Medical Misdiagnosis Personal Injury Lawsuits
When you go to a doctor or other medical professional, you hope that they will be able to accurately diagnosis and treat your aliment. An inaccurate diagnosis can result in a sick patient not getting essential treatment or receiving unneeded medical treatment which worsens their condition.
While no medical professional is perfect, there are some instances of misdiagnosis which are so egregious they are considered medical negligence. If you suffered due to a misdiagnosis or a loved one passed away because of complications related to a misdiagnosis, you may have a valid personal injury claim.
What Makes a Misdiagnosis an Example of Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, nurses, specialists, and other medical professionals cannot always immediately know what is wrong with a patient. The human body is unbelievably complex, and it is understandable that a doctor may consider several diagnoses before arriving at a conclusion. A diagnostic mistake by itself is therefore not enough to sustain a medical negligence claim. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, patients must prove the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed;
- The doctor did not provide medical treatment in accordance with the prevailing standard of care; and
- The doctor's failure to provide competent care caused injury to the patient.
Misdiagnosis is a Common Cause for Personal Injury Lawsuits
According to one study, approximately 12 million adults are misdiagnosed in the U.S every year. This equates to one out of 20 adult patients. Patient complaints that most often turned out to be indications of more serious conditions include abdominal pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, an incorrect diagnosis is a result of inaccurate laboratory tests, radiology films, or other tests. This can be due to defective diagnostic equipment or human error. Laboratory samples can become contaminated or confused. Lab technicians may use the wrong procedure to handle and analyze samples. Other times, test results, x-rays, or pathology slides are incorrectly read.
Compensatory Damages for Misdiagnosis
In order to get financial compensation for a misdiagnosis, patients and their legal counsel must prove that the misdiagnosis caused injury to the patient. This can include when the misdiagnosis resulted in the patient's condition progressing more than it would have if the correct diagnosis been made. For example, if a doctor failed to properly diagnose a patient’s cancer, there could be a delay in starting chemotherapy or other treatment. This can lead to patient harm or even death. When a doctor diagnoses a patient with a nonexistent condition or illness, the patient may be able to seek compensation for the angst, stress, medical complications, and expenses caused by the misdiagnosis.
Contact an Orland Park, Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered harm due to an incorrect diagnosis, contact Schwartz Injury Law for help. Speak with an experienced Tinley Park medical negligence lawyer by calling 708-226-9000 today. We offer cost-free, no obligation initial consultations.