It might be critically important to ask if my diagnosis is right or is it misdiagnosis. Roughly 5 percent of adults who seek outpatient care, or approximately 12 million people, are misdiagnosed every year. What is more, about 20 percent of people with serious conditions are misdiagnosed initially.
When these failures in diagnosis cause serious harm or death to a patient, the doctor could be accused of negligence or medical malpractice. Often, a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis will have serious consequences for the patient. Of a range of possible damages to the patient the most common are delayed treatment, no treatment, or inappropriate (and possibly harmful) treatment.
A Diagnostic Error of Three Types
Diagnostic mistakes typically fall into one of three categories.
When a physician makes an incorrect diagnosis of the patient’s illness or condition. The incorrect diagnosis results in treatment for the mistaken diagnosis. This delays the correct treatment or may result in serious injury to the patient, or the patient could die. Injury or death could occur as a result of failure to treat the correct illness or as a result of the treatment prescribed (adverse drug reaction, e.g.).
Failure to Diagnose.
When a doctor fails to diagnose the patient’s illness or condition it is often because the needed tests were not ordered. Failure to diagnose would also result if the doctor did not identify correctly analyze the patient’s symptoms or test results. Because there is no diagnosis, it is unlikely that treatment is planned. Without a diagnosis, new symptoms may not be observed or connected to the initial symptoms. With no diagnosis, the condition or illness will continue its course.
Delaying a diagnosis significantly has the potential to allow some conditions to continue unchecked. In the case of cancer or a heart condition, for example, delaying treatment would be dangerous, if not fatal.
Is there a case?
Most people in our communities do not know how to evaluate a misdiagnosis issue and to assess the outcome. Most do not know the cost to prepare a lawsuit or the possible award or settlement for a case. You need to discuss your situation with an experienced and trusted Virginia attorney. A medical malpractice attorney can help you to understand the facts related to medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will also help you to understand the potential financial compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
If you believe that misdiagnosis or any other type of medical malpractice has harmed you or a loved one, call Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke, VA. Bettina Altizer and her team of experts have been helping people injured by medical negligence or error for more than 30 years. They know that being made whole after medical malpractice is about the money. We will help you to understand the process at every step and fight for you or your loved one to win the largest possible financial compensation. Call us for a free initial consultation.