Medical malpractice encompasses more than surgical mistakes and insufficient patient education. Diagnostic errors represent more than a quarter of annual malpractice claims, spotlighting the importance of educating patients on the potential risks.
There are three common classes of errors in diagnosis that patients may experience.
Failure to identify a medical condition
Whether your healthcare provider overlooks red flags on lab work or does not connect your symptoms to the condition you end up diagnosed with, you may have a claim for diagnosis failure. There must be evidence that a reasonable care provider would make that connection to show negligence.
Misdiagnosis of a medical condition
Misdiagnosis is among the most common malpractice claims, especially related to invisible illnesses and autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Sometimes, misdiagnosis leads to treatment recommendations that worsen symptoms or allow the condition to progress. You may have a malpractice claim in this situation.
Delayed diagnosis of a condition
In some cases, delays caused by misdiagnosis can worsen the prognosis. If another medical professional confirms that most other care providers would make a proper diagnosis when faced with the test results and symptoms, you may have a case. This is most common with conditions such as cancer and rare diseases which can progress and worsen until treatment begins.
Medical care professionals have a significant responsibility to provide the best possible care and make responsible, comprehensive treatment decisions. When you experience one of these situations with either failed diagnosis, delayed treatment or misdiagnosis, you should consider a medical malpractice claim to compensate for your losses.