A misdiagnosis is one of two things. Either the doctor failed to diagnose a condition, or diagnosed a condition wrongly and because of the misdiagnosis, there has been a further injury.
One example is that a person goes directly to the hospital complaining of leg pain, the doctor does an x-ray, and says there is no broken bone. The person walks on the leg and it turns out that the bone was broken. By walking on it, they have actually damaged it more. It could have been fixed by just being in a cast. Now, the person has to have surgery to have the bone fixed.
There are many other examples of misdiagnoses that can have severe consequences on behalf of the individual involved. If you have suffered due to a misdiagnosis or any other medical malpractice related issue, it is critical that you contact a Bardstown medical misdiagnosis lawyer as soon as possible.
Elements of a Misdiagnosis
There are elements to consider when determining whether or not a mistake is acceptable in the eyes of the law. It is going to come back to showing the four elements of duty, breach, cause, and injury. If there is a misdiagnosis, it is a breach of a duty. If it does not cause an injury, it is not going to be considered medical malpractice.
For example, a doctor diagnoses a person as having a bacterial infection, gives the person antibiotics, and it turns out it was only a viral infection and the person did not need any antibiotics. That is not going to be something that would be malpractice.
The biggest form of misdiagnosis is the failure to spot cancer. The second would be failure to catch a broken bone.
The biggest thing that a patient can do is request a second opinion, especially if they feel like something is wrong. Individuals will go to the doctor and are told everything is okay, but yet, they still continue to be in pain or not feel well. It is important for people to be aggressive with their medical care. If they feel like something is wrong, they should go to someone else to get a second opinion.
Misdiagnosis vs. General Malpractice
In a misdiagnosis case, there is an added element that is sometimes hard to prove. That is, has the doctor made the right diagnosis and would it have changed a person’s outcome? With breast cancer, for example, does a mammogram clearly show on the film that there is something suspicious and it is dismissed?
The issue becomes proving that had they diagnosed it correctly, back at whatever time the test was taken, they would have changed the outcome. Sometimes that is hard to do, especially since cancer is aggressive and fast growing. The reality may be that nothing would have changed. However, these steps cannot be taken without the assistance of a Bardstown medical misdiagnosis lawyer.
Initiating the Claim
In a misdiagnosis case, the first questions a Bardstown medical misdiagnosis lawyer will ask is if the individual got the proper diagnosis. They will also ask what the individual’s current condition is. If it was something as simple having a cold versus having the flu, it is not a case.
However, if it is someone who has just received a diagnosis of an actual life-threatening cancer, Bardstown medical misdiagnosis lawyers are going to want to walk through their history and see when the symptoms first appeared, what the doctors looked at, what tests they ran, and what those tests showed. A lot of times, what they find is that the cancer was there on a particular film and it got missed.
Reasons for Seeking a Lawyer
Usually, quite a lot of communication has occurred between the individual and their doctor before they consult a Bardstown medical misdiagnosis attorney. Many times, an individual does not even bother seeking out a lawyer until they have had a bad interaction with the doctor or when the nurse or the doctor starts getting defensive.
Individual’s start getting worried, and that may prompt them to hire a Bardstown medical misdiagnosis lawyer.