Not every medical mistake constitutes medical malpractice, but if a doctor failed to diagnose your condition and it led to the condition getting worse, you may have a case. Whether or not you can sue will depend on the specifics of your case.
In order to file a successful claim, you’ll need to provide evidence that proves the doctor failed in their duties and did not behave as another physician would in the same circumstances. You will also need to prove that this caused an injury or illness that led to your economic and non-economic damages.
Some examples of what failure to diagnose may look like include but are not limited to:
- A man arrives at the hospital with abdominal pain. He is prescribed medication and told to come back if his symptoms worsen. Hours later, his appendix burst, nearly leading to his death. His appendicitis should have been discovered on the first visit.
- A woman is experiencing chest pains and nausea. The doctor tells her it is heartburn, but it ends up being a heart attack. This isn’t diagnosed until after her death, which could have been prevented if the heart attack had been diagnosed.
- A woman’s gynecologist fails to give her a pap smear two years in a row. During this time her cervical cancer has progressed to the point that she can no longer carry a pregnancy to term. She will not be able to have a child because she wasn’t diagnosed.
- A doctor failed to diagnose cephalo pelvic disproportion and allowed a mother to attempt to deliver vaginally when the baby was too large to fit through her pelvis. Because of this, the baby has brain damage and will require lifelong care.
If you believe you may have a valid case, it may be time to contact an attorney.
What Happens When You Sue
During a medical malpractice case, your case will likely ride on the testimony of expert witnesses. You will need your medical records, your bills, and your paycheck stubs to prove your damages, but it is the expert testimonial of physicians who will swear under oath that the doctor in your case should have acted differently under the circumstances.
Expert witnesses can prove that the doctor failed to live up to the standard of care when they did not diagnose your condition, that this caused your condition, and that your condition caused your damages. This is no easy feat, and that’s why medical expert witnesses average $500 an hour.
The statute of limitations in these cases is set at the state and not the federal level, so you’ll need to ask an attorney what the time limit for filing a case is in your state.
Why These Cases Are Difficult to Prove
These cases are notoriously difficult to prove because there are many factors that could have contributed to the worsening of your condition. In order to prove a failure to diagnose lawsuit, you will have to be able to prove:
- That your illness or injury would not have worsened anyway if the doctor had diagnosed it
- That you saw the right kind of specialist for your condition
- That you did not, deliberately or unintentionally, withhold any critical information from the doctor
- That you do not have a rare disease of condition that another doctor would not have known to rule it out, either
Doctors are not the only party that may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The medical facility may also be held liable if it is determined that they caused the conditions that led to the doctor failing to diagnose your injury or illness. You can visit this website if you think you might be entitled to a personal injury claim you can schedule a free consultation.