Doctors aren’t expected to be infallible with every diagnosis, but they are expected to be reasonably competent in all aspects of medical care, including diagnosing medical problems. That means that a misdiagnosis could be a form of medical malpractice, although it is not in every case.

Typically, your doctor can be considered to be liable for malpractice based on a misdiagnosis if:

  • The doctor failed to complete a medical history.
  • The physician failed to recognize obvious or known symptoms of an illness.
  • The doctor failed to recommend or administer appropriate diagnostic tests based on the symptoms you were exhibiting.
  • The physician or any care provider misread the test results.

There are certain conditions that doctors may misdiagnose more than others and/or where a misdiagnosis can have more serious consequences. Examples include pulmonary embolisms, cardiac problems, cancer, fetal distress and meningitis.

In situations where your doctor misdiagnoses these or other illnesses, the key test of whether you will be able to recover compensation is whether the doctor’s failure led to a worse outcome and caused harm. Simply being frustrated or emotionally upset about a misdiagnosis is not enough to give rise to a medical malpractice claim.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

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