Fort Lauderdale Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Misdiagnosing a patient can be a serious failure on the part of a physician or medical professional. If the misdiagnosis results in a delay or lack of treatment of the patient, it can result in a worsening of symptoms, serious injury, and perhaps even death. Contact a Fort Lauderdale misdiagnosis lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. to learn more about your potential case.
Types of Misdiagnosis
There are several categories of misdiagnosis. The first is where the healthcare professional, in most cases a physician, gives a totally wrong diagnosis. The AARP recently reported that, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the most frequently misdiagnosed conditions are colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.
Another category of misdiagnosis is delayed diagnosis. That is typically when a patient has been offered several diagnoses, none of which has turned out to be correct. When a correct diagnosis is finally made, the risk and potential harm are that the condition has worsened, such as in the case of a cancer metastasizing.
A third category of misdiagnosis occurs when a patient has been incorrectly told that he or she has a certain disease or illness when, in fact, they do not.
What Causes Misdiagnosis?
There is a broad range of reasons for diagnostic errors. These include miscommunication between patient and doctor, the patient’s failure to describe symptoms properly, the misreading of a diagnostic test, or the failure of the doctor to order tests that are clearly indicated. And there are thousands of diseases and a more limited number of symptoms, sometimes making it difficult for physicians to put the two together for a proper diagnosis.
When is the Physician Responsible for a Misdiagnosis?
Not every misdiagnosis is detrimental to a patient’s health. In order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, you must be able to show:
- You had a doctor-patient relationship such that the doctor owed you a duty of care;
- The doctor did not meet the standard of care; and
- You suffered injuries for which you are entitled to compensation.
If you are able to prove these elements, you may be entitled to damages.
How to Reduce the Likelihood of a Misdiagnosis
There are several things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of a medical diagnosis:
- Prepare for your appointment. Think carefully about your symptoms, when they started, and any patterns you are able to identify. If you haven’t done so, try to prepare a personal and family health history that may help your physician.
- Ask questions. If something the doctor is saying doesn’t seem on point with your thoughts or symptoms, be sure to inquire more deeply.
- Take notes, or have a family member or friend with you to record important points of the conversation. Often people leave a doctor’s appointment unclear about what they have heard.
- Keep track of your progress. If your symptoms are not getting better, let the doctor know. Perhaps it’s because the diagnosis is wrong rather than the fact that the proposed therapy and/or medication are not working properly.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Misdiagnosis Lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. Today
We have years of experience working with clients who have been harmed by a medical misdiagnosis. Contact a Fort Lauderdale misdiagnosis lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. today so we can help you evaluate your claim.