Considering All Legal Options After A Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis of a disease or illness is common in the medical field and can occur even following a careful examination by a conscientious physician. Sometimes, however, a doctor fails to provide a patient with the necessary care and attention or fails to adequately comprehend a patient’s symptoms. In such cases, the doctor’s negligence results in misdiagnosis and prevents patients from getting the treatment they need. The consequences of misdiagnosis can be severe.
The lawyers of Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., have more than 70 years of combined experience navigating Indiana’s medical malpractice laws and pursuing malpractice litigation. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are quite serious and require swift attention, including:
- Heart attack
- Infection/septic shock
When patients are misdiagnosed, their actual illness goes untreated and can progress to a more severe illness or injury, or death. Sometimes, the misdiagnosis also leads to harmful or unnecessary treatment such as invasive surgery or chemotherapy. Misdiagnosed patients and their families may have grounds to seek compensation on the grounds of medical malpractice.
When Is A Misdiagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?
Though any misdiagnosis of a serious disease is troubling, a failure to diagnose or the misdiagnosis of a disease does not necessarily qualify as grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Indiana law details specific circumstances that must occur at the time of misdiagnosis for the doctor to be held responsible for negligence. Generally speaking, medical malpractice on the part of the physician can be proven if:
- There is a clear and established doctor-patient relationship between the two parties. Both parties must be aware of their roles as a doctor and a patient and are expected to act in accordance with the role’s expectations.
- The doctor is found to have been negligent in treating the patient. Negligent treatment refers to a physician’s failure to provide a reasonable standard of care, such as a thorough patient examination, a differential diagnosis, an appropriate selection of tests and an accurate interpretation of test results.
- The patient has suffered an injury as a result of the doctor’s negligence. Patients must prove that their misdiagnoses resulted in injuries that would not have occurred if they had been correctly diagnosed earlier. Such injury is often attributed to a delay in proper treatment or to harm caused by unnecessary treatments for nonexistent illness.
If you are unsure whether your misdiagnosis falls under the category of medical malpractice, our attorneys are available to answer your questions and offer legal guidance. If you’ve experienced a severe injury or permanent disability resulting from a surgical error or hospital negligence, our lawyers can advise you of your legal options for seeking compensation.
Arrange Your Free Case Review Today
Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., is conveniently located at the corner of Delaware and Ohio in Indianapolis, and it is easily accessible by public transportation. Free parking is available. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Night and weekend hours and home or hospital visits are available by request. Payment is based on a contingency fee structure.