Diagnosing medical conditions in patients is one of the most difficult parts of being a doctor. Patients will often show up at a doctor’s office in Kentucky with a variety of symptoms, so it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing them. Doctors may have to perform tests and procedures, conduct research, consult with other physicians before making a diagnosis. However, doctors can make mistakes when diagnosing patients.
Doctors make mistakes when diagnosing patients
There are several mistakes a doctor can make while diagnosing a patient. Some of these mistakes include:
- Failure to diagnose: Doctor ignores the patient’s symptoms, incorrectly determines that there is nothing wrong with the patient and fails to prescribe medication and/or administer treatment.
- Misdiagnosis: Doctor prescribes a medication, performs a procedure/surgery, or administers treatment for a condition the patient does not actually have.
- Delayed diagnosis: Doctor fails to diagnose the patient correctly in a timely manner. A failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis can often lead to delayed diagnosis.
If the patient ends up suffering additional harm due to an error relating to diagnosis, they may be able to file a legal claim against the doctor for medical malpractice.
Proving your case for misdiagnosis
Filing a claim for medical malpractice generally requires the patient to prove that the doctor and other parties responsible for their treatment were negligent when administering care. When misdiagnosis is involved, you may need to establish:
- Duty: You and the physician had a doctor-patient relationship, where the doctor owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: The doctor was negligent in that he or she did not act the way that a reasonable physician in similar circumstances would have acted. Some examples include failing to properly evaluate symptoms, failing to eliminate possible diagnoses through testing or administering unnecessary treatment.
- Causation: The doctor’s failure to properly diagnose the patient in a timely manner caused the patient to suffer harm they would not have otherwise suffered.
- Damages: The patient suffered actual injury or damages.
If you successfully prove you suffered harm because of your doctor’s negligence, you may recover compensation for medical bills and other expenses, as well as pain and suffering.