A patient may be able to pursue a legal remedy by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit if a doctor fails to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis of a serious medical condition. But it’s crucial to remember that, at least in legal terms, mistakes and negative outcomes don’t automatically mean you will be able to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Whether the healthcare professional violated the appropriate medical standard of care in the given situation is the first question in these cases. In other words, would a physician with a similar level of training working in the same field of medicine have discovered or recognized the health issue or made the proper diagnosis sooner?
In this in-depth guide, we’ll look at what your rights are after a case of medical malpractice. While this article can provide some context, we always recommend seeking out the counsel of experienced medical malpractice attorneys who can thoroughly evaluate your specific case.
Medical Misdiagnosis: What Rights Do You Have?
Can I Sue Someone For a Medical Misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can absolutely sue someone for a medical misdiagnosis if you are able to prove personal harm. In general, you must demonstrate that the at-fault party was negligent or incompetent while performing their obligations and that carelessness or incompetence caused you harm.
Let’s assume your doctor misdiagnosed you due to carelessness in the examination of you or the interpretation of test data. Your attorney must show that the medical professional in issue departed from the “standard of care” in diagnosing your condition. Due to the medical professional’s violation of the standard of care, your treatment of the actual condition was delayed, your health deteriorated, or you experienced some sort of physical harm.
You must demonstrate that your doctor fell short of the aforementioned standard of care in order to establish that he or she misdiagnosed you. This is often accomplished by employing the evidence of a different medical expert. The standard of treatment is established by the testimony of a recognized doctor whose specialty matches your doctor’s. The plaintiff’s counsel has the burden of proving that your doctor failed to diagnose your ailment according to this standard of care utilizing this expert testimony.
If a medical misdiagnosis caused harm to you or a loved one, consider whether a reasonably skilled, knowledgeable, or competent doctor would have made the same error in the same situation. If the response is “no,” you may well have a viable medical malpractice case.
Who Can Be Sued in a Medical Malpractice Suit and How Can Harm Be Proved?
The primary physician making the diagnosis is usually the only one who would be held liable for misdiagnosis. Occasionally, nurses, lab technicians, and other specialists who may have treated the patient may also be held accountable if their carelessness contributed to or caused the patient’s incorrect diagnosis. Typically, the hospital or healthcare facility where the doctor works is not held accountable for harm brought on by a misdiagnosis. Because many physicians are independent contractors rather than hospital employees, the medical center frequently cannot be held liable for the physician’s carelessness.
Keep in mind it is not sufficient to demonstrate that the doctor’s diagnosis was incorrect. You must also be able to prove that the misdiagnosis was a violation of the standard of care and that the patient suffered injury as a result of the misdiagnosis.
The patient may suffer injury in a number of ways as a result of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Perhaps a doctor subjected the patient to a more severe course of care than would have been necessary had the illness or condition been identified sooner. Maybe you underwent an unneeded surgery, were exposed to dangerous treatments, or both. You will need the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to thoroughly evaluate your case.
What Damages Can I Receive?
Commonly awarded damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit include, but are not limited to, full payment of medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering damages, and/or emotional distress damages.
You should keep thorough records of all your expenses, including those for prescription drugs, medical expenses, and house improvements. This information makes it more likely that you’ll be able to get the compensation you’re due.
Be Wary of the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
There are strict deadlines that limit the amount of time to file medical malpractice claims. In Illinois, the statute of limitations requires a patient to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of the date of discovery. The date of discovery is the date the patient discovers, or should have discovered, his injuries or the date the patient discovers, or should have discovered, that the injuries were the result of medical malpractice.
In addition to the two-year statute of limitations, Illinois law prevents a patient from filing a claim more than four years from the date of the medical treatment that caused the injuries, regardless of the discovery date. There certainly are exceptions to the statute of limitations, however. Therefore, it’s crucial to get an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your case as soon as possible if you were injured as a result of a medical misdiagnosis.
Retain an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Patients have faith that their doctors will correctly identify their conditions and that surgeons will carry out necessary repairs. The majority of the time, medical practitioners do meet these standards. But occasionally they don’t, leading to unwarranted, pointless, and intolerable agony and suffering. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Drake & Collopy, P.C. can assist you if you have been harmed by medical negligence or if a loved one has been wounded or gravely injured. Call us at (312) 345-0220 today.
How was our guide to understanding your rights in the wake of a medical misdiagnosis? Don’t forget, if you’ve been injured as a result of medical misdiagnosis, give the personal injury lawyers at Drake & Collopy, P.C. a call today,