During the course of their lifetime people receive a variety of medical treatments. Some of these treatments are simple and standard and are followed by a full recovery. But on occasion, mistakes are made and patients find themselves in a worsening state of health or significantly harmed as a result of medical misdiagnosis. If this happens it is possible you will be entitled to monetary damages for the affects the misdiagnosis had on your medical condition and your overall health.
However, before any claim for harm can be asserted it must be established that;
- There existed a doctor patient relationship. This means that the patient and the doctor had agreed that treatment was being sought by the patient and delivered by the doctor
- A mistake was made during the diagnostic process that breached the doctor’s duty of care. This means that another doctor would not have made a similar mistake
- The mistake rose to the level of negligence. This means that the doctor did not act within the reasonable standard of care that all medical professionals are held to
- Harm ensued that otherwise would not have
The harm caused by the misdiagnosis might include any of the following;
- Delay in getting proper treatment
- Worsening of the condition between the time of the misdiagnosis and the correct diagnosis
- Failure to diagnosis all associated conditions
- The misdiagnosis hastened or caused the death of the patient
- A failure to make any diagnosis
There are some conditions that have a higher probability of being misdiagnosed than others. The reason being is that some medical conditions share symptoms that are similar to other medical conditions, which can then make an accurate diagnosis more difficult. Some of these conditions that are difficult to diagnose include asthma, heart attacks, various cancers, meningitis, infections and strokes. These conditions are often misdiagnosed as the flu, indigestion, various types of infections and attributed to stress. Some of these misdiagnosis can also be due to faulty laboratory testing or the misreading of test results or images. Regardless of the cause of the misdiagnosis, the fact remains that a costly health error was made.
Initially, if you sought medical treatment and are not getting better, or worse yet your health is declining, it is imperative that you seek a second opinion or go to an emergency room. By doing so, the chances of receiving a proper diagnosis increase and therefore mitigate any further damage to your health. Once you have been properly diagnosed, stabilized and treated you can turn your attention to the legal remedies available to you for the misdiagnosis.
The form and amount of damages that a plaintiff might receive from a medical misdiagnosis claim will vary depending upon the following factors;
- The extent of the additional injury or harm to the plaintiff’s health
- The loss of earning capacity, if any
- The cost of care to recover from the additional harm caused
- The cost of additional medical expenses, both past and future
- Additional expenses occurred in your home or for your daily care due to the misdiagnosis
If you have experienced a medical misdiagnosis, legal remedies are available to you under the umbrella of medical malpractice and personal injury claims. As with all legal claims, you will have a limited period of time within which to file your claim. Hence, once you believe that you have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis, it is important to speak with a solicitor immediately.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with this, or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.