We place a lot of trust in doctors and other medical professionals – after all, why shouldn’t we? To do what they do, they attend several years of specialized schooling and go through a rigorous process to become a fully licensed medical service provider.
Despite this, however, patients are misdiagnosed every day. In many cases, this can be the result of one disease appearing very similar to another or circumstances that make it difficult to accurately diagnose a patient. In these cases, doctors often aren’t at fault for the misdiagnosis because they did their due diligence to pursue an accurate diagnosis with the information available to them.
This means that merely being misdiagnosed by a doctor doesn’t always provide grounds for a lawsuit. If a doctor initially diagnoses a lump as a cyst, only to find out after testing that it’s a cancerous tumor, then the doctor is unlikely to be legally responsible for misdiagnosis.
So, what makes medical professionals liable for incorrectly diagnosing their patients? In a word, it’s negligence. Had the doctor diagnosed a patient’s cancerous tumor as a cyst and didn’t investigate it further to rule out cancer, it could be legally argued that the doctor misdiagnosed the patient. Of course, the patient could only pursue legal action if they learn from another doctor or later on that the lump is, in fact, cancer.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Diseases & Conditions
Unfortunately, the consequences of a misdiagnosis can be extremely severe. If a patient’s treatment is delayed because their doctor negligently misdiagnosed them, they could lose valuable time to intervene with proper medical treatment. In the most severe cases, this treatment could otherwise have saved their lives.
Cancer isn’t the only commonly misdiagnosed condition – the following are:
- Brain Tumors
- Celiac Disease
- Heart Attacks
- Heart Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Pulmonary Embolisms
- Thyroid Conditions
If your treatment for conditions such as these is delayed due to misdiagnosis, there can be serious consequences for your overall health outcomes. There are also cases in which people who are incorrectly diagnosed are provided with unnecessary and even harmful medical treatment.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you believe your doctor negligently misdiagnosed your illness, you may be on the hook for expensive medical treatments you didn’t need. You may also have endured pain and suffering that can be taken into account during your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Recovering compensation is possible, but only the help of a competent attorney can help you secure the best possible chances of success.