Missed Diagnosis: Your Injuries and a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Posted on: 17 November 2016

If you have received medical care from a treatment provider, and you were misdiagnosed, you are not alone. According to CBS News, 12 million Americans every year are misdiagnosed when they receive outpatient care. This ends up being one in twenty people, a number that makes delayed diagnoses or mistakes common. While a missed or delayed diagnosis is not always considered malpractice, if the mistake causes you injury you might have a viable personal injury lawsuit to file. If your symptoms were common, and other medical providers would have all pointed to the same, correct diagnosis, the provider that gave you the wrong diagnosis may be found negligent.

The Standard of Care Threshold Must Be Met

When you present with a set of symptoms, your doctor's job is to figure out what could be wrong with you. For a simplistic example, you go to the emergency room, unable to move your arm after a fall. An x-Ray shows that you broke your arm. The treatment provider puts a cast on your arm and gives you instructions to follow up with your primary care doctor for a broken arm. This doctor met the standard of care threshold. In this same example, if the doctor sent you home with no treatment, telling you nothing seems to be wrong, they did not meet the standard of care threshold.

Injuries Must Have Occurred

Just because a treatment provider makes a mistake in diagnosing you, this does not guarantee that you have a reasonable personal injury lawsuit on your hands. There must be injuries to prove, or there is nothing to compensate you for. A good example would be that you went to the doctor repeatedly with a set of symptoms that point to the fact you are having seizures. Instead of treating you for seizures, you are treated for panic attacks. You are then driving your car one day, and you have yet another seizure while driving. You are hurt in the accident and have permanent injuries. Your doctor may be found liable because of the missed diagnosis if you presented symptoms that were clear to another treatment provider.

Proving medical malpractice can be hard, but you can do it. You must be able to prove that your symptoms made it clear what your diagnosis should be, yet your doctor missed it. In addition, you must be able to prove that you have injuries because of the missed diagnosis.