Can I Sue For a Misdiagnosis?
Gregg Hollander | March 28, 2022 | Medical Malpractice
Sometimes, doctors make medical errors and mistakes that cause harm to patients, including failing to diagnose a condition. If a doctor misdiagnoses a condition, you may sue for misdiagnosis of a medical condition in Florida. First, however, you must prove the elements of a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for damages.
When Can You Sue a Doctor for Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is a common reason people file medical malpractice lawsuits. One study found that roughly 12 million patients are misdiagnosed in the United States each year. A diagnostic error is a failure or mistake in the diagnosing process that can lead to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose.
The first step in determining whether you can sue a doctor is to assess what led to the misdiagnosis.
Common medical negligence and errors that lead to misdiagnosis include but are not limited to:
- Failing to order diagnostic tests or the correct diagnostic tests
- Misinterpreting the results from an x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or other diagnostic tests
- Making assumptions about a patient’s condition without having the required medical experience
- Failing to perform a thorough examination of the patient
- Not considering the patient’s medical history or symptoms
- Failing to order tests to rule out other illnesses or conditions
- Not referring a patient to a specialist promptly
- Miscommunication between doctors, technicians, and nursing staff
Other factors could lead to a misdiagnosis claim. For example, the doctor may provide services while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A doctor may be in a hurry and miss crucial signs of a disease because they rushed due to overbooking patients. Emergency room physicians may be exhausted from working long shifts without breaks.
What Do You Need to Prove to Recover Compensation for Misdiagnosis Claims?
So, when can you sue for misdiagnosis? You must prove the elements of a medical malpractice claim to win a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
The legal elements you must prove to win your case are:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed, which created a duty of care;
- The doctor breached the duty of care by failing to meet the acceptable standard of care;
- The breach of duty resulted in the misdiagnosis, which caused you harm or injury; and
- You sustained damages because of the misdiagnosis.
Additionally, Florida medical malpractice laws require you to take several procedural steps before filing a misdiagnosis lawsuit against a medical provider.
First, you must file a notice of claim under Florida Statute §766.106 before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The notice must be served on the doctor and other defendants at least 90 days before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Also, you must have a medical expert certify that you have a basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Can You Sue a Hospital for Misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can sue a hospital for misdiagnosis if hospital staff were negligent or committed wrongdoing that contributed to the misdiagnosis. For example, a hospital failed to maintain an MRI machine properly. That failure to maintain the machine contributed to the cause of your misdiagnosis by providing inaccurate readings.
A medical malpractice lawyer will investigate all potential factors that could contribute to the misdiagnosis. The investigation allows the attorney to identify all parties who could be liable for your damages.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions and Illnesses
A doctor or other medical provider’s negligence could cause them to miss any illness or condition. However, some conditions are commonly misdiagnosed.
Common conditions misdiagnosed by doctors include:
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Thyroid disease
- Celiac disease
- Lyme disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
If you believe your doctor misdiagnosed a condition, seek a second medical opinion immediately. You may also want to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to discuss your legal options for seeking compensation for damages caused by the misdiagnosis of a medical condition.
Damages You Could Recover for a Misdiagnosis Claim
A misdiagnosis can cause numerous injuries and harm. A patient may receive the wrong treatment or no medical treatment at all. The lack of correct medical treatment could result in wrongful death or permanent impairments.
The damages a patient might receive for a misdiagnosis lawsuit include, but might not be limited to:
- Reimbursement for medical bills, therapy costs, nursing care, and personal care related to the consequences of a misdiagnosis
- Loss of income, wages, and benefits, including reductions in future earning potential
- Long-term care due to a permanent impairment
- The loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries, emotional distress, and mental anguish
- Disfigurement, impairments, scarring, and disabilities
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
Family members may seek compensation for wrongful death claims when a misdiagnosis results in the death of a loved one. Also, a spouse may file a loss of consortium claim related to the medical malpractice lawsuit.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Fort Lauderdale for Help With a Misdiagnosis Claim
Prompt legal advice can help you preserve your right to seek fair compensation when a doctor’s negligence causes you harm. If you are suffering injuries from a misdiagnosis, contact a medical malpractice lawyer for help.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact the location nearest you for a free consultation:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401