The reality is that no matter how experienced a doctor is, there’s always a possibility that they may misdiagnose a patient. For a misdiagnosis to result in a successful lawsuit, it must lead to delayed treatment, improper medical care, worsened health outcomes, or even loss of life.
This is to say that proving misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice case is a complex process that requires careful examination of medical records, professional opinions and legal strategies.
What is a misdiagnosis?
A misdiagnosis is when healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses and hospitals miss a diagnosis, delay a diagnosis or fail to recognize complications that change or aggravate an existing condition.
Even when a doctor diagnoses one condition correctly but misdiagnoses another underlying condition or fails to recognize the need for a second diagnosis, the plaintiff might have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
This is because the patients may undergo unnecessary treatments, experience exacerbated symptoms or miss the window for early intervention that could have prevented further complications.
Key elements in proving misdiagnosis
Successfully proving misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice case requires the plaintiff to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This relationship signifies that the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient and was responsible for providing accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment.
Additionally, it has to be proven that the doctor didn’t live up to the accepted standard of care in diagnosing the plaintiff’s condition. And that the misdiagnosis actually and proximately resulted in an injury. Essentially, the plaintiff must prove that the misdiagnosis directly caused the patient’s injuries and that these injuries wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.
A professional’s opinion is crucial when determining whether the doctor didn’t live up to the standard of care. The legal team assigned to the case would have to examine the defendant’s differential diagnosis method.
Misdiagnosis is one of many elements that make up a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Seeking legal assistance can be essential in proving that the doctor’s negligence caused an actual injury.