Can I File a Malpractice Lawsuit Against My Doctor for a Misdiagnosis?
Medical malpractice can envelop a variety of different physician behaviors and actions. One type of medical malpractice that can get overlooked is the misdiagnosis of a patient. According to a study published in the medical journal “BMJ Quality & Safety,” around 12 million adults are misdiagnosed each year, which is roughly equal to one out of 20 patients. Misdiagnosis is dangerous not only because it leaves people not getting the correct treatment, but in some cases, the treatment itself can cause harm. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis can be an innocent error on the doctor’s part, but sometimes it can be the result of a careless and negligent physician.What is Misdiagnosis?
There is more than one way you can be misdiagnosed when you present your doctor with your symptoms. In any case, a misdiagnosis can be dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening. Here are the three forms of misdiagnosis that you can experience:
- Missed Diagnosis: A missed diagnosis occurs when your physician tells you that you are healthy when you really do have a condition that he or she should have been able to diagnose you with. A missed diagnosis can be detrimental to your health because the proper course of treatment is not being given.
- False Diagnosis: A false diagnosis occurs when your doctor incorrectly diagnoses you with a disease that you do not have. One of the main things that we expect physicians to be able to do is correctly diagnose a patient based on presented symptoms. A false diagnosis is harmful because some treatments can be harmful to your health and you are not receiving treatment for the condition you actually have.
- Delayed Diagnosis: A delayed diagnosis is often the result of one or many missed and/or false diagnoses. Typically, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a significant amount of time has passed between your initial visit with your physician and when you were correctly diagnosed. Some conditions get worse over time, especially if they are left untreated; a delayed diagnosis can exacerbate that.
We hold doctors to a high standard and for good reason – they are partially responsible for the health and wellbeing of the public. It is not unreasonable to expect your doctor to correctly diagnose you if you are having unusual symptoms. If you think that you have been misdiagnosed, you should get in touch with a skilled Joliet, IL, medical malpractice lawyer. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how damaging a missed diagnosis, false diagnosis or delayed diagnosis can be. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.
12 Million Americans Misdiagnosed Each Year