Misdiagnosis

Medical Malpractice Involving Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is among the most common forms of medical malpractice in Chicago, and throughout the state. A misdiagnosis arises when a doctor fails to arrive at a correct diagnosis. As a result, the patient often receives incorrect treatment, delayed treatment or no treatment at all. As with other types of medical negligence, a misdiagnosis can have devastating consequences to the victim and their family. If you or a loved one is a victim of a misdiagnosis resulting in serious harm or death, we invite you to contact medical malpractice lawyer Jason M. Kroot for a free consultation.

Misdiagnosis May Or May Not Be Malpractice

It must be recognized a doctor’s misdiagnosis does not necessarily mean the doctor committed medical negligence. A doctor can do everything properly and still misdiagnose a patient. The question is whether the doctor complied with the standard of care in arriving at their diagnosis, even though it was later proven incorrect. This evaluation is often made by looking at the “differential diagnosis” or method the physician used to arrive at diagnosis. A differential diagnosis is the systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Typically, the doctor will take a history of the patient and, often, order certain tests. Based on this information, coupled with the doctor’s training and experience, the doctor will make a list of diagnoses in order of probability and then attempt to rule out each diagnosis from that list until arriving at the correct diagnosis.

Examples of Malpractice From Misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to properly investigate a patient’s symptoms. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, doctors make an incorrect assumption and then fail to properly test that assumption. This can occur when a patient’s symptoms seem to closely fit a commonly seen condition and that doctor simply accepts that diagnosis without further inquiry. Other misdiagnoses cases happen when a doctor neglects to order proper tests or fails to properly interpret the results of those tests. Another common cause of misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to refer the patient to an appropriate specialist. Instead, the doctor feels they can treat the patient on their own without the requisite knowledge and/or experience to understand the patient’s clinical picture. Finally, another common misdiagnosis scenario is where the doctor fails to conduct a proper history from the patient (ie., ask the right questions) or fails to properly listen to the patient. As result, the doctor does not obtain important information and the diagnosis is missed.

Proving The Misdiagnosis Caused Damages

Assuming the physician’s misdiagnosis was from medical malpractice, it must be proven the misdiagnosis resulted in injury or harm to the patient. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis is followed by a proper diagnosis shortly thereafter such that the delay did not cause any real damages. Other times, the misdiagnosis does not change the patient’s prognosis based on the nature of the condition and/or the timing in which the patient saw the doctor. This can occur, for example, in certain cancer cases where the patient did not see a doctor until they were already terminal.

Contacting A Medical Malpractice Lawyer On A Misdiagnosis Case

Determining whether a misdiagnosis occurred from medical malpractice is often a complicated question. Therefore, it is critical to contact a medical malpractice lawyer with the knowledge, skill, and experience to properly investigate and, where justified, prosecute the case effectively. Chicago medical malpractice lawyer Jason M. Kroot has successfully handled numerous misdiagnosis cases, including those against specialists and non-specialist physicians. For a free consultation, contact our Chicago medical malpractice firm today.

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