When Is Wrong Diagnosis Medical Malpractice?
When your healthcare professional makes the wrong diagnosis, it can cause you to suffer long-term physical and financial damage. The sad truth is that delayed or wrong diagnosis instances are among the leading causes for medical malpractice lawsuits. Patients trust their physicians to take the necessary steps to assess their particular medical conditions. They also trust that their physicians have the required qualifications, training and experience to make informed decisions. Furthermore, they rely on the good judgement of their doctors to recommend a second opinion, to refer them to a specialist when needed, and to perform relevant tests or screenings to confirm their findings.
What they don’t expect is for their physicians to ignore protocol in determining the true cause of their condition. They also don’t think that their doctors would take short-cuts when coming to a conclusion, ignore their medical history, or that they will fail to take various symptoms or effects of medications into account.
Given the aforementioned expectations and trust that patients have regarding the standard of medical care when a physician makes a diagnosis, it is also understandable that it can take a while before a person realises that the diagnosis has been wrong.
If the physician takes the necessary steps as soon as they have realised that they have made a wrong diagnosis, it is possible to prevent long-term and/or severe injury for the patient.
In the last instance, the wrong diagnosis is corrected, and it is thus not medical malpractice. The patient must have suffered injury and damages because of it for the wrong diagnosis to count as medical malpractice.
If you have suffered injury as the result of the incorrect decision from your health practitioner read on to find out if the other requirements for medical malpractice have been met.
Here you will need the help of medical experts to determine if the required standard of care has been given and whether or not the physician followed the correct procedure in diagnosing the condition.
If the correct procedure was not followed, then the next question is whether the injury and/or damages you have suffered were the direct result of the wrong diagnosis. It may sound unlikely, but consider the possibility that you may have taken another medication during the period, or may have failed to disclose an underlying condition or other symptoms.
If you did disclose all the required information, followed the doctor’s prescribed treatment and did not take any other medication, or performed actions that may have caused or increased your injury, then it is time to seek legal help in taking action against the medical practitioner for the damages suffered.
Where to Get Legal Help
Call on the legal expertise of Adele van der Walt Incorporated, as medical law attorneys, if you believe that you have suffered injury and damages because of a wrong diagnosis.
Disclaimer: Information in this article is not intended as legal advice and is only for informational purposes. Please seek legal guidance from Adele van der Walt Incorporated before relying on this information to make any legal decisions. May 2021.