Medical malpractice lawsuits are incredibly complex legal cases that require the specific and comprehensive knowledge of a seasoned medical malpractice attorney in Indiana. When asking about a correlation between incorrect diagnoses and malpractice, the answer is muddled with varying factors. Determining whether a misdiagnosis is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit or not requires expert testimony.
Continue below to learn what you need to know about medical misdiagnoses and medical malpractice laws in Indiana, plus where to get trusted personal injury legal advice near you.
Medical Misdiagnoses Can Be Seriously Harmful to Patients
A medical misdiagnosis a wrong diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, both of which can be very dangerous to a patient’s physical and mental health. After being wrongly diagnosed, a patient can endure serious physical and mental harm as a result of incorrect treatments and medications, or delayed treatment. Diagnostic errors are bound to happen, and when they do, there can be very serious consequences.
An article was published a few years back in the popular medical journal, Diagnosis, discussing diagnostic errors and the impact it has on patients and their families. According to the data in the article, out of all medical malpractice claims that arise because of a patient’s death or permanent disability, virtually 34% were due to incorrect or delayed medical misdiagnoses. This 2019 diagnostic error study is especially fascinating because it covered a 10-year period that examined 28.7% of closed medical malpractice cases in the United States. Of these medical malpractice cases, it was found that over 11,500 diagnostic error claims were made by patients, and 75% of them based upon serious and potentially fatal diseases like cancer, vascular events (heart attacks, stroke, etc.), and infections.
Suing for a Medical Misdiagnosis
Doctors generally base their diagnoses on lab results, symptoms, and medical baselines and precedents. Because medical misdiagnoses are not always considered negligence, wrongfully diagnosed patients do not always have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order for a patient to sue a hospital, medical facility, or physician for being misdiagnosed, the misdiagnosis must be negligent. In the case that a physician or medical facility took all of the reasonable steps to properly diagnose a patient, they cannot be held legally liable under medical malpractice laws if the diagnosis is incorrect.
To protect yourself from being medically misdiagnosed, be sure to have questions prepared for your physician prior to your doctor’s appointment. Do not be afraid to speak up and seek out information regarding your diagnosis, testing, treatments, and care. Furthermore, it is important to be an active member of your treatment plan by being honest with your doctor and providing them with all medical records.
Do you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice due to a diagnostic error? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our personal injury attorneys represent clients throughout the state. We can hold consults over the phone or online via video conference.