Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Lawyers in Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorneys Representing Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania and Beyond
When your doctor reports that you have a serious illness such as cancer or heart disease, you are naturally frightened. However, it is even worse to be misdiagnosed or told that everything is fine when it is not. This second scenario means treatment delays or that you receive the wrong treatment that either does nothing or actually harms you.
When a delay in diagnosis or the application of the wrong treatment because of a misdiagnosis causes injury, the medical professionals involved could be liable for the damaged they caused.
What Illnesses Are Most Frequently Misdiagnosed?
At the Pittsburgh
medical malpractice law firm of Berger & Lagnese, LLC our attorneys know the types of conditions most often cited in medical malpractice cases. For example, patients with these illnesses may face delayed or incorrect treatment because of misdiagnoses of:
Although these diseases are among the most common misdiagnosed conditions, having one of these illnesses and being misdiagnosed or experiencing a delay in diagnosis does not mean that you are the victim of medical malpractice.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice After a Misdiagnosis
As noted above, simply being misdiagnosed does not always rise to the level of medical malpractice. Rather, the plaintiff and his or her attorney must show that the doctor failed to provide medical care that met the accepted standard of care. The injured person must also prove that:
A doctor-patient relationship existed. For example, it would be difficult to sue a friend or relative who advised you about medical treatment unless that person was also your doctor. There was an injury. For example, the doctor may have been negligent, but unless you can demonstrate that the negligence hurt you, there is probably no case. There was a cause and effect relationship between the negligent care – the deviation from the accepted standard – and the injury. For example, if you were undergoing treatment for cancer and developed Lyme disease, it would be hard to make a connection between the two events and you would probably have no case.
These and other factors make it critical to have a lawyer who understands both the legal and medical issues involved in a medical malpractice case.
Contact a Skilled Misdiagnosis Attorney Today for a Free Consultation! Contact our western Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys today to learn about your legal options after medical negligence caused you harm, contact us today. Remember, the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese, LLC charge no attorney fees unless we win the case. About Berger & Lagnese
For more than 30 years, the attorneys of Berger & Lagnese have fought to obtain compensation for residents of Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania when they have suffered harm and injury due to misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose. Our attorneys believe that when a medical professional’s negligence causes a patient to suffer harm, that professional should be responsible for compensating his or her patient for the damages they have incurred as a result of the professional’s negligence.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose,
contact Berger & Lagnese today to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team. We will ensure that you understand your rights and options; let us have the opportunity to show you how our firm will fight to get you and your family the compensation and justice that you deserve. Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose Frequently Asked Questions
When we visit our medical providers because we do not feel well, we assume that they will quickly and accurately diagnose what is wrong with us. But medicine is a complex science, and it is possible to not get the right diagnosis each time. However, sometimes a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is caused by the negligent acts or omissions of our medical providers. When the medical professionals we trust with our health commit malpractice and we suffer further harm due to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, we deserve to be compensated for the damages that we incur due to the harm we’ve suffered.
FAQ: Can you sue for misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose?
It may be possible to assert a legal claim for compensation for misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose. To have a viable legal claim, it will be necessary to prove that the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose was caused by someone’s negligence.
FAQ: How do you prove misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose?
To prove a legal claim for misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, it is necessary to establish the four elements of negligence. First, you will need to establish that the person or entity whom you are asserting your claim against owed you a duty of care. You will also need to show that this person or entity breached the applicable standard of care in your case; the standard of care is usually defined as the acts or conduct that a reasonable medical professional of similar training and experience would undertake under the same circumstances. You will further need to show that your misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose caused you to suffer some injury or harm, and that you incurred some compensable damages
FAQ: Is misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?
Misdiagnosis could be the result of medical malpractice if your treating medical professional failed to do things that another medical professional of similar experience and training would have done in your case. Unfortunately, medicine is a complicated science, and it is possible for a medical professional to make no mistakes and still misdiagnose or fail to diagnose a condition; in that case, a misdiagnosis may not be considered medical malpractice.
FAQ: What should I do if I think I’ve been misdiagnosed?
If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed, it is important that you seek a second opinion from another medical professional. A different perspective on your symptoms can lead to the correct diagnosis. You should also speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case. You may have a potential claim for compensation if your misdiagnosis was the result of medical malpractice.
FAQ: What do I need to do to file a misdiagnosis case?
In Pennsylvania, any medical malpractice lawsuit, such as a lawsuit for a claim of misdiagnosis, must be accompanied by a “certificate of merit”. This certificate will include a statement from a medical expert stating that the expert has reviewed your case and has concluded that there is a reasonable probability that your misdiagnosis was the result of medical malpractice.
FAQ: How common is misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is unfortunately all too frequent an occurrence. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic of patients who sought second opinions, only 12 percent of patients were correctly diagnosed by their primary care providers, while over 20 percent of patients were misdiagnosed and 66 percent of patients required some change in details to their original diagnosis.
FAQ: What is a diagnostic error?
The National Academy of Medicine defines diagnostic error as the failure to (1) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problem(s) or (2) communicate that explanation to the patient.
FAQ: What are the most common causes of misdiagnosis?
Some of the most common causes of misdiagnosis include the medical professional’s failure to obtain the full and accurate medical history of the patient, lack of time to thoroughly complete the diagnostic process, ordering the wrong tests or misinterpreting tests, and failure to include all possible diagnoses (including the correct diagnosis) in the differential diagnosis.
FAQ: Who can be sued for misdiagnosis?
Although doctors are most commonly sued for misdiagnosis as they are the medical professionals most commonly involved in the diagnostic process, other individuals can be sued for misdiagnosis if their negligence leads to a misdiagnosis. These individuals include nurses, physician’s assistants, radiology technicians, and laboratory technicians. It may also be possible to sue the hospitals or facilities who employ these professionals pursuant to employer liability.
FAQ: How long do I have to file a misdiagnosis suit?
If you decide to file a lawsuit to pursue a misdiagnosis claim, you have a limited period to file your lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, this period, known as the statute of limitations, is two years from the date on which you discover the injury you suffered from your misdiagnosis, or seven years from the date of treatment, whichever occurs first. A child who suffers from misdiagnosis has seven years from the date of treatment or their 20th birthday, whichever occurs later, to file a misdiagnosis suit.
FAQ: What can I expect during my misdiagnosis case?
If you decide to pursue a claim for compensation for a misdiagnosis, you can expect that we will work diligently to obtain a full and fair monetary recovery for you. Oftentimes we are able to settle your claim without you ever needing to set foot in a courtroom. If it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit in your claim, there will be an extended period, known as discovery, where we exchange evidence with the other side and take depositions from relevant witnesses. Although some misdiagnosis cases can be resolved in a matter of months, it can take a couple of years before a case makes it all the way to trial.
FAQ: How much money can I expect from a jury award or settlement?
You may be entitled to receive compensation for various types of damages that you suffer. At a minimum, you may be entitled to be compensated for the additional medical expenses that you have had to incur as a result of your misdiagnosis. If your misdiagnosis causes you to miss work, you may also be entitled to recover your lost wages or income. And if your misdiagnosis causes you to undergo additional pain and suffering beyond that which would normally be caused by your condition (such as prolonging your recovery time or requiring you to undergo more intense or painful treatment), you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. You may also be entitled to recover damages for the loss of quality of life caused by suffering and harm from your misdiagnosis.