One of the most common reasons that doctors face medical malpractice lawsuits is because of misdiagnoses. A misdiagnosis can occur for many reasons, from a patient not giving the medical provider enough information to the medical provider failing to order the correct tests. A misdiagnosis happens when a medical provider determines an incorrect diagnosis, fails to provide a diagnosis or delays a diagnosis for a length of time. In every case, malpractice relies on the patient suffering harm in some way.
It is more common than you may think to see patients with misdiagnoses. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of all medical cases have diagnostic errors. Many errors are caught before they lead to injuries; That isn’t the case for everyone though.
Why do misdiagnoses happen?
Keep in mind that not all doctors have the same training. Some doctors have been practicing for years, while others may be new to the field. If you are concerned about any diagnosis that you receive, it is important to trust your instincts and get a second opinion, go to the hospital or seek emergency care. It is within your rights to seek a referral to a specialist as well.
Misdiagnoses can happen because doctors misread documents, mix up patients or miss important symptoms to point to a different diagnosis. Yes, some conditions are extremely hard to diagnose, and it can take a period of time before it’s possible to accurately diagnose the patients with them. In most cases, diagnoses should be able to be made based on the appropriate tests within a reasonable amount of time.