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No one should have to experience the devastating effects of misdiagnosis, yet many do, and the consequences can be life-altering. Medical professionals work hard to get diagnoses right, but errors still occur with far too much regularity. If you have been a victim of medical misdiagnosis, you may be experiencing severe physical and emotional distress. Fortunately, there are lawyers specializing in misdiagnosis that can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. If you need legal assistance, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider incorrectly identifies a patient’s condition or is very delayed in diagnosing the appropriate condition. This can occur for a number of reasons, including a failure to review medical history, a failure to recognize symptoms, and outdated diagnostic tests or protocols.
Most of us trust our healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and treat whatever illness or personal injury we bring to them. However, medical misdiagnosis can lead to serious consequences and even death in some cases. It is important to be aware of the common examples of medical misdiagnosis so you know what signs to look out for.
One of the most dangerous types of misdiagnoses is heart attack misdiagnosis. A person complaining of chest pain may be experiencing a heart attack, but instead will be diagnosed with a less serious condition such as indigestion, anxiety, or muscle strain. This can lead to a delay in proper treatment and further damage to the patient’s heart. It is important for doctors to take all complaints seriously and take action if there is any concern that it may be something more severe.
Cancer is another common example of medical misdiagnosis. This type of misdiagnosis can have devastating effects on patients because cancer can spread rapidly, making it difficult to treat if it has been identified too late. Doctors should always run tests if there is any suspicion that the patient could have cancer, such as doing biopsies or ordering MRIs or CT scans if needed.
Another type of medical misdiagnosis happens when patients are not properly diagnosed with diabetes until long after they start experiencing symptoms. This can happen when doctors fail to recognize the symptoms such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurred vision, and fatigue. If diabetes isn’t detected early enough, it can lead to serious long-term health complications such as blindness or kidney failure.
Another common example of medical misdiagnosis is failure to diagnose appendicitis. Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, which requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid severe complications or even death. Unfortunately, many cases of appendicitis are misdiagnosed as something else, such as gastroenteritis or stomach flu, leading to unnecessary suffering and even wrongful death in some cases.
Finally, failure to diagnose fractures is also common. When a fracture goes undiagnosed, it can lead to further complications such as infection and even long-term disability if left untreated for too long.
When someone is misdiagnosed, the consequences can be devastating. Patients may needlessly endure treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, undergo unnecessary surgical procedures that may result in scarring or permanent disfigurement, and be exposed to other aggressive treatments when it would not have been necessary if the correct disease was recognized sooner.
Just as damaging is the fact that during this time, patients won’t be receiving the right treatment for their actual diagnosis.
If you’ve been the victim of a misdiagnosis, you may have the right to pursue a legal claim. To do this successfully, you must prove that the healthcare professional was negligent. This means you must prove the following four key elements:
The first element of negligence requires that you demonstrate the doctor had a duty to provide you with a certain standard of care. This means they were obligated to act like a reasonably prudent healthcare provider would have acted under similar circumstances. To show that this duty exists, you must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed.
This second element requires proving that the doctor failed to meet this standard of care. This involves showing that the doctor deviated from those accepted standards by making an error while diagnosing or treating your condition. A medical misdiagnosis lawyer will use evidence such as medical records, witness testimony, expert opinions, and reports from other doctors who have examined your case.
Once you’ve established that the doctor breached their duty to provide an acceptable level of care and treatment, it must be proven that this breach caused harm (such as further injury or illness). For this link between the breach of duty and harm to be established in court, evidence such as medical records and expert witness testimony is once again essential.
The final element is proving damages, which involves demonstrating financial losses you incurred as a result of the health care professional’s act or omission. These losses can include medical bills for treatment related to the misdiagnosis, loss of income resulting from time off work due to illness, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. All these losses can be calculated into a monetary value so a judge or jury can award damages accordingly.
If you are looking for legal help for a medical misdiagnosis claim, let our Albuquerque law firm help. Here’s why you should choose us:
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