How Do Misdiagnoses Affect Insurance And Your Rights?

Misdiagnosis, or the inability to diagnose a medical condition, accounts for approximately 40 percent of all the medical malpractice claims filed. When legal action is taken, it is felt that a physician either failed to identify a medical problem or misidentified as being one thing when it was actually something else. There are several reasons why this could happen.

Misdiagnosis, or the inability to diagnose a medical condition, accounts for approximately 40 percent of all the medical malpractice claims filed. When legal action is taken, it is felt that a physician either failed to identify a medical problem or misidentified as being one thing when it was actually something else. There are several reasons why this could happen.

What you should know

The five major medical conditions that receive monetary malpractice awards are: lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, appendicitis and heart attack. In such cases, it is alleged that diagnostic testing was either mismanaged or delayed. As a rule, such delay or neglect results in severe complications and even death. The serious nature of misdiagnosing these conditions and the unfortunate results are the reason why the plaintiffs often receive substantial monetary awards.

Because of modern advances in accurately detecting and treating these diseases, failure to correctly diagnose a condition in its early stage can have a definite effect on the final outcome of the treatment a patient is given. Whenever misdiagnosis occurs, no matter what the reason may be, it can cause serious harm to the patient. This includes the need for costlier or more aggressive treatment, medical complications, a shortened life span and permanent bodily injury. At that point, if the patient still has any treatment options to pursue, the cost involved can be quite significant.

Winning the case

Several obstacles must be overcome to receive an award in a medical malpractice case. For example, legal action must be taken before the prevailing stature of limitations expires. This varies by state, and it also depends on specific allegations or the type of lawsuit being pursued. To find out more about the details in your state, contact one of our medical malpractice attorneys.
Many times, such cases are difficult to win because of their complexity. The plaintiff must prove that the problem would have been treated correctly by a "reasonably competent physician" when dealing with circumstances that were exactly the same. Because so many variables can affect the outcome, it is essential to be represented by an experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney with a track record in winning this type of case.