestive heart failure, acute renal failure, cancer and urinary tract infection.

What to Do if You've Been Misdiagnosed

One of the reasons it is important to know about getting misdiagnosed is to increase awareness for people and so that doctors and other healthcare professionals will be held accountable for their mistakes. It is also important for patients and those who work in the medical field to understand there can be legal ramifications for getting misdiagnosed. While getting misdiagnosed does not always mean a patient will automatically have a case for medical malpractice, it can when these three things can be proven:

  • The doctor and the patient had an established relationship
  • The doctor was negligent by not providing treatment in a competent manner
  • Because the doctor was negligent, there was further harm or injury caused to the patient

Doctors are human and do make mistakes, but if their mistake cause you to become more sick and if you can prove all three of the above, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer. For more information, contact a firm such as Bennett & Zydron PC.