Every year, thousands of patients across the United States receive an incorrect diagnosis. While there are times where no significant harm comes from these mistakes, there are other times where the results can be life-threatening. Newton Center, Massachusetts patients who receive a misdiagnosis may have a case for medical malpractice against the physician.
Reasons for misdiagnosis
Typically, a doctor who gives an incorrect diagnosis does so for one of the following reasons:
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
- Failure to spend enough time with the patient
- Failure to order appropriate tests
- Incorrectly interpreting lab or test results
Of course, there are other times where the doctor makes a mistake despite his or her best efforts. That is why every misdiagnosis does not qualify as medical malpractice.
When misdiagnosis becomes malpractice
By legal definition, an incorrect diagnosis becomes medical malpractice when a doctor “deviated from the medical standard of care of similarly trained physicians.” While this does mean that you can’t sue for medical malpractice for any misdiagnosis, it does still allow for you to file a suit against your doctor.
Dangers of medical malpractice
Malpractice comes into play when the doctor in question blatantly misses the diagnosis or is so slow in providing a diagnosis that serious harm comes to the patient. In these cases, there is risk for serious harm to the patient. You may experience side effects from incorrect treatment, or your illness can progress while you are undergoing treatment for a sickness you don’t have or one that has not been diagnosed.
Doctors carry medical malpractice insurance which means they have a team of attorneys ready to defend them in medical malpractice suits. If you have suffered from medical malpractice, you need an attorney who can fight on your behalf against the team of lawyers who will be representing your physician.