Practicing medicine is not always an exact science. Problems may occur where snap decisions must be made, and they are not always correct. A problem fixing an automobile can be improved. Still, when medical choices or treatment are wrong, it may lead to undue suffering, worsened conditions, and may even ruin your life.
Legally, medical malpractice is commonly defined as a doctor, or any medical professional, harming you by providing negligent medical care by making an error during surgery, treatment, or in your initial diagnosis.
Medical malpractice is a much more common occurrence in the United States than you might have imagined. A recent report from Johns Hopkins University attributes medical malpractice as the third most common reason for death in this country, causing or contributing to approximately 225,000 deaths and even more injuries and complications.
If you are misdiagnosed, it could lead to you experiencing more severe injury or even death. If you feel that this may have happened to you, you or a loved one may file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible physician or medical institution.
Some severe conditions, and injuries, resulting from misdiagnosis can occur. As an example, these include heart attacks, cancers, strokes, and many more. If your doctor misdiagnoses your illness, you can suffer long-term damage, pain & suffering, extensive injury, and even death. Doctors usually always try to use all the tools at their disposal to avoid a misdiagnosis and take all steps to protect their patients; unfortunately, this may not be enough.
A misdiagnosis often results in significant problems moving forward. It is always a good idea to attempt to recognize your issues and pursue a second opinion should you even suspect your doctor has misdiagnosed you.
Just a few of the problems that you may experience after a misdiagnosis include:
- Receiving incorrect treatment and incorrect medical options.
- Not receiving the treatment you need for your condition.
- Delays in treatment that negatively impact your health.
If you, or a family member, even suspect that you may have incurred further injury due to a misdiagnosis, you need to immediately consult with an Augusta medical malpractice lawyer. Your lawyer has the experience and resources to approach these complex legal cases and fight for the compensation you need to get well.
How Could a Misdiagnoses Lead To the Filing Of a Medical Negligence Lawsuit?
An extremely high number of medical malpractice lawsuits result from your being misdiagnosed or from a delay in the correct diagnosis of your medical illness or injury. When your doctor’s diagnosis results in incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, your disease can be exacerbated, and you could even die.
The law, in most states, doesn’t always hold doctors legally responsible for all diagnostic errors. In most cases, you, and your medical malpractice lawyer, must prove three things to win and receive compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit based on misdiagnoses.
- An ongoing doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the doctor.
- The doctor was negligent in the diagnosis; they did not provide treatment in a reasonably skillful and competent manner.
- The doctor’s negligence contributed to or caused your injury or made it more severe.
Most medical malpractice cases hinge on either the second or third element. The question needed to be answered is, “was your doctor negligent, and did this negligence cause you harm?
The legal complexities of these cases mandate that you consult with a Georgia or South Carolina medical malpractice professional. Your lawyer, and their staff, will know what to look for, analyze your specific case, and have the tools to prove that compensation is rightfully owed to you and your family.
What Must I Do To Start My Medical Negligence Claim?
Initiating a medical negligence claim based on misdiagnoses may seem daunting, but your experienced medical negligence lawyer has successfully gone through the process a myriad of times.
The initial steps in starting your claim are:
Initial consultation with your lawyer – Your consultation with your lawyer will be vital in providing you with the facts as to whether you may have a claim or not.
- Funding of your case – In most medical negligence cases, if your lawyer feels confident about the specifics, the most common form of funding tends to be a “no win, no fee” agreement.
- Collection of all medical records and pertinent documents – Your lawyer will obtain and compile all your medical records. These will be reviewed by a medical specialist, as well as by your lawyer and their team. Depending on the specifics of your claim, if it looks more likely than not to be successful, your lawyer will notify the involved parties and pursue a settlement.
- Working with experts – This information will attempt to prove your medical negligence claim. There are essentially two tests that the Georgia courts will look at; they are that the treatment, or lack of treatment, provided to you was unreasonable (breach of duty) and that this negligence resulted or contributed to your harm.
- Valuing your claim – Once your law team is ready, they can begin to calculate the value of your claim. The value of your claim will consider many things, such as pain and suffering (general damages) as well as your out-of-pocket expenses (special damages) and more.
Each case of this type is unique, and there are, of course, other details that your professional and empathetic medical negligence lawyer will discuss with you. Be assured, however, your lawyer will do everything necessary to successfully present your case to the Georgia courts and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Must I Always Go Through a Trial in a Medical Negligence Case?
Once you have consulted with your medical negligence lawyer and begin proceedings, it doesn’t always mean there will be a trial. Most of these types of claims do not get that far. The courts then will commonly mandate a timetable to expedite resolution.
The timetable could include court directives such as;
- Exchanging sworn statements from the people involved in your treatment and recovery (including you and the doctors and nurses).
- Exchange of expert evidence and possibly arranging a meeting of the experts to meet with the accused’s experts to resolve disagreements.
However, if a settlement cannot be agreed on, the judge will need to determine the merits and value of a claim at a final trial. The entire process may take 18 – 24 months after proceedings have been started, but the outcome could be invaluable to your health and your family’s financial future.
I Do Feel I’ve Medically Suffered Due to a Misdiagnosis; How Should I Proceed?
First, seek out and consult with an Augusta medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. Any type of medical negligence case in Georgia has a “statute of limitations” of two years in which you need to file. Misdiagnosis happens at an alarming frequency, and you don’t want to allow this deadline to pass. Consult with an Augusta medical negligence lawyer, and you have the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.