When you go to the doctor or another healthcare provider, you put your trust in the professional. As a patient, you expect your provider to deliver adequate care and pay attention to your needs. Unfortunately, healthcare workers make errors, including failing to diagnose a disease or giving the wrong diagnosis.
Doctors and other medical professionals must give acceptable care and carefully attend to their patients. If they fail to make a correct diagnosis, their patients suffer. Those who sustained adverse healthcare outcomes because of a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or lack of a diagnosis can take legal action against the doctors, nurses, and hospitals who are responsible. Legal action against those accountable for an improper diagnosis can allow an individual to recover financial compensation.
If a diagnostic mistake harmed you in Charleston, West Virginia, Salango Law, PLLC could help. At Salango Law, PLLC, our team of legal professionals understands how to handle medical malpractice cases involving diagnostic errors. We fight for those wronged by negligent and irresponsible medical professionals.
Bringing a claim against a healthcare professional or hospital for a diagnostic blunder often comes with challenges as patients attempt to navigate the legal system. One of the most complex aspects of incorrect diagnosis cases is that individuals must show the court that the medical worker’s actions caused the victim’s harm.
With our Charleston medical malpractice lawyers on your side, you can pursue the justice you deserve with confidence and clarity. We have experience with the healthcare and legal systems. As hardworking patient advocates, we understand how to use the law to protect your rights. Expert witnesses with medical knowledge can support your case and lend credibility to your claims. Salango Law, PLLC, can negotiate on your behalf, advocating for you.
Call Salango Law, PLLC, at 304-342-0512 for a complimentary consultation, and take the first step toward pursuing your malpractice claim.
Do Medical Professionals Owe Patients A Duty To Diagnose Diseases Correctly?
Most people go to medical professionals with a list of symptoms and complaints without knowing what is causing their discomfort. While patients bear some responsibility for their health, they deserve proper attention from the people in whom they put their confidence. One of the critical functions of a doctor is identifying what is causing a patient’s symptoms – in other words, giving a diagnosis.
Diagnosing an illness is crucial to treating a patient. To make a diagnosis, doctors must examine their patients correctly, run the proper tests, and have up-to-date knowledge of the range of diseases that could affect patients. When a doctor neglects to diagnose a patient with the disease that is making the patient sick or the doctor takes too long to diagnose the patient accurately, the patient often suffers adverse health consequences and, in some cases, death.
Upon entering the medical profession, doctors swear to do no harm, underscoring their legal duty to patients. Yet when they make a diagnostic error, they often breach their duty of care. A medical professional has a duty to act as a reasonable peer in their field would. So, if other doctors would have made the correct diagnosis had the patient visited them, the one who made a mistake breached their duty of care.
Diagnostic errors often constitute medical malpractice, but not always. In particularly complex or unusual cases, a diagnostic mistake might not constitute a breach of duty if most doctors would have similarly struggled if they encountered that situation. Please speak to a Charleston medical malpractice attorney to learn more about whether a court could find that a medical professional breached their duty of care to you.
Must The Error Cause Harm For It To Be Medical Malpractice?
In addition to breaching their duty to you, the medical professional must have caused you harm for you to be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against them. Harm and causation are critical components of negligence, a legal theory that underlies medical malpractice.
For example, suppose that a doctor incorrectly tells a patient they have breast cancer when they have no diseases and are entirely healthy. Shortly later, before the patient has commenced any treatment, the doctor realizes the error and lets the patient know they do not have cancer. Relieved, the patient remains unharmed. In that case, since the mistake never injured the patient, the patient will have difficulty asserting a medical malpractice claim.
If you are considering suing your healthcare provider because of a problem with a diagnosis, however, you likely suffered tangible harm that has spurred you to act. In many cases, particularly where significant time elapses with no correct diagnosis, diagnostic blunders cause severe injuries to patients, entitling them to relief.
For instance, suppose a patient complains of pain in their right leg. The radiologist mistakenly x-rays the left leg, and the physician tells the patient they are healthy when they have a malignant tumor in the right leg. By the time the doctor realizes the mistake, the cancer has progressed and become terminal. In that case, the error gravely harmed the patient. West Virginia law could entitle the patient to compensation.
What Are Diagnostic Mistakes?
Diagnostic errors encompass a range of mistakes. Incorrect diagnoses are one type of oversight. Yet even if your doctor eventually identified your ailment or never gave you a diagnosis, you may have a legal right to compensation. The following diagnostic mistakes could constitute medical malpractice, entitling you to recompense.
The doctor informs you that you have one disease when you have another. For instance, suppose a doctor tells a patient they have migraines when they have a brain tumor. Consequently, the patient does not receive treatment for cancer, which worsens, making the patient sicker.
The doctor tells you that you have a disease you do not have. Unnecessary treatments can cause harm. If the doctor said a patient had cancer when they were, in reality, healthy, they could have suffered adverse health consequences from chemotherapy or other treatments.
If the doctor tells you that you are healthy when you have a disease, the doctor has missed your diagnosis. When this happens, the condition may progress unchecked. Consequently, you may lose the opportunity to receive the necessary treatment.
Charleston Diagnostic Error Lawyer
If you are the victim of a diagnostic oversight, the error could have severely harmed you and resulted in significant financial hardship. Fortunately, West Virginia law may entitle you to compensation.
While we cannot erase the harm the healthcare professional caused, at Salango Law, PLLC, we can help you pursue justice. Our skilled medical malpractice lawyers work with our clients to build a strong case against those at fault, performing research, compiling evidence, selecting witnesses, writing solid arguments, and building a team of experts. Call Salango Law, PLLC, at 304-342-0512 to learn more about how our firm can help you.