Is a Doctor Liable When There is a Misdiagnosis?
Bill Allen | August 2, 2017 | Medical Malpractice
We trust our doctors with our lives. When we feel pain or uncertainty about our overall well-being, we visit a doctor to find out what’s wrong. But what if that doctor tells us the wrong thing and it leads us down a path to even more health problems? Can you hold that doctor liable for your misdiagnosis?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a blanket answer to this question. There is no law that holds doctors responsible for any errors in diagnosis or treatment, but there is a way to hold them liable. In order to do so, you must be able to prove three main things.
- If the doctor was negligent
A wrong diagnosis alone isn’t a case for negligence. Human error occurs often, and we can’t hold our doctors accountable for every wrongdoing that occurs under their care. But, if we can prove that a doctor did not act the way they were supposed to, acted carelessly, or didn’t provide necessary information or proper treatment, there is a chance they can be held liable.
- If the misdiagnosis caused harm
Even if you can prove the above, if a misdiagnosis did not cause any harm, you most likely won’t have a case. Harm can be in the form of a more intense surgical procedure that would not have been needed had the doctor diagnosed the patient correctly, or in the form of anxiety or expenses that came about due to a wrong diagnosis.
- If there was a doctor-patient relationship
This one is simple, but must not be forgotten when compiling a claim. Be sure you can prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship with your physician. In the most basic sense, this means that they have directly examined you as your hired doctor in a medical setting.
If you can prove these three things, you must do so quickly. Medical malpractice cases are usually only valid between six months and two years after the injury—so don’t wait. Whether you are filing a claim due to a wrong, missed or delayed diagnosis, or feel your doctor failed to diagnose all of your health problems, contact the Ocala medical malpractice attorneys at Allen Law. Our family-friendly approach will help you feel cared for as you take care of yourself during this difficult time. Give us a call at 352-351-3258 or visit our website for a free consultation.