Medical Malpractice Involving Misdiagnosis and Improper Treatment
When people are feeling ill or generally unwell, they usually turn to a medical provider for diagnosis and treatment. In many cases, early diagnosis is key to effectively treating an illness and preventing further medical complications. Unfortunately, patients do not always receive the level of care they deserve.
When a medical provider fails to deliver care that meets up to the accepted standard, it is defined as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice involving misdiagnosis and improper treatment can have especially harsh consequences for patients. The medical malpractice lawyers from Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, work with individuals in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area to hold liable medical professionals accountable for losses related to negligent medical care.
How Do I Know if Misdiagnosis Was Caused by Medical Malpractice?
Early diagnosis is often key to effective medical treatment. Although the consequences of misdiagnosis and improper treatment can be devastating, misdiagnosis itself is not automatically grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
The key to proving medical malpractice related to misdiagnosis and improper treatment is demonstrating that the acting medical provider was negligent in their diagnostic method, or that they made a diagnostic error that would not have been made by a similarly trained medical professional presented with the same set of symptoms. Usually, this means that the doctor failed to include the correct diagnosis on their differential diagnostic list (a list of potential diagnoses in order of probability, based on presented symptoms), or that they included the correct diagnosis but failed to properly test or investigate the viability of the diagnosis.
Causes of Misdiagnosis
There are many errors that can result in misdiagnosis and improper (or delayed) treatment. Some of the most common causes of misdiagnosis include:
- Dismissal of reported symptoms
- Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests
- Contaminated or mixed up testing samples
- Misreading of diagnostic test results
- Miscommunication between medical providers (test results are not reported)
- Miscommunication between doctor and patient (the doctor does not follow-up to report diagnostic results or schedule appropriate treatment)
Consequences of Misdiagnosis and Improper Treatment
When a patient is misdiagnosed or submitted to improper treatment, it can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Establishing that a patient was harmed by misdiagnosis and improper treatment is a key aspect of proving a medical malpractice claim. Potential consequences of misdiagnosis and improper treatment include:
- More advanced illness or injury
- Need for more invasive or complicated treatment
- Prolonged physical or emotional suffering
- Side effects related to improper or unnecessary medical treatment
Medical Malpractice Damages
The damages sought in a medical malpractice case are dependent on the type of losses suffered by our Salt Lake City clients. Medical malpractice victims have the right to pursue compensation for any economic or non-economic damages related to misdiagnosis and improper treatment, such as:
- Medical expenses (including anticipated future expenses)
- Cost of ongoing therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost wages or loss of wage-earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Wrongful death damages (if the patient does not survive)
When a medical professional is negligent and a patient suffers physical, emotional, or financial damages as a result, they should be held liable for related losses. To find out how the lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, can be of assistance in pursuing compensation for medical malpractice damages, contact our law firm online or call (801) 335-6467 and schedule a personal consultation.