Every year in the United States doctors’ offices receive more than 88 billion visits. These visits provide access to trained professionals who we trust with our health and our futures.
So what happens when a doctor fails to make an accurate diagnosis and can you see a doctor for misdiagnosis? If this happens to you, you may not get the appropriate treatment and this can have serious consequences.
In that case, you need to find out what compensation you’re entitled to. Well, you’re in the right place! Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to sue a doctor for misdiagnosis.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Misdiagnosis?
If you have recently been misdiagnosed by a doctor then suing for misdiagnosis could help you to get some compensation. This often covers emotional, psychological, or physical damage caused by a misdiagnosis.
This happens when a doctor mistakes your symptoms for those of another condition. Often this leads to incorrect or extended treatment of a condition. Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses include:
- Heart attacks
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes
- Staph infection
Misdiagnosis can occur at any stage of the diagnostic process. So it may be that the wrong tests were ordered or that the results were wrongly interpreted. However it happens, this can constitute medical malpractice if the doctor hasn’t done their job thoroughly.
However, when it comes to suing for misdiagnosis, it isn’t as simple as other cases of medical negligence, such as hiring a wrongful death lawyer. You also need to prove that the misdiagnosis caused you harm in some way.
Let’s take a look at what this means in a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
When Does a Misdiagnosis Cause Harm?
If you’re wondering ‘can you sue a doctor for a wrong diagnosis?’ then you need to look beyond the diagnosis itself and ask ‘did it cause me harm?’
There are several ways that a misdiagnosis can harm a patient. These include:
- Exposing you to a more aggressive treatment than required (this is common in cancer misdiagnosis)
- Exposing you to harmful treatment options
- Performing surgery unnecessarily
- When a misdiagnosis increases the chance of complications or increases your chances of dying
You may also be able to site emotional or psychological harm that was caused by a misdiagnosis although this can be harder to prove.
When it comes to who to sue, you should look to the doctor who provided the misdiagnosis. However, you may need to take into account the responsibility of other people involved in the diagnostic process.
Keep an Eye on the Statute of Limitations
If you do want to sue for a misdiagnosed condition then it is important that you keep an eye on how long you have to do this. The Statute of Limitations means you have a deadline to file your case.
This deadline can vary depending on where you live. For example, Californian law gives you three years from when the harm occurred to file or one year from when the harm was discovered. Whichever comes first is your final deadline.
Get Help With Your Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
So can you see a doctor for misdiagnosis? Well, the short answer is yes, providing you can prove that it caused you harm.
In that case, you need a great lawyer on your side! Book a free consultation to speak to one of our team. We’re here to help.