Millions of Americans are misdiagnosed every year, affecting at least one in 20 American adults. Misdiagnosis threatens the quality of healthcare around the world. If a doctor gives an inaccurate or incorrect diagnosis, it can pose great harm to the patient. Worse, if the misdiagnosed condition is contagious, it can also harm the community where he lives.
In some situations, a misdiagnosed patient may file for medical malpractice. However, it is worth noting that not all misdiagnosis can be grounds for medical malpractice. The doctor who provided the misdiagnosis must have been negligent, resulting in an inaccurate finding along with significant damages.
Proving that it was the doctor’s negligence that led to misdiagnosis is difficult. That is why it is crucial to hire an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer who is experienced with medical malpractice claims.
What is a Misdiagnosis and How Does it Happen?
A misdiagnosis can happen when your doctor tells you that you have a condition that you do not have. A missed diagnosis can also occur, wherein the doctor’s diagnosis is lacking such as missing a heart attack or a form of cancer. Many factors contribute to why a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis. These can include:
- The doctor only knows common diseases, or there are over-publicized diseases.
- The doctor failed to consider all the symptoms of the patient.
- The doctor did not screen for a medical condition where the patient is at high risk.
- The doctor failed to request for a test that would have led to the correct diagnosis.
- The doctor made an incorrect interpretation of the patient’s lab test results.
- The doctor failed to refer the patient to a specialist who would’ve made an accurate diagnosis.
Inaccurate laboratory and diagnostic tests can also lead to misdiagnosis. Human errors, especially for tests that require visual inspection, can occur. The result of the test can also fall in the error margin, which can be a false positive or a false negative.
In some cases, a patient may also contribute to a misdiagnosis. A patient may self-diagnose and forego professional advice. Some patients do not tell all their symptoms to their doctors, especially when the symptoms are embarrassing. Sometimes, they think that a symptom is irrelevant. Some patients also fail to complete their ordered laboratory tests on time. That can lead to delayed or missed diagnoses.
How Can a Misdiagnosis be Considered as a Medical Malpractice?
A doctor cannot be held liable for every misdiagnosis committed. In the event of a misdiagnosis, your Michigan personal injury lawyer must prove three things to establish medical malpractice:
- The existence of a doctor-patient relationship
You must prove that you have been a patient of the doctor and that you have sought for his medical expertise. You must have visited the doctor for a consultation where the doctor agreed to diagnose and treat you.
- The doctor was negligent
Doctors are humans too. They can make mistakes even when they have been careful and diligent. Negligence is the most important aspect that your lawyer must prove. Even experienced and skillful doctors can make a misdiagnosis. You must prove that your doctor was careless and acted below the standards expected from medical professionals.
Doctors use differential diagnoses to identify a patient’s condition. He must consider all possible conditions and employ the elimination process through patient interviews, observations, and laboratory tests.
Your doctor may have been negligent if:
- Your doctor failed to include the correct diagnosis on his differential diagnosis list when other doctors would have given the same situation.
- He had the correct diagnosis on his differential diagnosis list but failed to order for tests or seek the expertise of a specialist.
- The negligence led to the injury or illness of the patient
When negligence has been established, you must prove that said negligence or misdiagnosis caused you harm. You must prove that you wouldn’t have suffered if you have been given the correct diagnosis and timely treatment.
Have you been a victim of a misdiagnosis? Call The Clark Law Office now!
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a clinical misdiagnosis, call The Clark Law Office immediately. We are the leading personal injury law firm in Michigan, and we have helped thousands with their personal injury claims.
Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers will help you establish your medical negligence claims. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.