When we’re sick or injured, we visit doctors to access their medical expertise. We expect doctors to be able to provide the treatment we need to get better. Sadly, a negligent doctor may fail a patient from the start by misdiagnosing their condition.
A misdiagnosis is more than a mistake. This error can have severe consequences, including disease, injury, and death. If you or a loved one suffered from a health issue and believe an inaccurate diagnosis is the cause, contact Wagner Reese to speak with our Indianapolis misdiagnosis attorneys.
Send us a message or call to speak with our legal team during a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
What Qualifies as a Misdiagnosis Error?
Misdiagnosis can include incorrect diagnoses, as well as the failure to diagnose a health issue promptly.
The following errors can be defined as misdiagnosis:
- Providing treatment for an ailment a patient does not have
- Delaying a diagnosis
- Ignoring a condition completely
- Overlooking complications
- Downplaying the severity of an issue
The Responsibility of Medical Professionals
To correctly diagnose a person, medical professionals must ask many questions about how the patient is feeling, their medical history, and any medications they are currently using. In addition to questioning a patient, a doctor may need to conduct tests to confirm or deny their theories, or detect any hidden causes of the ailment. A doctor who fails to complete a thorough investigation of a patient’s symptoms could be liable for any damages that result.
Potential Causes of Misdiagnosis Errors
Medical professionals are supposed to be experts on health. We rely on doctors, nurses, and specialists to advise us on the conditions we may possibly be suffering from, and recommend the most effective treatment. The underlying cause of all misdiagnosis cases is negligence — medical professionals have a responsibility to provide quality care to their patients, and an incorrect diagnosis is a failure to do that.
A doctor may misdiagnose a patient because of inexperience or oversight. It is not uncommon for medical conditions to share symptoms, which can be the cause of a misdiagnosis. Confusing two similar conditions is not a simple mistake — it can truly be a matter of life or death.
It is also possible, in misdiagnosis cases, that another party is liable for the results of inaccurate testing. If a doctor relied on a false test to decide on a diagnosis, the lab or testing equipment manufacturers may be at fault.
The Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Health Issues
Some illnesses and injuries are more frequently misdiagnosed than others. Sadly, many of the issues that are most often diagnosed incorrectly are serious and even life-threatening.
Doctors frequently misdiagnose medical conditions such as:
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Celiac diseases
Issues Caused by Misdiagnosis
A doctor who fails to diagnose a person correctly endangers that patient by not addressing their condition. Furthermore, a patient who is misdiagnosed may develop further issues as a side effect of whatever medication and treatment they do receive. This can lead to a wide variety of additional illnesses and injuries including but not limited to infections, allergic reactions, and death.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
In most medical establishments, diagnosing a patient involves the work of multiple people. This can make it difficult to determine liability in misdiagnosis cases, which is why you need the help of Wagner Reese’s experienced attorneys. We are prepared to fully investigate your medical malpractice case, find who is responsible for your suffering, and build a case to recover compensation for the damages.