Misdiagnosis can take many different forms, but it generally occurs anytime a doctor misevaluates a patient’s condition or illness. Essentially, if a doctor attributes a patient’s symptoms to the wrong illness or fails to recognize the presence of symptoms outright, a misdiagnosis may have occurred.
For example, a patient comes into a health clinic complaining of chest pain. A physician conducts an evaluation and concludes the patient is only suffering from indigestion. If that patient has a heart attack later that night, this would likely be considered a misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis is a common problem in the United Stated. In fact, diagnostic errors account for 14 percent of all hospital errors, exceeding medication errors.
How are misdiagnosis cases valued?
Before discussing how cases are valued, it should be noted that a legal claim only exists if the patient suffers an injury because of the misdiagnosis. The injury must be more than a nominal loss or hardship. It could be physical or financial and must be the result of the misdiagnosis.
Once it’s clear that an injury has occurred, the court will court consider what is necessary to make the patient whole again. In non-legalese, the court will consider ways to return the patient to the condition he enjoyed before the misdiagnosis occurred.
I think I’ve been misdiagnosed, what should I do?
It’s important to seek legal help right away. The law governing medical malpractice issues is notoriously slippery and enigmatic even for the initiated. Having a professional evaluate your case is the most efficient way to determine your options.
Additionally, many medical malpractice cases require extensive discovery and investigation. The sooner the litigation process is started the sooner the victim and their family can obtain relief.
Finally, many jurisdictions impose a statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits. Waiting to file could mean forfeiting the right to legal recourse.