Do you have a medical condition that has gone untreated or mistreated due to a misdiagnosis? If so, there is a chance that your case has legal recourse against possible medical malpractice. There are typically three legal requirements that must necessarily be met before a case can be made for misdiagnosis.

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship.
  • The doctor was negligent.
  • That negligence harmed the patient.

If your case has met these three standards, you might be eligible for legal representation and financial compensation for any damages that have occurred due to your misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis. To be certain, you should contact a lawyer. In this article, we will explore examples of behaviors that would satisfy the aforementioned requirements and why doctors have a legal responsibility to a correct diagnosis.

Firstly, for a case to be made, there must’ve been a doctor-patient relationship. This is the easiest requirement to prove and if there wasn’t any relationship, how could the doctor possibly misdiagnose a condition?

Secondly, the doctor must have been negligent. What is negligence? The definition of negligence is as follows: an act or omission (failure to act) by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care.

Negligence, as it pertains to diagnoses, is typically present in situations where the doctor strays from common medical practices. If a doctor sees a certain set of symptoms that would indicate a certain illness but diagnoses the patient with another ailment, the doctor might be held liable, particularly if that misdiagnosis caused the patient harm. Moreover, an unreasonable delay in diagnosis on the doctor’s part is typically considered negligence and would satisfy this second requirement. It is important to note that a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis does not necessarily constitute negligence; the real consideration is given to the doctor’s competence in the diagnosis process. If a doctor reaches a misdiagnosis through a commonly accepted diagnosing method, it is much harder to prove negligence.

Lastly, it must be proved that the doctor’s negligence harmed the patient. If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient’s illness but the recommended treatment is still effective and has no detriments, it would be much harder to make a case for reparations. However, many misdiagnoses can have serious implications for the health of the patient. Trained New York medical malpractice attorneys describe implications like infection, sepsis or developing a new condition. Every condition or illness has a certain set of reasonable responses and treatments and a misdiagnosis possibly leads to an entirely different set of treatments. This is why a competent diagnosis is absolutely crucial.

So why is the doctor responsible? Doctors have an obligation to their patients and their health. This obligation is expressed in traditions like the Hippocratic Oath. Patients, although they have the option of going to other doctors, are considered to have a right to competent care from wherever they choose to receive it. Therefore, if you have experienced a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you should contact a lawyer to see if your case is eligible for legal recourse.