A large number of medical malpractice cases originate with a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. Patients frequently pay the price with worsening conditions, catastrophic disability, or death. Not every instance of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis equates to medical malpractice. A patient needs to prove three things to prevail in a medical malpractice claim:
• There was a doctor-patient relationship (sounds simple enough, but there are scenarios where this can be tricky).
• The physician/other healthcare provider/hospital deviated from the “medical standard of care” exercised by similarly trained healthcare providers.
• The healthcare provider’s negligence caused harm to the patient.
Diagnostic mistakes come in various forms
Wrong diagnosis. For example, a doctor concludes that a patient is suffering from a gastrointestinal issue when they’re actually experiencing a heart attack.
Missed diagnosis. The patient is given a clean bill of health; meanwhile, things are bubbling beneath the surface.
Delayed diagnosis. The physician eventually comes to the correct diagnosis, but in the interim the patient was subjected to needless or improper treatment, pain and suffering, and rising medical costs. Unreasonable delays also enable disease progression.
Failure to refer to a specialist. Physicians have a duty to refer their patients to specialists when the situation is beyond their scope of expertise. They are also responsible for following up with their patients afterward, and with the specialists.
Lab or imaging errors. Faulty equipment; contaminated or mixed-up samples; incorrectly interpreted test results; or an oversight on an imaging test or pathology slide may come into play.
Contact A Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a family member suffers harm due to a medical diagnostic error, contact Jason at 404-474-0804. We have the expertise to handle these complex cases and protect your rights.