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Wrong Diagnosis by Doctor

When Is It Malpractice?

Have you suffered injury because of a doctor making a wrong diagnosis? Even the most competent medical professional can make a mistake. The doctor can, for instance, mistakenly diagnose tick fever as a bladder infection. If the health professional treats the patient for a bladder infection and the patient’s condition worsens to the extent that the patient suffers permanent organ damage or passes away because of the tick fever, then the misdiagnosis by the doctor becomes malpractice.

The medical professional has a duty of care and must take reasonable steps to determine the cause of the condition. Testing for tick fever will show that the bladder infection is a secondary symptom of the tick fever. The doctor, however, may not test for it because they may not consider tick fever as the cause of the condition since the patient comes from an urban environment.

If the doctor asks questions, however, such as whether the patient recently visited a game reserve or farm, or if they have any bite marks, the medical practitioner can use the information to come to an accurate diagnosis. The medical professional must thus take the patient’s medical history into account and potential conditions related to the symptoms. A wrong diagnosis can be avoided through communication with the patient. High fever and headaches along with bladder infection can be indicative of malaria, tick fever and many other insect-related conditions. What it comes down to is that the medical professional must take every reasonable step to ensure that they make the correct diagnosis and give treatment accordingly.

It is not malpractice if the wrong diagnosis by the doctor does not cause harm to the patient. For it to the malpractice, the misdiagnosis and subsequent wrong treatment or lack of treatment must lead to physical injury and damages for the patient. A doctor and patient relationship must exist, and the medical professional must fail to provide a reasonable standard of care.

Damage Payable

The patient is entitled to monetary compensation for the damages suffered. Compensation is payable for past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of earnings, loss of life amenities, as well as pain and suffering. 

A medical lawsuit can be lengthy and expensive though. As such, it is essential to work with an experienced malpractice attorney to take the necessary legal steps to seek compensation for the damages suffered. Where possible and if in your best interest, the attorney will seek an out-of-court settlement.

What To Do After a Wrong Diagnosis Was Made By a Doctor?

Write down the details of the circumstances surrounding the misdiagnosis, treatment or lack thereof. Also, write down the medical costs, loss of earnings and the inconvenience, pain and suffering experienced. Note the dates of visits, treatments, and communication. Collect the receipts for costs associated with the situation. Write down the contact information of all the medical professionals who have treated you for the condition. Next, make an appointment with Adele van der Walt Incorporated to help you determine the merits of your case.


Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – October 2019.

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