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Malpractice and Misdiagnosis: What’s the Link?

Malpractice and Misdiagnosis: What’s the Link?

When clients seek a Florida Medical Malpractice lawyer, it’s more than likely they've become the victim of a doctor's mistake.

Misdiagnosis can become a form of Medical Malpractice. Medical dramas and social media don’t adequately depict the horrors of what happens when a doctor fails to recognize a stroke or performs an unnecessary surgery. When clients seek a Florida Medical Malpractice lawyer, it’s more than likely they’ve become the victim of a doctor’s mistake.

What happens when Misdiagnosis occurs?

There are some instances where doctors fail to order correct testing or provide a pattern of substandard care. Remember to check a doctor’s reviews prior to seeking their care, if possible. Google Reviews and ZocDoc can tell patients a lot about the physician. Everything from bedside manner to standard of care is available on these websites. Doctors who fail to register their practice on these sites and allow patients to provide feedback are not acting transparently.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient correctly, they wind up in even more pain. As a result, this leaves a patient feeling worse than before their appointment. As for the physician they may be committing a form of Medical Malpractice known as Misdiagnosis. This is not a term anyone is using lightly. Understanding what this legal term actually means is important in cases such as those with brain injuries.

Why? Certain injuries such as stroke can be fatal without a correct diagnosis, quickly.

Read more: What is a Stroke Misdiagnosis Case?

What are the consequences of Misdiagnosis?

Sometimes we fail to consider the physicians that treat us can have a less than outstanding track record. Ensure that any doctor performing a medical procedure is Board Certified and their license is free of any negative marks.

The consequences of Misdiagnosis are far reaching. Failure to correctly make a diagnosis in a timely manner leads to unnecessary procedures and causes harm. Failure to diagnose a brain injury, confusing it for another injury such as a concussion, has negative consequences for patients. Failing to diagnose something as serious as a TBI, can be fatal.

Can Floridians trust all physicians?

Not all physicians are equal! Remember, not every doctor receives Board Certification (it’s the same with attorneys). And those are the doctors not fit to treat patients! When a patient sees a physician after an accident, they’ll usually find the physician can easily figure out what’s wrong. After diagnosing the problem, a competent physician can treat the injury and restore a patient’s quality of life.

Malpractice can occur not only when a doctor does too much but when he or she fails to do enough. We list some examples of upholding a duty of care and acting responsibly below.

  • Ordering diagnostic imaging. MRI, CT, X-ray and DTI scans are all appropriate methods of diagnostic imaging for patients with injuries ranging from bone to brain.
  • Providing reading materials or links to legitimate websites such as PubMed and Mayo Clinic for the patient to learn more about their diagnosis.
  • Referring the patient to a specialist. It’s important for patients to have the chance to receive a second opinion when the treating doctor is unsure of how to proceed with their care.
  • Using conservative methods of care before referring the patient for immediate surgery. If conservative methods are available, the patient should know about them.
  • Speaking with the patient about their expectations for recovery. Doctors must ensure a patient’s expectations are reasonable. Patients may blame a physician when they don’t return to full health quickly, and this may be due to a doctor being unclear with the patient.

Competent doctors may send patients out for further diagnostics. This is due to the fact the best doctors admit when they’re unfamiliar with symptoms. When a physician sends a patient to a specialist, they’re acting responsibly.

What is diagnostic imaging?

We establish that diagnostic imaging is one way doctors can ensure they’re properly treating a patient. But, what is diagnostic imaging? We know diagnostic imaging is necessary to piece together the patients “medical puzzle”. Imaging pins down the cause of the patient’s injury by using scans or ultrasound technology to view bones, tissues, muscle, and more.

Types of imaging can include:

  • Imaging such as MRI, CT scan, or X-Rays
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsies or other pathology
  • Endoscopy, colonoscopy
  • Nerve conduction studies, EEG
  • Echocardiogram or EKG

When a physician receives results of testing, they will schedule a followup to go over them with the patient. This is when they discuss further treatment options, if the pathology found within the results requires it. A lot of the time, the patient fully recovers after receiving the correct treatment for their injuries.

