Being misdiagnosed can bring two reactions, one good and one bad: good if the diagnosis was for something major that turned out to be trivial; and bad if you are misdiagnosed and your real medical condition is not caught early enough so that surgery or medication can resolve it.
Either way, no one wants to be on the receiving end of a misdiagnosis. And although many times physicians are not legally responsible for diagnostic errors, there are instances where a medical malpractice suit can result in liability being assessed against the doctor who made the error.
To prevail in a medical malpractice claim based on a misdiagnosis, you will typically need to demonstrate that:
- You had an existing relationship with your doctor
- Your doctor was negligent
- Your doctor’s negligence led to an injury or death
The second factor -- that your doctor was negligent -- is generally the most difficult to prove. Even when physicians employ reasonable care, diagnostic errors may still be made. In proving negligence, the issue of competency is usually key. If a doctor deviates from a certain standard of care, this may signal that he or she was not competent to diagnose your condition. If they did not perform the right type of tests in making the diagnosis, this may also signal incompetence. Basically, you would usually need to prove that a doctor in a similar field with the same kind of information would have diagnosed your condition correctly.
To win your medical malpractice case, you must also prove that you suffered an injury due to an incorrect diagnosis. Generally, this means that the incorrect diagnosis had a negative impact on your treatment and future health. For example, if your cancer was not diagnosed early enough for treatments to work as effectively, or if you are now subject to more severe medical procedures because your illness was not diagnosed in time, this could be the basis for recovering damages in a medical malpractice suit.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a medical mistake, our Texas medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.