Personal Injury Lawyer
A significant number of medical malpractice lawsuits are due to delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of an injury, condition, or disease. When the doctor makes a mistake, it can cause the patient to undergo the wrong treatment and suffer injury or a worsened condition. For some patients, they may even pass away because of the error. The victim or surviving family members may be entitled to financial compensation for the medical error. If you believe this has happened to you or a family member, then you must speak with a medical malpractice attorney right away for counsel.
How To Prove Medical Malpractice
When meeting with an attorney, like a medical malpractice attorney he or she is likely to talk to you about the elements you must prove in order to have a strong medical malpractice case. Firstly, you must show that you had a doctor-patient relationship. Essentially, you just have to show documentation that you sought care from this doctor, and the doctor agreed to see you during an appointment. Secondly, you have to show how the doctor was negligent and did not provide you with a standard quality of care. Then, you must show that this negligence had directly caused you injury or harm.
What is Considered Doctor Negligence
A doctor who had delayed in diagnosing you or had misdiagnosed you entirely is not sufficient for a medical malpractice lawsuit if there isn’t evidence of negligence. The key is deciding whether the doctor had acted with competence when evaluating and treating the patient. Your attorney can give you advice on how to prove either:
- The doctor had not included the correct diagnosis on the list of “differential diagnoses”, and another doctor with similar experience would have.
- The doctor included the correct diagnosis on the list, but had failed to perform tests or ask the opinion of specialists to determine a reliable diagnosis.
The method of “differential diagnosis” may be used to determine whether the doctor committed negligence or not. What this means is that the doctor creates a list of possible diagnoses, runs a series of related tests, then through a process of elimination determines what the diagnosis is. This is a method that many doctors use when there are many diagnosis possibilities, particularly when the symptoms could apply to a range of conditions.
When the Misdiagnosis Caused Patient Harm
The most crucial element of a medical malpractice lawsuit is successfully proving that the doctor’s negligence caused the patient to endure injury or worsened health, and where they would not have if the correct diagnosis were completed in a timely manner. It is more rare that a doctor will diagnose a patient with the entirely wrong illness, however, it can happen. The victim may be entitled to damages within the medical malpractice lawsuit for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of wages
- Medical bills incurred related to the doctor error (such as testing, procedures, unnecessary appointments, incorrect treatment, etc.)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of future earning capacity