There are several ways in which a healthcare provider may commit medical malpractice, but one of the most common relates to the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of an injury, illness, or other medical condition. When a provider’s misdiagnosis directly leads to a lack of treatment, a delay in treatment, or the wrong treatment, a patient may suffer a worse outcome or even death. If you or a loved one suffered ill effects from a misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation with the help of a KC attorney – but there is a difference between medical malpractice and simple provider error. Learn about your legal options and when to contact a Kansas City misdiagnosis lawyer.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is more than a simple error in judgment. True medical malpractice only occurs when all of the following apply:
A doctor/patient relationship existed. You can seek compensation from someone with whom you had an official in-office relationship – you can’t sue over advice you overheard at a party because you don’t have a professional relationship with the advice-giver.
Your healthcare provider violated his or her duty of care thereby committing negligence. Regarding medical malpractice, this means your provider did not follow protocol in accordance with best practices or in a reasonably skillful fashion.
Your provider’s negligence led directly to worsening symptoms, a poorer outcome, or injury. This is often one of the hardest points to prove in a malpractice case since many patients are already sick.
You incurred specific damages. The injury caused real damages as a result (for example, medical bills and lost wages).
Medical malpractice cases often rely on sufficient evidence for points two and three. For example, you must be able to prove it was negligence that led to a worse outcome in your case, not the nature of the disease or the medical condition itself.
How Does Negligence Relate to Misdiagnosis?
A misdiagnosis in and of itself is not enough to prove negligence. In fact, when you suffer from a relatively rare condition, many doctors might miss the diagnosis before arriving at its true cause. Skilled and competent doctors make diagnostic errors throughout their careers; this does not make them negligent. Negligence with regard to misdiagnosis stems from a provider action or inaction that deviates from an established standard of care. Doctors commit malpractice when they fail to do something a skillful doctor would have done under the same circumstances.
Healthcare providers may commit negligence if they fail to order the right diagnostic tests or refer to a specialist. Misdiagnosis can occur in any medical setting, but one of the most common places is in the emergency room, where doctors treat several patients at a time.
Contact a Kansas City Misdiagnosis Attorney
Medical malpractice cases require specific expertise and experience. At Wendt Law P.C., our Kansas City injury attorneys are committed to helping you gain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the intangible losses associated with your experience. To begin the legal claims process today, please contact us for a free case evaluation. Let our Kansas City medical malpractice lawyers provide a risk-free review of your case and help you decide on your next steps. Schedule yours today.