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Orlando Misdiagnosis Attorney

Most doctors are skilled and highly trained and are prepared to properly diagnose your illness or injury. They generally know the difference between the symptoms of a brain tumor and those of a heart attack. And yet, sometimes things go very wrong. An estimated 12 million people are misdiagnosed annually. Contact an experienced Orlando misdiagnosis attorney at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. today for help with your claim.

Symptoms can often overlap and portray themselves as a different illness, leading to an improper diagnosis. Lack of due care and proper specialists to consider all reasonable diagnoses can cause a medical professional to miss vital warning signs during treatment. A misdiagnosis can lead to delayed or inadequate treatment, which can cause more harm than having not been treated at all.

Can I Sue A Doctor for A Misdiagnosis?

The answer is: It depends. A mistake in diagnosis is not always negligence or medical malpractice. In a medical malpractice case, the patient must prove the following elements in the case in order to prevail:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship.
  • A typical doctor in a similar medical practice and in similar circumstances would not have made the same diagnostic mistake.
  • The doctor’s negligence caused provable harm or injury to the patient.

Can I Sue The Hospital For a Misdiagnosis?

The answer is: it depends. In many cases, you will not be able to sue a hospital for a misdiagnosis, unless a hospital employee or agent is to blame, but you may be able to sue the doctor directly. However, a hospital has a full staff of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, machine technicians and others. Depending on the circumstances, a hospital may be liable for its staff’s failure to diagnose a patient’s condition promptly and properly. The threshold question in any malpractice claim brought against a hospital is: Were the negligent providers employees or agents of the hospital?

If errors on the part of the hospital staff resulted in a misdiagnosis that led to your injuries and damages, you will likely have a claim against both the members of the staff and the hospital.

Doctors, however, are not always employed by the hospitals where they provide care. Many doctors are permitted to practice medicine at one or more hospitals, but they are legally considered independent contractors. If this is the case, the hospital may not share in the liability for the physician’s medical errors. However, if the doctor is considered an employee of the hospital, the facility may be liable for misdiagnosis and other forms of malpractice.

It is in your best interest to contact an Orlando misdiagnosis attorney at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. who can review the facts of your case and identify the employment relationships between the at-fault practitioner(s) and the hospital where you received care.

How Hospital Malpractice Can Lead to Misdiagnosis

Most medical malpractice litigation focuses on the wrongful actions and inactions of individual doctors and other care providers. Although the practitioner may have committed the initial error, it is important to evaluate the role that malpractice on the hospital’s part may have played in harming a patient.

The following kinds of hospital malpractice can increase the likelihood of misdiagnosis:

  • Failure to hire qualified staff: Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals must meet certain educational and training requirements to do their jobs effectively. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are more likely to occur when hospitals hire workers with insufficient skills or time on the job.
  • Failure to provide staff members with appropriate training: Modern hospitals use a variety of complex procedures and protocols to provide patient care. If employees are not trained in these systems, accurate diagnosis suffers.
  • Emergency room errors: Poor hiring decisions and understaffing may lead to an inability to respond appropriately to the limited time and the significant number of patients treated in emergency medicine.
  • Failure to obtain a patient’s full medical history: Without comprehensive information on a patient’s health history, serious conditions may be overlooked by hospital staff.
  • Laboratory errors: Improperly trained or unqualified lab technicians may fail to perform the tests ordered by physicians. Hospitals may also be liable for inadequate safety and hygiene protocols that can lead to the contamination of samples.
  • Equipment failures: Hospitals must keep all diagnostic equipment in good working order. Misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors may be caused by operator error, failure to maintain equipment, or using outdated or faulty machines.
  • Miscommunication: Misdiagnosis frequently occurs when providers and/or departments of the hospital fail to communicate with one another.

Many of these types of hospital errors are not isolated incidents. Rather, they often tend to represent a systemic problem within a particular facility. Unfortunately, these issues can result in multiple patients being misdiagnosed by doctors and staff at the same hospital.

When patients file lawsuits against hospitals for misdiagnosis and other types of negligence or medical malpractice, they are not just pursuing fair compensation for their injuries or the loss of a loved one. They also make it possible for other patients to avoid the same fate.

Contact An Experienced Orlando Misdiagnosis Attorney at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. Today

Misdiagnoses have serious consequences if untreated, and can even lead to death. Our firm’s attorneys have handled multiple cases and have experience with medical professionals who have failed to properly treat patients. 

Contact an Orlando misdiagnosis attorney at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. today to help you understand if you may have a medical malpractice claim for misdiagnosis.