Proving misdiagnosis by a medical professional can be challenging. It is not enough to show a physician or hospital misdiagnosed a patient. A skilled attorney must present evidence a diagnosis was missed and caused significant harm to the patient.
To prove a misdiagnosis case, an attorney will review your case and investigate the nature of the misdiagnosis. A patient must have seen a medical professional in an official capacity to hold them liable for medical malpractice. That means there must be an established doctor-patient relationship.
An attorney will then need to investigate who might be responsible for the misdiagnosis. It may be a physician, hospital, health care facility, or a combination of parties. Whether the hospital can be sued for misdiagnosis will likely depend on whether the doctor was considered an independent contractor or an employee of the hospital. If the patient was seen by any specialists, nurses, lab techs, or other support staff, they could also potentially be at fault.
With medical records, witness statements, and consultation with other medical professionals, the lawyer must establish the responsible party failed to make the correct diagnosis in your case. They must also prove that your prognosis changed and you were directly harmed because the responsible party failed to make a diagnosis.
Proving harm occurred may come in the form of the following:
- A patient was exposed to more aggressive treatment because of a delayed diagnosis.
- A patient was exposed to harmful or inappropriate treatments due to an incorrect diagnosis.
- Unnecessary treatments or surgical procedures were performed on the patient.
- The patient had an increased chance of serious complications.
- The patient had an increased likelihood of death.
A knowledgeable medical misdiagnosis lawyer will also estimate the value of your claim and prepare a compelling case seeking maximum compensation. While you focus on healing, your attorney can handle your case and pursue the justice you deserve.
Although any medical condition can be misdiagnosed, some conditions result in more diagnostic errors than others. The JAMA Internal Medicine found the most misdiagnosed conditions and diseases tend to include the following:
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Heart attack
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Pulmonary embolism
- Brain hemorrhage
These are not conditions that will cause minor discomfort if left untreated. These medical conditions can kill or permanently disable a patient. Catching these conditions before they progress can be essential.
Studies indicate that breast cancer has a 99 percent survival rate if caught before it spreads. Colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate when found early. Missing a diagnosis can steal away a portion of a patient’s life, robbing them of the chance to get proper treatment and early medical intervention.
If you believe a medical professional has misdiagnosed your health condition, you might need a second opinion from another medical professional to confirm it. You should not feel embarrassed or pressured when seeking a second opinion. It could save your life, and you have the right to seek care where you feel comfortable.
Your next step should be seeking a legal consultation with an experienced Georgia medical misdiagnosis lawyer. An attorney will be able to help you gain access to your medical records and review your situation.
At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, we are a family-run law firm that focuses on helping people. You are not a case number. You are an individual worthy of our time and respect. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we secure compensation for you. For a free case review, contact our Georgia office today.