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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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How to Prevent Four Medical Errors That Can Cause Serious Injuries or DeathHospitals are supposed to be some of the safest places we can go – they are where we go to be treated when we are sick or injured. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital safety organization, as many as 440,000 people die annually as a result of hospital errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death for Americans, right behind heart disease and cancer. Fortunately, many medical errors are preventable. Here are four medical mistakes and what you can do to minimize the chance that they happen to you:

  1. Medication Mix-Ups: There are a lot of moving parts in hospitals and multiple ways a medication mix-up can occur. Getting the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication can cause you more problems and can even be deadly. Before you take your medication, you should verify that the nurse gave you the correct medication and the correct dosage.
  2. Infections: This is one of the most infamous causes of death in hospitals. With so many people touching you and so many objects being inserted into you, it is easy to pick up an infection while in the hospital. To try to lessen your risk of catching an infection, remind your health care professionals to wash their hands before they touch you. 
  3. Falls: Though this may not seem like a medical mistake, hospital staff are responsible for protecting you from falling. It is important to tell nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and patient aids about your fall risk before you start moving. They might give you a cane or a walker to help stabilize you. Also, you should ask for help before you get out of bed or try walking.
  4. Being Discharged Too Soon: Leaving the hospital prematurely is also a culprit of injuries, accidents, and infections. You may suffer if your health professional discharges you before you are actually ready to go home. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you and your companion both understand all of the discharge instructions, medication instructions and care instructions that are given to you. If you are unsure of something, ask questions.

Get in Touch With a Cook County Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical errors have quickly become a top cause of death in the U.S., which is problematic and disturbing for many reasons. You should be able to trust and rely on your physician and health care team to heal you – not worry that they will harm you. If you think you may have been a victim of a medical error or medical malpractice, you should immediately contact a skilled Orland Park medical malpractice lawyer today. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you recover any damages that you may be entitled to. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Cook County medical negligence attorneyWhen you are literally putting your life in the hands of another person, you should be able to trust them completely. Unfortunately, the trust between a doctor and patient is sometimes broken. Everyone makes mistakes--even doctors--but medical professionals are held to a higher standard because of the level of responsibility that they have to provide care that protects a patient’s health and well-being. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to meet these standards and causes harm to a patient through their negligence. There are certain elements that you must prove in order to have a case for medical malpractice.

Three Components of Malpractice Cases

To pursue a medical malpractice case, you must show that all of the following occurred:

Violation of the Standard of Care: The most basic element of a medical malpractice case is that your doctor committed an act of negligence, or violated a standard of care. There are certain practices that are considered acceptable in the medical field, and if your doctor deviated from them, you may have a case for establishing negligence. Examples of negligence can include:

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Tinley Park medical malpractice lawyerUnfortunately, medical malpractice is a common occurrence in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical negligence is the primary cause of death for more than 250,000 people each year. This puts medical negligence at the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Sadly, medical errors and negligence are usually preventable, meaning most of those deaths were unnecessary and at the fault of the doctor. One thing people can do after they or their family members experience an injury from a medical error is file a medical malpractice case. However, these cases can be complicated, so before you pursue a medical malpractice claim, here are four things you should know:

1. The Burden of Proof Lies Completely With You

In medical malpractice cases, the victim has the burden of proof. The physician does not have to prove that he was innocent; you and your lawyer have the responsibility to prove that the physician’s mistake was the reason that you suffered an injury. You must also demonstrate the actual losses you suffered because of the doctor’s error, such as additional medical treatment, disability, and pain and suffering.

2. There Are Three Elements You Must Prove

There are three main elements that make up a medical malpractice case. All three of these must be present, because the absence of any one of them will mean you do not have a case. You must prove that:

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Orland Park medical malpractice attorney, patient informed concentMedical malpractice involves more than a physician's negligence. A doctor can be held liable if he or she fails to inform the patient about the “general nature” of a procedure and the patient is subsequently injured. Informed consent in this context includes explaining the “risks involved, the prospects of success, the prognosis if the procedure is not performed, and alternative treatments."

Court Reinstates Malpractice Claim Over Child Injured During Delivery

Informed consent often comes up when dealing with birth injuries. There are cases where a doctor fails to properly warn an expectant mother of the risks of natural childbirth. As a result, the child may be injured during delivery and suffer lifelong consequences.

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