One of the more common types of medical malpractice relates to a misdiagnosis of a medical condition. This may include a Dr. making the wrong diagnosis or telling a patient that there is nothing wrong when a patient is actually ill. A failure to timely recognize complications or to diagnose an illness can be negligence. If you believe that you have been harmed as a result of a misdiagnosis, you should consult the experienced Detroit medical malpractice lawyers at Feldheim & Wilenkin.Holding a Physician Accountable for a Misdiagnosis
Medical malpractice exists if a health care provider's conduct falls below the professional standard of care, causing harm to the patient. Many misdiagnosis cases involve an error when arriving at the diagnosis. To determine whether there was medical malpractice, your attorney and experts can look at the differential diagnosis, or systematic method, that your doctor used to identify your disease or medical condition.
A doctor uses differential diagnosis to diagnose a patient by making a list of possible diagnoses of a patient in the order of their potential risk of harm and probability. The strength of each diagnosis is tested by making medical observations and asking questions about medical history and symptoms, or ordering tests. In some cases, a doctor should send the patient to a specialist. As the doctor goes down the list and investigates, some of these diagnoses will be ruled out. In some cases, it will be necessary for the doctor to add other conditions to the list.
Generally, in a misdiagnosis case, you will need to show that a doctor in a similar specialty working under similar circumstances would not have misdiagnosed you. This may be because the doctor did not even include the right diagnosis on the list, and a reasonable doctor of the same specialty and under similar circumstances would have. Or it may be that the right diagnosis was included, but the doctor did not perform the correct tests or should have asked a specialist in order to adequately investigate the potential diagnosis.
In other cases, a misdiagnosis occurs because of incorrect lab or other test results. There may have been a human error at the lab, such as a mix-up of scans, faulty equipment, or a radiologist's failure to notice something. In some cases, the doctor who failed to diagnose is not at fault for relying on the test, but the technician or a radiologist might be.
In order to recover compensation, the misdiagnosis must have caused harm. In some cases, this means that the injury or condition progressed further than it would have if a correct diagnosis had been made at the time that medical treatment was sought. For example, if a delayed cancer diagnosis meant that a patient progressed to Stage 4 and then passed away, this element would likely be met. Moreover, if a misdiagnosis causes a patient to undergo treatment or surgery that could have been avoided, this is also malpractice.
We settled a wrongful death case against a hospital for a very substantial sum where the emergency room Dr. told the patient who had presented to the E.R. with a bad cough that he had bronchitis when a chest x-ray was actually reported as highly suspicious for lung cancer. How can that happen you ask? It happened because the E.R. Dr. never read the report of the x-ray findings! A delay of one year in diagnosing the cancer resulted in a spreading of the cancer that caused death. We proved with a highly qualified expert witness that the tumor could have been removed before the cancer spread into the patient’s body.Consult a Detroit Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Claim
When you go to the doctor, you expect to receive a competent level of care. If you suffer injuries as a result of a misdiagnosis, you should consult the Detroit medical malpractice attorneys at Feldheim & Wilenkin. Our injury attorneys are dedicated advocates who can represent victims across Michigan, including in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Call us at 248.737.0700 or contact us via our online form to schedule a free consultation.