When a doctor treats you for an illness or condition, one of the first things the doctor is supposed to do is correctly diagnose you. This is extremely important, because the illness or condition dictates the treatment you receive.
If the doctor fails to properly diagnose you, you could end up receiving the wrong treatment which could potentially cause you harm.
If a doctor’s misdiagnosis has harmed you, a personal injury lawyer may be able to file a misdiagnosis lawsuit on your behalf.
Consequences of a Diagnostic Error
When your doctor makes a diagnostic error, you can be harmed in at least two ways:
First, because you were misdiagnosed, your doctor likely will not be providing you with the correct treatment. An untreated condition could worsen, potentially becoming life-threatening or untreatable.
Second, an incorrect treatment could cause you to suffer serious harm. For example, chemotherapy is harmful to patients who don’t have cancer.
When a doctor fails to perform appropriate tests or makes avoidable mistakes, this may rise to the level of medical negligence.
Another form of diagnostic error is delayed diagnosis. This happens when a doctor eventually diagnoses your condition, but the delay in diagnosis results in irreparable harm. In some cases, this will happen after an initial misdiagnosis. A delayed diagnosis comes with the risk of a worsening condition and even potentially results in the patient’s wrongful death.
Just as with misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis rises to the level of medical malpractice when it is a result of negligence. If your doctor should have made a correct diagnosis earlier — based on available information — the doctor is responsible for the harm caused by the delayed diagnosis.
Dangers of Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis is frightening because the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are all potentially fatal. Cancer, infections, and vascular conditions are the most common conditions misdiagnosed. All three of these types of conditions are potentially fatal if not properly treated and usually worsen quickly when not treated immediately.
Even when a misdiagnosis isn’t fatal, it can result in a lifetime of suffering. Possible results of misdiagnosis include:
- Suffering a stroke
- Suffering a heart attack
- Loss of senses
- Partial or full paralysis
- Increased pain
- Inability to procreate
These consequences could last the rest of your life, and some will also decrease the number of years you live in general.
A successful misdiagnosis lawsuit will compensate you for your medical expenses to treat the condition and for any consequences of the worsened condition (lost income, assistance services, etc.).
How to Identify Misdiagnosis
It is not always obvious when your doctor has misdiagnosed you. Oftentimes, when you are receiving mistreatment, the treatment will mask the symptoms, despite not doing anything for the underlying condition. This means it could be weeks, months, or even years before you realize that you have been misdiagnosed.
If you suspect a misdiagnosis, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Contact a Misdiagnosis Attorney Today
A misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice that can result in a lifetime of harmful health consequences or even wrongful death. If you or a loved one has suffered significant harm due to being misdiagnosed by a doctor, you need the assistance of a misdiagnosis attorney.
Contact The Joel Bieber Firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.