Establishing Misdiagnosis As Medical Malpractice
Doctors are human, and make mistakes. However, some mistakes are grave enough where it may rise to the level of medical malpractice, especially if a patient is permanently injured. Misdiagnosis, especially if it is never corrected, can be fatal to a patient, and if you find out that you have been misdiagnosed, you may have a cause of action for compensation from your doctor or the hospital where it occurred.
Negligence And Harm
Misdiagnosis may seem to be a relatively minor accident, but until one receives an accurate diagnosis, one cannot start to be treated for their underlying condition. Still, it is important to understand that at least in Florida, merely missing a diagnosis is not always enough to file suit and have a chance of prevailing. You must be able to show that the misdiagnosis caused you some sort of harm – whether physical or otherwise – and that the harm was tangible, meaning that there is something that you can recover.
The major factor that has to be proven if you intend to sue a medical professional over your misdiagnosis is whether or not the medical professional failed to live up to the reasonable standard of care for a similarly situated medical professional (that is, someone in a similar hospital, of similar age, experience, and talent). A doctor cannot be negligent if they have not breached the “prevailing professional standard of care” expected of them – but if you can establish that they have, it is the first step toward finding that the doctor’s lack of care was the direct cause of your injuries.
Misdiagnosis vs. Delayed Diagnosis
One thing to keep in mind is that both misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis may be actionable, if you suffered tangible harm. Misdiagnosis implies that the correct diagnosis is never discovered, while a delayed diagnosis means that precious time that could be used in detection and treatment of the patient’s illness is lost. Both will often lead to pain and suffering that could otherwise be averted. This is even true if you turn out not to have the condition you were previously diagnosed with – for example, being wrongly diagnosed with cancer would still cause most people mental anguish and suffering that might be actionable.
While delayed diagnosis can cost a person valuable time, it is worth noting that Florida’s statute of limitations on filing a medical malpractice action is two years – but it is two years from either the date of misdiagnosis or from the date you discovered your wrong diagnosis. Thus, if you were not diagnosed at all, or did not discover the wrong diagnosis until much later on, you will still have roughly two years in which to file your claim (though that time period does go by much more quickly than one might think!).
Call An Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you do not get the medical care you require, it can lead to anything from complications to fatalities. The Orlando medical malpractice attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group understand how high the stakes are in these cases, and will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the chance to tell your story. Call our offices today for a free consultation.