This can be a tough topic to get into. You generally go to the doctor thinking you’ll get better, right? No one goes to the hospital thinking they’ll have to pursue a misdiagnosis lawsuit months or years down the road..
And after eventually getting the right diagnosis, your focus is going to be on how to treat the problem, not how to sue your doctor!
But how do you know if your misdiagnosis was a mistake any doctor could have made or if it your doctor was negligent? And with medical malpractice, who’s liable and how do you seek out the compensation you deserve? When can you file a claim and who can help you do it?
Keep reading for the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of pursuing a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
Table of Contents
Who’s Liable In A Misdiagnosis Lawsuit?
More often than not, a doctor is usually the person you’ll file a medical lawsuit against. But this of course varies! Medical techs, radiologists, nurses, and other healthcare workers can be held accountable too. Not to mention the hospital or medical equipment manufacturers. But for this article, we’re going to focus on doctors because they’re generally the ones diagnosing patients.
Doctors are often times independent contractors and not employees of healthcare facilities. Because of this, it’s rare that the actual hospital can be held responsible for their mistake. In rare cases, others who contributed to the harm of the patient may also be liable too. It all varies case by case.
What Misdiagnosis & Delayed Diagnoses Are Considered Malpractice?
A wrong diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis is considered medical malpractice when the actions of the doctor deviated from the standard of care. Basically a patient must be able to prove that another doctor of the same skill level would have provided an accurate and timely diagnosis, had they been in the situation.
The causes for a misdiagnosis lawsuit may include the following:
- Failure to spend an adequate amount of time with the patient
- Failure to order tests and/or labs needed to diagnose
- Misinterpretation of test and/or lab results
- Failure to request a complete list of symptoms from the patient
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
- Lack of follow up care with the patient (including results of screenings or results of specialist referrals)
The harm caused to the patient as a result of misdiagnoses/delayed diagnoses may include the following:
- Unnecessary surgical procedures
- Unneeded exposure to harmful treatments
- Exposure to treatment that would not have been necessary with the correct diagnosis
- Increased complications due to a delayed diagnosis
- Increased likelihood of death
When Does A Misdiagnosis Lawsuit Need To Be Filed?
In the case of a misdiagnosis lawsuit, it seems like something you should be able to deal with later down the road, without having to worry about deadlines.
But unfortunately, due to statutes of limitations, acting quickly is necessary. The time frame varies from state to state, so you’ll need to be mindful of the statute of limitations for the state you live in. For example, in Texas, you’ll likely need to file the claim for a misdiagnosis lawsuit within two years of when the negligence took place.
Where Do I Go To Pursue A Misdiagnosis Lawsuit?
It’s basically impossible to pursue a misdiagnosis lawsuit on your own. More often than not, you’re going against a big insurance company. Not to mention, the field of medicine is complex and it’s difficult to even know where to start.
When you begin to look into how to sue a doctor for wrong diagnosis, it may seem even more daunting! It’s so important to find the right attorney to advocate for you and your loved ones. Not every law firm has the experience and the sensitivity required to make this journey as painless for you as possible.
Here are some helpful tips for prepping for your first meeting with a misdiagnosis lawyer.
Why Should I Seek Compensation?
Every year, thousands of patients in the United States are misdiagnosed or receive a delayed diagnosis. As many as one out of five patients seeking a second opinion find out they’ve been incorrectly diagnosed. If you or someone you love were harmed as a result of misdiagnosis, you may receive compensation for the following:
- Emergency medical care
- Follow up medical care
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Missed wages and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering of the patient
- Pain and suffering due to the death of a family member
Hampton & King has an award winning team of seasoned attorneys. For over forty years, we have been advocating on behalf of our clients to help them recover the compensation they deserve. If you think you may have been a victim of medical malpractice due to wrong diagnosis or delayed diagnosis, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We can help you fight back with a misdiagnosis lawsuit.