A misdiagnosis can lead to delayed or incorrect treatment, unnecessary procedures, and worsening of the underlying condition. That is why you need a skilled lawyer to thoroughly investigate your case, consult with medical experts, and build a strong legal strategy to pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Harvey & Foote, we understand the devastating impact that a misdiagnosis can have on your health and quality of life. Our experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys is dedicated to fighting for the rights of patients who have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis in medical malpractice cases refers to a situation where a healthcare provider fails to correctly identify or diagnose a patient's medical condition, leading to harm or adverse outcomes. It is a form of medical negligence where the healthcare professional's actions deviate from the standard of care expected in their field, resulting in substandard diagnosis and treatment.
Misdiagnosis can occur for various reasons, including:
- Inadequate medical history: If a healthcare provider fails to gather comprehensive information about a patient's medical history, symptoms, and risk factors, it can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis.
- Errors in physical examination: A thorough physical examination is crucial for reaching an accurate diagnosis. Mistakes in conducting or interpreting the examination findings can contribute to misdiagnosis.
- Laboratory and diagnostic errors: Errors in ordering or interpreting diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, imaging studies (X-rays, CT scans, MRIs), or biopsies, can lead to incorrect conclusions about a patient's condition.
- Failure to consider alternative diagnoses: Medical conditions can have similar symptoms, and it is essential for healthcare providers to consider all possible diagnoses. If they focus on a single diagnosis without exploring alternatives, it can result in misdiagnosis.
- Lack of specialist consultation: Complex or unusual cases may require the expertise of specialists. If a healthcare provider fails to consult with a specialist or refer the patient to one, it can lead to misdiagnosis.
- Cognitive biases: Doctors, like all humans, are susceptible to cognitive biases, such as anchoring bias (relying too heavily on initial information) or confirmation bias (favoring information that supports preconceived notions). These biases can influence diagnostic reasoning and potentially lead to misdiagnosis.
The consequences of misdiagnosis can be severe. Patients may receive unnecessary or inappropriate treatment, delay in receiving proper treatment, or experience progression of the underlying condition. In some cases, misdiagnosis can result in permanent disability or even death.
How to Prove Misdiagnosis
To establish a medical malpractice claim based on misdiagnosis, the patient must demonstrate the following:
- Doctor-patient relationship: The patient must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, indicating that the healthcare provider owed a duty of care.
- Breach of the standard of care: The patient must prove that the healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care by failing to provide a reasonable level of skill and competence.
- Causation: The patient must establish a causal link between the misdiagnosis and the harm suffered. They must demonstrate that the misdiagnosis directly resulted in the adverse outcomes or exacerbated the patient's condition.
- Damages: The patient must provide evidence of the harm or damages they suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis. This can include physical pain, emotional distress, additional medical expenses, loss of income, or diminished quality of life.
How We Can Help
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a misdiagnosis in Albuquerque, NM, our team is here to help. We have extensive experience in handling medical malpractice cases and will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
As dedicated advocates for our clients, we will guide you through the legal process, explaining your rights and options every step of the way. We understand the complex nature of medical malpractice cases and will fight diligently to protect your rights and seek justice on your behalf.
Contact Harvey & Foote today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable misdiagnosis attorney in Albuquerque.
In New Mexico and across the U.S., the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled through negotiations, thereby avoiding prolonged litigation. In most respects, this is a good thing. If you or someone in your family has suffered serious injuries, or a family member has died due to the negligence of another individual, a lengthy court battle can be emotionally taxing at a time when you are already coping with significant challenges.
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