What is Misdiagnosis in Personal Injury Law?

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Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice. We watch the true-life television shows, we read news articles that depict the horrors of what happens when a doctor gets it wrong and the price is a patient’s life. But what happens when what’s on page and screen become a victim’s reality? If a client is seeking a medical malpractice lawyer, it’s more than likely they are a victim of medical malpractice.

The subject of medical malpractice itself is wide ranging. That’s why this article will seek to explain the specifics of when a misdiagnosis becomes medical malpractice. We’ll inform our readers of what happens when a doctor fails to treat a victim’s illness in time, or worse, has failed to treat them at all. The latter outcome can potentially cost them their life.

Floridians place trust in their physicians

When a patient visits the doctor and presents their symptoms, they’ll usually find that the physician can pin down what’s wrong. Following a diagnosis of the problem, a competent physician then may prescribes medication that can treat the symptoms, restoring the patient to full health. If it’s not as simple as a signature on a script pad for an every day illness, the provider may send the patient out for further diagnostic testing. When a physician does this, they’re acting responsibly. When one physician doesn’t have the answer, they’ll do everything in their power to get the patient to a specialist who does.

Diagnostic imaging

Upon visiting a specialist for a more complicated medical issue, diagnostics to pin down the cause of the patient’s symptoms can include:

  • Imaging such as MRI, CT scan, or X-Rays
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsies or other pathology
  • Endoscopy, colonoscopy
  • Nerve conduction studies, EEG
  • Echocardiogram or EKG

When the physician receives the results of the diagnostics ordered, he or she will schedule a a second appointment to go over them with the patient and to discuss further treatment options, if the pathology found within the results requires follow-up treatment. A lot of the time the patient gets the better after receiving the proper treatment from a Board Certified specialist and can return to their life, fully recovered.

What happens when misdiagnosis goes undetected?

There are some instances, though, where the doctor fails to order the correct testing or provides a pattern of substandard care. This leaves a patient feeling worse than they did before. As for the physician–he or she may be committing a form of medical malpractice known as misdiagnosis. This is not a term anyone is using lightly. Understanding what this legal term actually means is important in cases of patients trusting a doctor with their care, only coming to harm instead.

How do medical malpractice lawyers protect its victims?

A failure to correctly diagnose an illness in a timely manner leads to unnecessary prescriptions, surgeries, and ultimately results in wrongful deaths. However, in busy cities like Miami, many of us don’t stop to consider that the physicians that treat our illnesses and injuries may have a less than outstanding track record that’s gone undetected. It’s always important to ensure that any doctor performing a medical procedure or caring for you or a loved one is Board Certified and that their license is free of sanctions and/or complaints filed against them with the state board.

More about misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong illness, then treats that illness instead of the underlying cause. In certain instances, the doctor is liable for pain and suffering. A judge may also order they pay damages to the patient for causing harm.

Misdiagnosis is often the cause of avoidable injury and fatalities if caught early in the patient’s care. A trustworthy doctor is one who confronts their error in diagnosis. A doctor who reviews test results again to fully understand what went wrong. This is known as meeting the standard of care. However, there are physicians who act carelessly. These are doctors who won’t give a patient’s chart a second glance. This can result in a disastrous outcome for the patient. If the error isn’t caught and misdiagnosis occurs, the patient’s life is then at risk. Ultimately, a wrongful death may leave the physician liable for the avoidable tragedy.

What are Floridians’ rights to compensation after misdiagnosis?

When a patient receives a misdiagnosis from a physician, they have a right to compensation. Compensation is sought on their behalf by a Personal Injury lawyer with experience in medical malpractice. This means a lawyer who’s in the trenches. Top medical malpractice lawyers are seeing the inside of a courtroom every month on behalf of their clients fighting misdiagnosis cases. However, before a victim can receive compensation for pain and suffering, there are certain requirements that must be met. As previously stated, medical malpractice is among the most serious claims a patient can make against a doctor, and they must be substantial to the letter of the law before a judge can award just compensation.

The next section of this article seeks to explain the requirements.

What’s required for a medical malpractice claim in Florida?

To file a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare provider in Florida for misdiagnosis, the following criteria should exist:

  • A physician-patient relationship must be present: if a patient has been seeing the provider on a regular basis, and they have been treated for the diagnosed condition for a period of time, the doctor-patient relationship is present. There are some cases that do not satisfy this requirement. One example, a situation where a patient receives care indirectly. This implies the patient does not have a direct doctor-patient relationship with the third-party physician, and therefore the requirement isn’t being met.
  • Negligence on the doctor’s part. A victim and their lawyer must be able to show that a doctor’s negligence is the cause of irreparable injury. We trust our physicians to meet the standard of care. They must uphold the Hippocratic Oath they swore upon graduating medical school. When they fail to do so, it’s patients who are suffering. Usually a medical expert testifies during trial or attends a deposition to determine the validity of this claim.

Other factors to consider

  • Did the doctor cause the injury? We go to the doctor when we’re sick or in pain. It’s necessary to prove that the treating physician is the cause of worsening injury or illness. Also, that it was not an underlying condition causing the patient to deteriorate while being under the physician’s care.
  • The injury caused irreparable harm or damage to the patient. Negligence alone does not satisfy the requirements for a misdiagnosis claim. The patient must prove that because of the doctor’s neglect in diagnosing the illness, they have come to irreparable harm.

What is Florida’s Statute of Limitations on medical malpractice?

Remember: in the state of Florida, the statute of limitations is (2) two years­, so retaining counsel and filing a claim is a time sensitive issue that must be given due diligence. If a victim of medical malpractice exceeds the Statute of Limitations, the court will dismiss the case.

Florida’s best medical malpractice lawyers

Once a medical malpractice victim satisfies the requirements to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent physician, they must proceed act quickly to retain a Personal Injury lawyer. It’s important the attorney has the client’s best interest. The lawyer also must have previous successful outcomes with medical malpractice cases. Shaked Law Firm satisfies these requirements!

Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. There’s no obligation. Take the first step and call today: (877)529-0080

About Shaked Law Firm

Shaked Law Firm is the most experienced Personal Injury law firm in Florida. Board Certified civil trial lawyers backed by equally seasoned professionals mean our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation.