Is a Wrong Diagnosis Medical Malpractice?

When you entrust yourself or a family member to the care of a doctor, the last thing you would expect is that your medical condition, illness or injury would be misdiagnosed. But sometimes doctors do make mistakes in their diagnoses of medical conditions. Unfortunately, all too often these errors lead to wrong or delayed treatment - or no treatment at all - which can worsen the patients' condition.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

If you have suffered from a misdiagnosis, you may believe that you have a case against the doctor for negligence, or medical malpractice. But doctors are not legally responsible for all errors made in diagnoses. To succeed in a medical malpractice claim based on the wrong diagnosis, you must prove 3 things:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship,
  • That the doctor acted negligently, in other words did not provide the right treatment in a reasonably skillful and competent manner, and
  • That this negligence caused injury to the patient.

More specifically, in a misdiagnosis case, it must be demonstrated that another doctor who is in the same field and under similar circumstances would not have misdiagnosed the condition. Here are some examples:

  • If the doctor did not consider the patient's complete medical history
  • If critical tests for the illness were omitted
  • If the doctor diagnosed a malignant tumor as benign
  • If the doctor ordered life-altering surgeries that proved to be unnecessary
  • If the doctor misinterpreted lab tests

The claimant also must show that the cause of the worsening injury or illness was a direct result of the doctor's negligence in misdiagnosing the condition, and that it wouldn't have happened in the absence of the misdiagnosis.

Sometimes a doctor misdiagnoses a condition because of inaccurate laboratory test results due to faulty equipment or human error. In this case, the doctor may not be liable for medical malpractice but the laboratory technician might be - providing negligence is proved.

In addition to misdiagnoses, other mistakes that medical professionals can make include failure to diagnose a disease or illness, delayed diagnosis, failure to recognize complications and failure to diagnose another disease either related or unrelated.

Each state has very specific laws on filing medical malpractice suits including time limits and damage caps. The Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. have extensive experience with Florida medical malpractice cases and will work to get you and your family the best possible outcome.

Ask Us for Help with a Medical Malpractice Situation

We have the right experience with victims of medical malpractice to get you the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.