Were you misdiagnosed by a doctor? Can you sue them for that? Maybe our Dallas lawyers can help!
Doctors misdiagnose 12 million Americans, or about 5% of all medical patients per year. So, 95% of the time they’re spot-on with their diagnosis.
That’s a pretty good success rate.
Unfortunately, bad things often happen when patients are misdiagnosed. Pain and suffering occurs. Wrong medications are given.
And sometimes lives are lost.
You have a fever, but a doctor misdiagnoses you with cancer.
Can you sue in these situations?
Suing for Misdiagnosis Depends on These 3 Factors
To prove you were misdiagnosed and to be able to claim financial damages under medical malpractice, you have to show:
- You had a relationship with the doctor you’re suing (Sometimes many doctors are involved and you have to make sure you have the right one.)
- The doctor acted negligently and not in a reasonably skillful or competent manner
- Your doctor’s negligence caused your injury
In the overwhelming majority of cases, it’s the second and third points that get the most debate.
Some Examples to Clear This Issue Up
At a practical level, you must show one of these two things happened in the case of misdiagnosis:
- Your doctor did not include the correct diagnosis, while a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would have
- Your doctor made the correct diagnosis, but didn’t do the appropriate testing or refer you to specialists to confirm the diagnosis
So let’s look at your scenario, misdiagnosing a fever as cancer. In reality, there’s likely not going to be any way a doctor could successfully defend your claim. If they act in a reasonably skillful and competent manner, doing appropriate testing, there’s no way they would misdiagnose your fever as cancer.
In that case, you’d likely win your claim.
But now, let’s add a twist to the story: you eventually realize you’ve contracted MRSA from your visit to the doctor (Sorry, it’s just not your week this week.) You eventually die.
Can you sue the doctor? You can’t sue them for a misdiagnosis because the misdiagnosis has to cause your injury. However, your loved one may be able to sue the hospital or doctor’s office for MRSA and your wrongful death. They may be able to sue the doctor for negligence too, if it was their actions that caused you to get MRSA and die.
Medical Malpractice Claims are the Hardest to Prove
Legislators have made medical malpractice difficult to prove to discourage frivolous lawsuits and the inflation of liability insurance costs (and those costs get passed on to you and other patients too). So winning a claim requires a strong case supported by expensive expert testimony.
We’re not saying don’t try to win your claim. But it’s important to know the realities before you get involved in the situation. Contact Mullen & Mullen Dallas injury lawyers for a free case evaluation.