Can a Patient Sue a Doctor for Misdiagnosis?December 17, 2019
Before a doctor can develop a treatment plan for a patient who has a health concern, they must accurately diagnose the problem. Doctors diagnose conditions based on the patient’s symptoms, health history, various tests, and several other factors. If a doctor misdiagnoses a medical condition, it can have a serious impact on the patient’s health. If your health care provider misdiagnosed your condition, causing the condition to worsen, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Not all cases of medical misdiagnosis involve negligence. The important thing to consider is whether the health care professional followed the medical standard of care that another similarly trained doctor would have followed under similar circumstances. A patient will only have a successful malpractice case if they can prove that the misdiagnosis caused the patient harm. The following are examples of how a misdiagnosis can jeopardize the health of the patient:
- The patient was exposed to aggressive treatment that would not have been necessary if the condition was correctly diagnosed.
- The patient had to endure radiation, chemotherapy, or other potentially harmful treatment.
- The doctor performed an unnecessary surgical procedure.
- The misdiagnosis increased the likelihood of serious complications or death.
Types of Medical Misdiagnosis
The following are examples of some of the most common types of medical misdiagnosis that can lead to serious health complications:
- Asthma is often misdiagnosed as bronchitis.
- Heart attack can be misdiagnosed as indigestion, a panic attack, or other health issues.
- A stroke may be misdiagnosed as a migraine, particularly in younger patients.
- A cancer misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, both of which can be painful and debilitating.
- Staph infections can be misdiagnosed as the common flu.
- Lymph node inflammation may be misdiagnosed as appendicitis.
A misdiagnosis generally involves the following scenarios:
- The health care provider did not screen for a medical condition.
- The health care provider did not refer the patient to a specialist.
- The lab results were interpreted incorrectly.
- The health care provider did not talk to the patient about their symptoms.
- The health care provider did not follow up on symptoms that were reported.
A medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of malpractice cases. Doctors sometimes ignore a patient’s symptoms so that they can avoid ordering a certain test that the insurance company may not cover. Unfortunately, this can cause the patient to suffer health complications and other injuries. In order to prove negligence, the patient must be able to establish that the doctor did not perform an important step in the diagnostic process.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Victims of Medical Misdiagnosis
If your health care provider misdiagnosed your medical condition, which resulted in additional health complications, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine whether your doctor was negligent in any way and work closely with you to obtain the documentation needed to prove negligence. Our dedicated legal team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.