Medical malpractice law in the United States primarily exists in order to compensate patients who suffer harm due to a medical professional’s negligent care. Medical malpractice (or “med mal”) claims are relatively common in the United States and can be founded on a variety of different types of medical negligence, however, many med mal claims are based on diagnostic errors, namely misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose.
Misdiagnosis (i.e. being diagnosed with a medical condition that you do not actually have) occurs quite frequently in the medical profession, but it is important to note that just because a physician or other medical professional misdiagnosed a patient does not necessarily mean that he/she has committed medical malpractice. In order to have a successful medical malpractice claim on your hands you must be able to demonstrate that the defendant medical professional (1) owed you a duty of care, (2) breached that duty of care, and (3) as a result of that breach you suffered injury and financial loss. Therefore, the fact that you received a wrong diagnosis does not automatically mean that you have a viable medical malpractice claim unless the medical professional responsible for your misdiagnosis owed you a duty of care (which they likely did if you established a doctor-patient relationship with them), breached their duty of care by acting negligently or wrongly in some way, and as a result caused you harm.
Failure to Diagnose
Failure to diagnose (also commonly referred to as a “missed diagnosis” or a “delayed diagnosis”) medical malpractice claims are very similar to misdiagnosis claims in that both require a breached duty of care that resulted in harm to the patient-plaintiff, however a failure to diagnose occurs when a medical professional fails to identify a patient’s medical condition in a timely manner. For example, if a physician sees a patient who has chest pain and negligently sends them home without a diagnosis that patient may be able to sue the doctor for failure to diagnose if he later suffers a heart attack. Additionally, if that same physician conducts tests on the patient rather than sending him home but then negligently fails to give him the treatment that he needs in a timely manner.
Injured Due to a Medical Professional’s Negligence?
If you were injured, or experienced the worsening of a preexisting condition, due to a medical professional’s negligence in Florida, the experienced Ocala medical malpractice lawyers of Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. Medical malpractice claims are extremely complex and can be challenging to prove. Therefore, if you’re considering pursuing a med mal claim, it is extremely important that you consult with local attorney who has handled cases like yours in the past in order to discuss your legal options. To schedule a free face-to-face initial consultation with one of Piccin & Glynn’s experienced medical malpractice lawyers contact our Ocala office today at 352-581-6174.