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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. 

A Will County Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You Form Your Case

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.

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Claiming Medical Malpractice When You Have Been MisdiagnosedWhen you are experiencing health issues, you go to a doctor. You trust that doctor to examine you, take into consideration your symptoms and diagnose you so you can begin treating the issue. The key to getting the care that you need is being diagnosed correctly – which does not always happen. According to CBS News, some 12 million Americans seeking outpatient care are misdiagnosed each year, with around half of those misdiagnoses having the potential to cause severe harm to the patient. Being misdiagnosed not only leaves you without the proper care for your actual condition but could also cause you to receive treatment for conditions that you do not actually have, which can cause other health problems.

Misdiagnosis Claims

A misdiagnosis claim can actually take the form of three different types of medical malpractice behaviors:

  1. Missed Diagnosis: The doctor does not believe that there is anything wrong with the patient. The patient actually has a disease or condition but is not receiving treatment due to the lack of diagnosis.
  2. Delayed Diagnosis: A great amount of time passes between the patient’s original appointment for his or her symptoms and when the patient is correctly diagnosed. During the time passed, the patient may or may not have had missed or incorrect diagnoses, but proper treatment was not given in a timely manner.
  3. Incorrect Diagnosis: The doctor diagnoses the patient with a disease or condition that he or she does not actually have. The patient may have been given treatment that was inappropriate or that caused other adverse reactions. The patient also does not receive the proper treatment for his or her actual condition.

How to Succeed With a Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice Claim

Every medical malpractice case must contain three elements in order to prevail. First, you must prove that the doctor violated the standard of care. Then, you must prove that you were injured because of that violation. Finally, you must prove that you suffered significant damages because of that injury. 

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