Tacoma Medical Misdiagnosis Claims Lawyer
When a doctor gives you a correct diagnosis, you can get the treatment you need and make necessary lifestyle changes. But, what happens when your doctor fails to give you the correct diagnosis? You might receive unneeded medication or miss a critical window of treatment. For some patients, a misdiagnosis could cut years off their life or they could even die.
It’s estimated that over 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed every year. While not all misdiagnoses cause harm to patients, some do.
Let’s look at what tips a misdiagnosis into medical malpractice.
Is Misdiagnosis the Result of Medical Malpractice?
The short answer: not always. Doctors are human and can make mistakes. Sometimes, very competent doctors have given what they believe to be a correct diagnosis after careful screening. If a patient hasn’t been forthright about all their symptoms, a doctor might miss critical clues. There are several reasons why a correct diagnosis might have been missed besides malpractice.
So, when is a misdiagnosis malpractice? Our attorneys need to be able to prove the following:
- There was a patient-doctor relationship. Was this doctor assigned to your care?
- The doctor failed to provide the standard of care his or her colleagues would’ve given. Maybe routine tests weren’t ordered, or follow-up care wasn’t provided.
- The misdiagnosis caused harm. Can we prove that the misdiagnosis directly resulted in your injury or harm?
- You experienced severe or permanent harm. Did the misdiagnosis mean your illness progressed and you missed an important treatment window? Or perhaps an unnecessary surgery or medication left you with debilitating side effects?
If you’re still not sure whether your misdiagnosis is the result of misdiagnosis, we invite you to call us to schedule a free consultation. We’re happy to listen to what happened and help decide if there’s enough evidence to bring a malpractice claim forward.
What are Some Common types of Misdiagnoses?
Here are some situations when a misdiagnosis might be the result of negligence:
- Failure to diagnosis. In this situation, the doctor never makes a diagnosis. The doctor might have failed to order necessary screenings, neglected to take the patient’s complaints seriously, or didn’t provide follow-up care. When an illness isn’t diagnosed, a patient can continue to suffer symptoms, or even die. It’s also possible that the doctor diagnoses one illness, but fails to diagnose a second, related illness.
- Wrong diagnosis. A doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis. When this happens, a patient not only receives unnecessary treatment, they’re also deprived of the treatment they really need. Improper treatment comes with risks that could cause a patient significant harm.
- Delayed diagnosis. The doctor makes the correct diagnosis, but after an unreasonable amount of time. In some illnesses, particularly cancer, a delayed diagnosis can mean the illness progresses to a more serious state with fewer treatment options.
- Failure to recognize complications. Sometimes the doctor gets the diagnosis right, but fails to identify how far along the disease has progressed. This may mean the patient doesn’t get the level of care they need.
What Causes a Misdiagnosis or Delays in getting a Correct Diagnosis?
There are many reasons why you might receive a misdiagnosis. Here are some of them:
- Communication errors
- Wrong tests ordered – or no tests ordered at all
- Faulty screening equipment
- Tests read incorrectly
- Samples mixed up
Usually, there are several missteps that happen to arrive at a misdiagnosis. Often, human error is responsible.
How Do I Know if my Diagnosis Warrants a Malpractice Lawsuit?
Please call a trusted malpractice lawyer for assistance. While misdiagnosis cases are among the most common medical malpractice cases we handle, they are complex. It’s not always easy to prove the misdiagnosis caused harm. That’s why you need a seasoned attorney on your side.
At Ladenburg Law, we only collect a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. There’s never a fee to call us for a consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today to schedule a time to meet.