What is Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice and Misdiagnosis?

Remember: in the state of Florida, the Statute of Limitations is (2) two years­. Therefore, retaining a lawyer and filing a claim is a time sensitive issue. And it’s one that requires due diligence! If a victim with a TBI exceeds the Statute of Limitations, the court will dismiss the case.

What are Floridians’ rights to compensation after Malpractice?

When a patient receives a misdiagnosis from a physician, they have a right to compensation. Compensation is sought on their behalf by a Personal Injury lawyer with experience in medical malpractice. This means a lawyer who’s in the trenches. Top brain injury lawyers see the inside of a courtroom every month on behalf of their clients fighting misdiagnosis cases. However, before a victim can receive compensation for pain and suffering, there are certain requirements that must be met. Medical Malpractice is among the most serious claims a patient can make against a doctor. These claims must be substantial to the letter of the law before a judge can award just compensation.

The next section of this article seeks to explain the requirements.

Requirements for litigating a Medical Malpractice claim in Florida

To file a this type of claim against a healthcare provider in Florida for Misdiagnosis, the following criteria must exist:

  • A physician-patient relationship is present. If a patient has been seeing the provider on a regular basis, and they have been treated for the diagnosed condition for a period of time, the doctor-patient relationship is present. There are some cases that do not satisfy this requirement. One example, a situation where a patient receives care indirectly. This implies the patient has no direct doctor-patient relationship with the third-party physician, and therefore the requirement isn’t being met.
  • Negligence on the doctor’s part. A victim and their lawyer must be able to show that a doctor’s negligence is the cause of irreparable injury. We trust our physicians to meet the standard of care. They must uphold the Hippocratic Oath they swore upon graduating medical school. When they fail to do so, it’s patients who are suffering. Usually a medical expert testifies during trial or attends a deposition to determine the validity of this claim.

What else should I consider when dealing with Malpractice?

  • Did the doctor cause the injury? We go to the doctor when we’re sick or in pain. It’s necessary to prove that the treating physician is the cause of worsening injury or illness. Also, that it was not an underlying condition causing the patient to deteriorate while being under the physician’s care. In many cases of TBI Misdiagnosis, a doctor confuses the symptoms for a concussion. Leaving a TBI too long can result in permanent brain damage and death.
  • The injury causes irreparable harm or damage to the patient. Negligence alone does not satisfy requirements for a Misdiagnosis claim. The patient needs to prove because of the doctor’s neglect in correctly identifying the injury, they’re suffering irreparable harm.

Wait… what else do I need to know about Malpractice?

Yes! Misdiagnosis is complex and far reaching. Continue reading to fully understand how Misdiagnosis can factor into your Personal Injury case.

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient incorrectly. It becomes Medical Malpractice when the doctor provides incorrect treatment. In certain instances, the doctor is liable for pain and suffering. A judge may also order they pay damages to the patient for causing harm. A common injury receiving Misdiagnosis is TBI. TBI injuries are “invisible”, and thus, can receive the wrong diagnosis if doctors don’t use a duty of care.

Misdiagnosis is often the cause of avoidable injury and fatalities if caught early in the patient’s care. A trustworthy doctor is one who confronts their error in diagnosis. A doctor who reviews test results again to fully understand what went wrong. This is known as meeting the standard of care. However, there are physicians who act carelessly. These are doctors who won’t give a patient’s chart a second glance. This can result in a disastrous outcome for the patient. If the error isn’t caught and misdiagnosis occurs, the patient’s life is then at risk. Ultimately, a wrongful death may leave the physician liable for avoidable tragedy.

Florida’s best Personal Injury lawyers

When a Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis victim satisfies requirements to bring a lawsuit against a negligent physician, they must act quickly to retain a Personal Injury lawyer. It’s important the attorney has the client’s best interest. The lawyer also must have previous successful outcomes with complex injury, TBI, Misdiagnosis, and Medical Malpractice cases. Shaked Law Firm satisfies these requirements!

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