Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis happens frequently in the field of medicine. Fortunately, most of the time no serious harm is done to the patient, either because the problem is not serious or the mistake is caught quickly and corrected. However, when errors or delays are caused by negligence and result in harm to the patient, the state of Florida allows patients to sue to recover damages.
Determining medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis
As with any medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate negligence. Florida law does not allow lawsuits for just any error, since medical personnel are human and will sometimes make honest mistakes or have different medical approaches that are entered into with the full expectation that they are best for the patient.
In order to demonstrate negligence, you must demonstrate the “4 Ds”:
- Duty: The medical provider had the duty to provide care, which is to say that there is an established patient-doctor relationship, not just a casual remark from a medical professional you happen to know
- Dereliction of that duty: The physician or medical provider failed to follow standards of acceptable medical practice, such that another competent and prudent medical provider would follow
- Direct or proximate cause: The injury can be directly or closely connected to the medical negligence
- Damages: There is a clear injury for which patients can seek compensation
Misdiagnosis can come in many forms at any point in the diagnostic process, and for many conditions. Errors could be made in the collection of pertinent medical records; incorrect lab results or testing; negligence in the interpretation of results and/or follow-up procedures or tests based on the results of those tests; incorrect medication or dosage; and misdiagnosis of the condition itself. For instance, strokes and heart attacks are often mistaken for other conditions, which can be a very serious mistake, since both require quick action to prevent serious damage.
Proving medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis
Proving medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can be challenging and requires an attorney who has extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice.
As a medical malpractice attorney dedicated to helping my clients receive the compensation they deserve for injuries caused by medical negligence, I know how to research a case thoroughly, present powerful evidence, and win significant financial compensation for injured patients. I know how to dive deep into the details of your case and find red flags that may signal negligence. Expert witnesses in the precise fields of expertise needed in your case help determine where the providers deviated from acceptable standards of care.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, medical errors cause from 44,000 to 98,000 unnecessary deaths and in excess of 1,000,000 injuries every year. If you believe you have suffered injury or a loved one has died due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, contact me today at (954) 448-7288 from anywhere in Florida to schedule a free consultation.