The First Name In Maryland Law

Can you trust your doctor to accurately diagnose you?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Physicians play an important role in modern society. They are the gatekeepers who help protect the public from the dangers of controlled substances. They also have the necessary education to evaluate someone’s condition and recommend a course of treatment to help them cure the condition or at least resolve their symptoms.

You may sometimes know exactly what is wrong with you when you go to the doctor, like when you break your arm in a car crash. Other times, you may have a handful of symptoms and no real understanding of what causes them. You put a lot of trust in your doctor when you ask them to diagnose you, and unfortunately, not all doctors live up to that responsibility.

Diagnostic mistakes are a common form of malpractice

Even with years of training and hands-on experience, doctors can still rush to judgment and reach the wrong diagnostic conclusion when treating a patient. According to research into modern medical care, as many as 12 million patients in the United States have to deal with diagnostic mistakes each year. Somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people will die each year as a result of those diagnostic issues.

Although the same symptoms might indicate a chest cold and lung cancer, there are tests that can help a doctor differentiate between these two possible causes. Assuming that someone has the less serious condition might mean delaying their diagnosis and allowing their condition to get worse before they start treatment.

Diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition might mean having them undergo treatment that they don’t need and that might actually make the underlying cause worse. It could also delay crucial treatment or make someone’s full recovery (or even their survival) less likely.

How do you prove malpractice?

When your doctor reached an inaccurate diagnosis without tests to validate their conclusion, you may have a straightforward case based on what exists in your medical record. Other times, you may need to partner with other medical professionals who can advise you as to whether or not your doctor deviated from best practices or reach to conclusion different than what you could expect from other reasonable professionals in the field.

If your doctor made a mistake when diagnosing you, whether they reach the wrong conclusion or failed to reach any conclusion at all, your health, your career and your finances could suffer. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim when a doctor didn’t diagnose you properly can help you connect with compensation for the financial impact of their professional oversight.

* AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.