Misdiagnosis in Medical Malpractice

March 17, 2016 by Yale Spector

misdiagnosis medical malpractice

When people hear the word “medical malpractice,” extreme examples like a wrongfully amputated leg often come to mind. However, a significant amount of medical malpractice cases involve simpler errors, like misdiagnosis, which can be even more deadly.

The Dangers of Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is when a patient receives an incorrect diagnosis of their condition, which can allow for the condition to worsen due to a lack of effective treatment. An improper diagnosis can also lead to the consumption of ineffective and possibly harmful drugs. These mistakes can be fatal, especially for young children and the elderly. The dangerous effects of misdiagnosis mean that even simple injuries can turn into catastrophic tragedies simply because of an error in the physician’s judgement.

Can You Sue for Misdiagnosis?

Medicine is not an exact science, so coming to a correct diagnosis can be difficult even for the most skilled and experienced medical professionals. Because of this, the law does not always consider a misdiagnosis as grounds for a medical malpractice claim. However, if it is evident that an error on the medical professional’s part is what resulted in the misdiagnosis, then victims might be able to sue for damages. In fact, many malpractice suits are a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.

Proving Negligence

Negligence, which can also be defined as carelessness, is the basis of personal injury cases including medical malpractice. To win a medical malpractice case, it has to be clear that negligence occurred. Furthermore, it must also be clear that the negligence is what lead to the injuries sustained. The expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer is extremely helpful in obtaining enough evidence to prove the existence of negligence and to show how the negligence caused injury.