Misdiagnosis or a Missed Diagnosis?

misdiagnosis lawsuit

What’s the difference between a missed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis lawsuit?

The two terms sound similar, and they share many similarities. Both can lead to needless suffering. Both are the result of a medical provider who overlooks something. And both can be the foundation of a claim for medical malpractice. But there are some important differences between a medical misdiagnosis and a missed diagnosis.

What is a Medical Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis means that a person who has one medical condition was diagnosed with a different medical condition that they do not have. For example, a patient who complains of stomach troubles could actually be having a heart attack. Or a doctor might diagnose someone with cancer when the patient is actually cancer-free.

A misdiagnosis can result in costly and unnecessary treatment, and can also mean that a patient’s actual medical condition goes untreated. This can lead to additional pain and suffering, a significant decrease in a patient’s likelihood of survival, and a longer time with an untreated medical condition.

How is Missed Diagnosis Different from a Misdiagnosis?

A missed diagnosis, also known as a delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose, is different from misdiagnosis. When a missed diagnosis occurs, the doctor did not realize the patient had a medical condition and failed to diagnose the patient with a disease. This could be because a doctor failed to recognize a particular constellation of symptoms or because symptoms of a more serious condition are similar to a number of other more minor ones.

Missed diagnosis is often caused by a physician who did not take a patient’s complete medical history. The doctor may believe a patient’s complaints are “all in their head,” that a patient complaining of pain is just seeking drugs, or because some medical professionals give more weight to complaints of men over women, and whites over blacks.

Regardless of whether a patient suffered a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, the results can be catastrophic, especially when a medical condition could have been treated if it was diagnosed sooner.

If you believe you suffered from a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis, the medical malpractice lawyers at Robenalt Law can help.

Proving Negligence in Missed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

To show that a doctor was negligent, it is critical that you understand how doctors arrive at their diagnosis or how they failed to diagnose your condition.

Physicians use a differential diagnosis to determine a patient’s condition. The doctor will take the patient’s history, including a list of complaints and symptoms, as well as a medical history. The doctor should perform a physical examination to create a list of the potential causes of the patient’s condition, ranked according to which is most likely. The doctor will then perform tests to narrow down the list and, ultimately, arrive at a diagnosis.

While medical professionals are human and can make unavoidable mistakes, a case of a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis can both form the basis of a lawsuit for medical malpractice.

If you were diagnosed with a condition you do not have, or a doctor failed to diagnose you with a condition you do have, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for money spent on unnecessary treatment, for your pain and suffering, and for the damage to your health that you suffered because you did not receive the diagnosis you should have.

But bringing a claim for medical malpractice is often an uphill battle. Medical malpractice is one of the most complex and contentious areas of the law, and the stakes are high.

To successfully bring a claim for medical negligence based on a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis, you will need to prove:

  1. The existence of a doctor-patient relationship;
  2. The doctor was negligent; and
  3. The doctor’s negligence caused your injuries.

To prove that the doctor was negligent, you will need to work with an expert witness who will offer an opinion on how the defendant deviated from the standard of care and explain to the judge and jury why the defendant was negligent and how the defendant’s negligence affected you.

Robenalt Law: Fighting for Victims of Medical Malpractice

If you were the victim of a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, you need to act quickly. In Ohio, you have just one year from the date the malpractice occurred in which to file a misdiagnosis lawsuit. If you don’t file a claim within that timeframe, you will be legally barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.

At Robenalt Law, our lawyers have extensive experience reviewing and litigating medical malpractice claims. We have the experience, resources, and expertise to evaluate your case and bring it to a successful resolution through settlement or at trial for your misdiagnosis lawsuit.

We handle medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee, which means we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you.

Learn why clients choose us, get answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.

Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing doctors and hospitals at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.

Categories: Medical Malpractice

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