A doctor’s insurance company will contact you after you file a medical malpractice lawsuit citing misdiagnosis. If you receive this call, you should immediately direct the insurance company to your medical attorney. You should not sign any document, give any statement, or receive any form of settlement without your medical attorney’s consent.
Medical malpractice lawsuits generally fall into misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose an injury or existing medical illness. However, you must realize that sometimes even competent doctors make medical errors, and therefore misdiagnosis alone cannot warrant you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical misdiagnosis can occur at any health facility, and some misdiagnoses occur at a higher rate. As a patient, you need to show proof that the misdiagnosis was below the doctor’s standard of care and that you sustained injuries because of the misdiagnosis. Therefore, a patient cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit simply because they were unsatisfied with the procedure’s results. You also cannot file a lawsuit if the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose did not cause harm.
For misdiagnosis, a doctor may fail to diagnose or recognize an existing medical condition, which causes the disease to progress at advanced stages. This misdiagnosis will require that the patient spend more money on treatment, cause significant pain, and even lead to death. When you file a lawsuit for this form of misdiagnosis, you need to bring a statement from an expert doctor explaining why a competent doctor handling a similar medical condition would correctly diagnose the problem. The expert doctor needs to detail the expected repercussions that the patient would expect due to the misdiagnosis. Some common medical misdiagnoses are as follows:
- Medication errors: This form of misdiagnosis may happen when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional prescribes or administers the wrong medication. The doctor may receive a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit when they prescribe the wrong medication, while the nurse and the hospital will face a misdiagnosis lawsuit for administering the wrong medication. The doctor might also prescribe medication for a misdiagnosed condition or prescribe the wrong amount of medication.
- Birth injuries: Sometimes obstetricians, gynecologists, and physicians involved in childbirth might fail to give proper care to the mother and baby, thus causing permanent damage such as cerebral palsy, nerve damage, fractures, and other developmental disorders.
- Surgical and anesthesia errors: These types of misdiagnosis occur during surgical procedures, and the doctor might even acknowledge the mistake should never have happened. Such examples of misdiagnosis include leaving pieces of surgical equipment in the patient’s body. Sometimes doctors may perform surgery on the wrong patient, or an anesthesiologist might fail to check the patient’s file and deliver anesthesia that causes injuries such as brain damage.
Whom Do You Sue for Medical Misdiagnosis?
Most times, the law states that you can only sue the individual doctor who misdiagnosed your condition. However,a Lexington medical malpractice lawyer might advise suing the entire medical team that attended the patient if the misdiagnosis caused severe injury or death. It is impossible to sue the hospital facility for misdiagnosis caused by the doctor since most doctors are individual contractors and not employed directly by the hospital.
However, you can sue the hospital for medical malpractice caused by other medical teams such as lab technicians, nurses, pharmacists, and anesthesiologists because they are direct hospital employees. For the hospital to avoid direct liability because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis, they need to provide a clear statement showing that the doctor is not their employee. However, hospitals must assume liability for medical malpractice caused by doctors that occur in the emergency rooms.
Some states have laws that allow the patient to sue the hospital if medical malpractice occurs in the emergency room. Also, hospitals that will enable incompetent doctors to practice at their facility will be liable for the medical misdiagnosis even though the doctor is not their employee. A hospital will receive a lawsuit if a doctor with a history of incompetence continues to work at the hospital and misdiagnoses a patient.
However, for the medical lawsuit to take effect, you need to show direct contact with the doctor. You also need to file the complaint within a specified time limit that you suffered from the injury, and every state provides these deadlines.
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