Medical misdiagnosis is an extremely serious problem in the medical community. A misdiagnosis by a doctor can result in severe complications in the life of the patient, possibly resulting in death. No one should suffer due to the negligence of a trusted professional. If you or a loved one has been affected by a medical misdiagnosis, it is pertinent that you contact an attorney immediately. A Louisville medical misdiagnosis lawyer can assist in crafting a strong case, to help reward you and your family with any damages you may deserve.
Elements of a Case
Misdiagnosis is something that happens when an individual goes to the doctor, presents certain symptoms, and the doctor dismisses it as something it is not. Then, time passes, and it is revealed that the actual diagnosis did not match the initial diagnosis. There are sometimes cases when children are misdiagnosed, and end up passing away due to a misdiagnosis. These cases are incredibly sensitive, and can oftentimes only be handled by an experienced Louisville medical misdiagnosis attorney.
It is very important that the doctor is doing everything that they are supposed to do: a subjective evaluation, an objective evaluation, and an assessment. A doctor has to make a conclusive decision, and create a plan of treatment. Part of that assessment is making a differential diagnosis, and that is where misdiagnosis comes in. For example, if a person comes in with a very high fever, an aching neck, nausea, and general pain, the doctor may include flu in their diagnosis. However, if the patient turns their head and claims that their neck hurts, the doctor must also include meningitis. It is sometimes too easy to ignore the latter.
Misdiagnosis cases are often unique because the harm in these cases can be extraordinary. If a person delays on the diagnosis of skin cancer, for example, that individual could go from having a treatable condition, to having a life-threatening illness. Misdiagnosis in cancer cases can allow the cancer to grow outside of the initial problem area, and could possibly result in the death of the individual.
Misdiagnosis in infection cases can lead to sepsis and death. Due to the overwhelming amount of harm that may results from a misdiagnosis case, it is important that an individual both contact an attorney, and receive a second opinion immediately.
This then comes down to the consolation of symptoms that are presented, and what diagnosis should be included in the differential diagnosis. Once the doctor has written down a list of what this illness could be, they have to rule them out one by one. If a diagnosis is not ruled out, and a person ends up suffering from or dying from that ailment, then a medical malpractice claim is created.
In cases of breast cancer and other cancer cases, a misdiagnosis usually results in a delay of diagnosis and treatment. This regularly results in a worsening of the staging, a worsening in the prognosis, and a decreased likelihood of long-term success in life. It is incredibly important that a doctor has a very thorough differential diagnosis, and rules everything out. A doctor should continue to follow up with the patient until they are absolutely certain that the diagnosed condition is in fact the cause of illness.
In questioning whether a misdiagnosis case exists, the medical records of the individual should be obtained, and the questions asked should include:
- When did the individual first contact the doctor?
- When did the individual first make an appointment?
- When did the individual first notice the problem?
- How quickly did the individual follow-up with the doctor?
- What did the health-care provider tell the individual?
- Were referrals made, such as a referral to a mammographer?
- Was the person referred for an ultrasound?
Every doctor that the individual saw will need to be contacted to see if the proper steps had been taken to get to the final diagnosis. Another important factor is what the individual has done to make sure that they have kept themselves healthy. For example, if an individual had a lump on their neck for 10 years and did not consult with a doctor, then the injured party may be to blame as well. This is what makes a person’s medical records extremely important, and where an experienced medical misdiagnosis lawyer in Louisville may be able to help.
There are many common mistakes that individual’s make in a misdiagnosis claim, some of which include:
- Waiting too long to call an attorney, and missing the statute of limitations
- Not getting treatment when an individual suspects something is wrong
- Not getting a second opinion
These mistakes can sometimes lead to detrimental consequences on behalf of the individual involved. It is important that any person who believes they have suffered a misdiagnosis claim avoid any of these mistakes to the best of their ability.
Contacting an Attorney
Before speaking with an attorney, an individual should know that the case may be particularly costly as compared to other types of personal injury cases. Since these cases can sometimes take multiple years, individuals should be aware of the potential of a higher percentage of contingency fees. Although the fees may be slightly hire for these types of cases, it is impossible to put a value on life. Therefore, an individual who has suffered at the hands of medical misdiagnosis should contact a knowledgeable Louisville medical malpractice attorney immediately. A lawyer can work with you through any financial burdens, and represent you affirmatively in a court of law.