When doctors get it wrong, patients suffer dearly. Properly diagnosing a patient’s condition is one of the most basic responsibilities of a healthcare professional. Sadly, misdiagnosis one of the most common causes of serious injury and illness in the medical profession.
Not every instance of misdiagnosis is medical malpractice. If you are unsure whether your condition was the result of misdiagnosis, or whether your doctor’s misdiagnosis could be the basis of a medical malpractice claim, don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert on malpractice to explore your legal options.
Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free consultation with our Houston medical malpractice attorneys experienced with misdiagnosis. We want to learn more about your case and assist you through the process.
What is Misdiagnosis?
We are using the term misdiagnosis to include diagnoses that are wrong, missed, or late. All three types of misdiagnosis can have very serious consequences for a patient. In some cases, the misdiagnosis is discovered only when the patient gets a second opinion from another doctor. However, many cases of misdiagnosis are never discovered at all or are discovered only after the patient dies.
- Most people will be diagnosed incorrectly or receive a late diagnosis at some point in their lives.
- Every year, about 12,000,000 people are misdiagnosed!
- Diagnostic errors play a role in approximately 10% of patient deaths.
- Around 20% of patients with serious medical conditions are given a wrong diagnosis by their primary care provider.
- One study found that approximately 28% of misdiagnoses have potentially dire or life-threatening consequences for patients.
- Up to 75% of instances of misdiagnosis involve negligence.
- Misdiagnosis happens more often than medication errors and wrong-site surgery.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Misdiagnosis not only occurs when a patient is suffering from a rare condition, but it also happens with everyday illnesses, such as asthma and anemia. Any condition can be misdiagnosed, but a few are more likely to result in medical malpractice claims than others.
- Birth injuries
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lyme disease
- Celiac disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pulmonary embolism.
If you suffer from any of the above conditions and were misdiagnosed, or many others, you might have experienced serious complications because of your doctor’s mistake. In these situations, you have the right to explore your legal options to get compensation for the many costs you’re facing.
Contact the Houston misdiagnosis medical malpractice attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to learn more about getting the payment you deserve.
Why Misdiagnosis Happens
Misdiagnosis can be caused by many different factors. It’s often human error that leads to misdiagnosis. A few of the most common causes include…
- Inattentive or distracted doctors
- Failure to take all symptoms into consideration
- Errors of omission by nurses or other providers
- Errors in the ordering, reporting, and following up of lab results
- Miscommunication between healthcare providers.
Many of the above causes of misdiagnosis are the result of ongoing problems in the healthcare industry. For example, doctors and nurses often work long hours, pushing them to the brink of exhaustion and making them more prone to errors. While these types of explanations tell us why a doctor makes a mistake, they don’t excuse those mistakes or absolve healthcare providers from responsibility.
You might only have a suspicion that a doctor’s actions led to your condition. Healthcare providers aren’t always transparent about their role in a patient’s injuries. Our attorneys investigate every client’s case to determine what caused their condition.
Responsibilities of a Doctor
Generally, doctors are required to treat patients according to the basic standards of their profession. The standard of care required of healthcare providers isn’t unreasonably high; rather it is presumed that a doctor will do their best to diagnose a patient properly by providing timely care that takes all available facts into consideration.
Doctors should recognize signs of a serious illness or ailment and respond accordingly to the best of their ability. When a doctor fails to meet this standard of care, they might be held accountable for medical malpractice.
When is Misdiagnosis Malpractice?
Just because a doctor makes a mistake doesn’t mean they will be held accountable in a medical malpractice claim. In some cases, doctors do their best to properly diagnose a patient and simply fall short. A viable medical malpractice claim may exist when a doctor fails to provide a patient care that aligns with accepted standards of his or her field and the patient suffers costly results.
Determining whether a misdiagnosis constitutes malpractice is best done by an experienced legal professional. There are a few basic elements of a malpractice claim attorneys will consider when reviewing a case.
- There exists a doctor-client relationship. This relationship doesn’t need to be based on a formal agreement.
- The doctor was negligent in the care they provided.
- That negligence led to the patient’s injuries.
- The injuries were costly or painful.
As you can imagine, proving medical malpractice can be complicated, so it’s vital you speak to an experienced, skilled medical malpractice attorney to find out if you have a case. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we have many years of experience helping patients get the compensation they need to help get their lives back to normal.
Consequences of a Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis introduces many additional risks to a patient’s condition. First, a patient’s original condition (the one for which they sought treatment) will continue to be a problem. Second, the condition could be worsened by the treatment ordered by the doctor. An entirely new condition might arise from the doctor’s failure to properly diagnose a patient’s condition.
There’s no way to properly treat a patient’s condition if healthcare providers don’t know what it is. The time, effort, and money put toward treating the wrong condition can be disastrous for a patient. A patient will likely suffer dearly for their healthcare provider’s mistakes.
Seeking Damages for Your Misdiagnosis
Damages represent the many costs a patient experiences because of a doctor’s negligent actions. These costs are both financial and non-economic, meaning the literal costs a patient faces and the physical and mental pain they’ve suffered. Examples of damages sought in medical malpractice cases include…
- Medical expenses (previous expenses and future care)
- Lost wages from time missed at work and diminished work capacity
- Physical and emotional suffering caused by misdiagnosis.
It’s important to understand all the ways a misdiagnosis has affected your life, so you can ask for compensation that reflects all of your suffering and not simply the cost of medical care. Though some damages are more easily calculated than others, every single cost you have encountered should be factored into your claim.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we work closely with clients to find out how much their misdiagnosis has cost them, and then we demand payment from the at-fault parties and their insurance companies. To learn more about filing a misdiagnosis medical malpractice claim in Texas, contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation.
If You Don’t Get Paid, We Don’t Either
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we accept payment for our services only if we get you compensation. Our team wants to be sure that our clients are not financially burdened by their legal claim. We know that you have been through enough, and you deserve to file a claim without worrying about the financial consequences of an unsuccessful medical malpractice case.
The Houston misdiagnosis attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law believe in the abilities of our team. If we aren’t successful in your case, we will carry all the costs. We also offer free consultations so you can better understand your legal options.
Contact Our Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers Today
Terry Bryant is a former judge and a Board Certified personal injury trial lawyer in Texas. He and his handpicked staff have been helping injured Texans get the payment they need for more than three decades.
We have plenty of examples of major victories we’ve achieved on behalf of our clients, but we understand the most important case is the one we’re currently working on. Each of our clients will be given the same level of dedicated legal representation that we have built our firm’s reputation on.
We encourage you to put our team’s skill and experience to work for you. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Let Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law help you find the best path forward.