How to handle a misdiagnosis

by | Dec 22, 2020 | medical malpractice

Misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis in Louisiana occurs when the doctor makes a mistake in the diagnosis and treatment of a condition. Each year, around 12 million Americans get an incorrect diagnosis, and half of the cases could result in further harm. Patients who have been wrongfully diagnosed can take some legal steps to prove their case.

Mitigation of damages

Mitigation means that the plaintiff has the duty to take reasonable action to lower damages. If a patient follows all the doctor’s orders and they still don’t get better, this lends weight to their claim of medical malpractice. They should not delay urgent treatments or wait on purpose. The defendant may make the claim that the patient didn’t attempt mitigation, which might absolve them of paying damages.

Proof of negligence

Not all medical errors mean a wrongful diagnosis occurred, and not all injuries warrant a malpractice claim. Misdiagnosis becomes more likely with certain conditions, but doctors must follow a standard of care that a doctor under the same circumstances would follow.

Doctors must provide the patient with full medical care and have a relationship with the patient. Billing statements and medical records can prove the extent of the relationship. Malpractice claims should show that the doctor breached their duty of care and that their negligence caused an injury.

Second opinions

A serious disease may benefit from a second opinion even when the doctor and patient have a good relationship. A second opinion may confirm the condition or offer treatments that the primary doctor missed. Statistics show that one in five patients gets different results from a second doctor. If a patient seeks a second opinion, they should take their past medical records with them.

Patients have the right to file a medical malpractice claim against a doctor for misdiagnosis. An attorney may be able to determine if a patient has a valid case.