Most medical malpractice cases involve misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, but there are a lot of factors that determine if you have a legal case. 

Diagnostic errors are common in the medical field, and therefore, medical professionals cannot always be held legally liable. For the case to be medical malpractice, there must be proven negligence, and those negligent acts must lead directly to the patient’s harm. 

You also need to demonstrate a patient-doctor relationship—this part isn’t usually difficult. But proving there has been negligence can prove challenging. 

Suppose a doctor or other medical professional contributed to a patient’s harm or injury due to their negligent actions. In that case, they could be vulnerable to a medical malpractice lawsuit if their efforts lead to the patient suffering further and even death. If death results from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and proven negligence, it may qualify as a wrongful death lawsuit.

Identifying Negligence

Diagnosis errors are not proof of negligence, but they can result from it. Even very experienced and careful doctors make mistakes. By law, doctors are not legally liable for errors. However, if there is negligence involved, that’s a different story. 

You’ll need to prove that the doctor did not act the way any reasonable, competent medical professional would perform. For example, if the doctor concluded the correct diagnosis but failed to treat the patient, they may be guilty of negligence

Another example might be if a doctor correctly diagnosed one condition but failed to recognize a second condition that needed to be diagnosed and treated that another doctor with the same specialty and credential could have identified.

In some negligence cases, it may not be the doctor who acted negligently. It is possible for another person involved in the process to be liable for the misdiagnosis. For example, if the doctor was given the wrong test results and reported them back to the patient, someone else may be held legally liable.

Defining Misdiagnosis 

Misdiagnosis can be very dangerous. But for a legal case to be considered medical malpractice, you must be able to prove that the medical professional’s negligence led to the patient’s harm or injury. 

In most cases, misdiagnosis means missing a medical condition. But it can also mean that a patient was diagnosed or even treated for a medical condition they do not have. If a patient can prove that the treatment for the wrong condition caused harm, the patient could be entitled to compensation. It’s important to note that the damage can be caused by the stress and anxiety of going through medical treatments.

What is a Delayed Diagnosis?

A delayed diagnosis means that a doctor eventually achieves the correct diagnosis after a significant amount of time. If the condition progressed beyond where it could have been caught in a more timely manner, there might be a case for delayed diagnosis.

Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton for Questions About Medical Malpractice

If you feel you have a case for medical malpractice, get in touch with the attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. We will help you define if you have a valid lawsuit and if so, we will represent you as you seek the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Contact us now for a free case consultation.