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Is Medical Misdiagnosis the Same as Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis is the root of many medical malpractice claims. From incorrectly reading an X-ray to disregarding troublesome symptoms, there are many opportunities for doctors to slip up. But is that misdiagnosis equivalent to medical malpractice in itself? Let’s examine that idea more closely.

How Does Misdiagnosis Happen?

The most common situations in which doctors misdiagnose a patient include:

  • Failure to obtain a patient’s medical history: Your doctor should ask you about medical concerns you’ve had in the past, and that paperwork should remain in your file.
  • Misinterpreting test results: If anything abnormal shows up on your lab work, the doctor should pay close attention to those anomalies and follow up on them.
  • Failure to listen to patients: Some doctors rush through diagnostic visits and may seem uninterested in hearing about the extent of your symptoms.

Potential Outcomes of Misdiagnosis

In order to move forward with a medical malpractice case, you and your physician negligence attorney must prove that the misdiagnosis caused you harm. What forms can that harm take?

  • Your doctor may be too quick to wheel you into the operating room; unnecessary surgery increases the risk of complications and infection.
  • They may prescribe you a medication that you are allergic to or a drug that causes side effects that interfere with your life.
  • If your doctor has misdiagnosed you with a form of cancer, they may recommend treatments like chemotherapy and radiation that can worsen your actual condition.

Proving Physician Negligence

If your attorney confirms that you have a case for medical malpractice, you will need to prove that the misdiagnosis was at the root of your ordeal. You will also have to prove that a reasonable, attentive physician would not have misdiagnosed you under the same circumstances.

During the lawsuit process, you and your attorney will likely enlist a number of medical experts to examine your case. Their goal is to help you find the root of the malpractice and confirm that you could have received a proper diagnosis from a skilled physician. The medical field is complex, and honest mistakes do happen, but to prove malpractice, you’ll need to show that your misdiagnosis wasn’t just an honest mistake.

If you have been misdiagnosed with a medical condition and that misdiagnosis led to further harm and suffering for you, call Rossman Law Group. We have years of experience with a wide variety of malpractice cases, and we can help you identify when medical misdiagnosis is the same as malpractice. Call us for your free legal consultation today.