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What Are My Options When a Doctor Performs a Misdiagnosis?

Published on Feb 1, 2018 at 5:37 pm in Medical Malpractice.

We trust doctors to take care of us when we’re not feeling well. When doctors give us a diagnosis and plan for treatment, we usually follow it. It’s probably not common to think the doctor could be wrong. But this does happen and can have terrible consequences for the patient. The VA Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety found that about 12 million U.S. patients are misdiagnosed each year.

If you or a loved one has suffered because of medical malpractice, you can seek legal options. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer at Bey & Associates can help you with your claim. We’ll do all we can to get compensation for the damages and injuries you’ve had to endure.

How Does a Misdiagnosis Happen?

With all the education and experience that doctors have, you may wonder how a misdiagnosis could happen. Doctors can miss crucial details or misjudge a symptom that leads them to the wrong conclusion about your condition.

  • Laboratory Results. Doctors can misread or ignore the results of a test.
  • Patient History. Your doctor needs to take your medical history into account. They should know how certain medicines affect you and of significant issues you’ve had in the past that could explain your issues now.
  • Tests. Doctors may order the wrong tests or fail to order tests that you need to find the problem.
  • Symptoms. Doctors can fail to recognize symptoms of an illness.

Medical malpractice extends beyond a misdiagnosis. Patients who undergo unnecessary surgery, or have a surgery but the surgeon messes up, may have a medical malpractice case on their hands. Doctors also have to offer follow-up care and make sure they don’t discharge their patient early. When they don’t do these things, the patient can suffer from the negligence.

How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?

While a medical malpractice lawyer will provide a lot of help, you can improve your chances of getting favorable results from your medical malpractice case if you can prove the following.

  • The Doctor Didn’t Follow the Standard of Care. The standard of care is the medical treatment that a practiced medical professional would have followed for their patient. Negligence shows that the doctor did not follow the standard of care.
  • The Doctor Acted Negligently. You need to prove that the doctor’s negligence caused your injury. Meaning, if the doctor had followed the standard of care, you would be healthy right now.
  • The Doctor’s Negligence Hurt You. You need to show how the injury has affected you, and how it resulted in significant damages. It’s important to note that medical malpractice cases are expensive, so it may not be worth it if the damages are small. In those cases, your case will be more expensive then the damages. More evidence for your medical malpractice claim can come from showing your loss of income, medical expenses, pain & suffering, and any other negative results of your injury.

Standing up for yourself is important. When you hold hospitals and doctors accountable for their actions, you may cause a change in how they operate. Your medical malpractice case could cause stricter policies that help patients in the future.