A timely, correct diagnosis is imperative for most medical problems and conditions. Without an accurate diagnosis, effective treatment is impossible. A delayed or incorrect diagnosis can lead to the patient receiving the wrong treatment, and the actual illness going without aid. This can be detrimental in time-sensitive conditions, such as cancer, where a timely diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Misdiagnosis may be a form of medical malpractice in certain circumstances. For legal counsel with these types of cases in Fort Lauderdale, trust attorneys Jason and Debi Chalik who have experience in medical malpractice cases and compassion for your suffering after such an experience.
When Is Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice?
Sometimes a condition is difficult to diagnose by nature. A rare or unusual health issue can go incorrectly diagnosed for months or years without it being malpractice. If a reasonable and prudent physician would have also misdiagnosed the illness in the same circumstances, the courts will most likely not rule that it was negligence. Instead, it is just an unfortunate reality of the condition. If, however, another doctor would have seen the same patient and made a correct diagnosis, the doctor in question may be guilty of malpractice.
A physician may negligently misdiagnose a condition if he/she doesn’t listen to the patient’s complaints, doesn’t look at the patient’s history, misinterprets test or lab results, fails to screen for a particular condition, or fails to properly investigate the symptoms reported. These are all mistakes that a dutiful and responsible doctor would not make. While these errors are examples of negligence, they are not necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The patient must have other elements to make this claim.
To have a medical malpractice claim, a patient must show the doctor failed to demonstrate the level of skill and care that another doctor would have in the same circumstances. The patient must also prove the misdiagnosis caused him/her harm. For instance, that it led to a worsened prognosis or that the wrong treatment caused unnecessary harms. These are the elements necessary for a medical malpractice case in Fort Lauderdale.
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How to Sue for Misdiagnosis in Fort Lauderdale
In most cases, a patient can only sue the individual doctor for misdiagnosis. Most doctors are independent contractors and not employees of the hospital. Sometimes, however, it is possible to hold the establishment responsible for the actions of its physicians, lab techs, nurses, or others who may have contributed to the misdiagnosis. A discussion with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney about what happened to you can help you determine the potential defendant(s) in your case.
To sue for med mal in Fort Lauderdale, you must file your claim within two years of the injury, or four years maximum from discovering the harm. You need to file an affidavit with a physician’s signature stating he/she believes you have grounds for a claim for your misdiagnosis case. The case then has a 90-day settlement process. If the defendant indicates that he/she doesn’t wish to settle, you will have 60 days or the remainder of the statute of limitations to sue, whichever is longer. Don’t delay; call the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik today.