When you feel sick, you go to the doctor, trusting that the doctor will provide you with a good standard of care. Indeed, you expect that, after your doctor examines you and runs tests, your doctor will give you a diagnosis that reflects the ailment you are experiencing. Unfortunately, your doctor may give you the wrong diagnosis. Alternatively, your doctor may fail to diagnose the disease you are suffering. As a result, you may lose out on precious time to treat your disease and may suffer adverse health consequences.
You may be entitled to compensation if your doctor made a diagnostic error and harmed you. You should reach out to a competent personal injury attorney who can advocate for you. The attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC understand diagnostic errors and medical malpractice. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to connect with an attorney.
What Is A Diagnostic Error?
According to Johns Hopkins, 80,000 to 160,000 people die yearly because of diagnostic errors. Johns Hopkins also found that diagnostic errors are the most expensive and devastating type of medical mistake. Yet diagnostic errors can be challenging to detect.
Essentially, diagnostic errors are mistakes doctors make in diagnosing illnesses. There are three types of diagnosis errors: failing to diagnose a disease, late diagnoses, and incorrect diagnosis of a disease.
Failing To Diagnose
One type of diagnostic error is failing to recognize and diagnose a disease. When your doctor fails to diagnose your disease, you do not receive the necessary treatment.
The second type of diagnostic error is a delayed diagnosis. When your doctor diagnoses you with a disease later than a reasonably careful doctor would, you miss crucial time to begin treating your illness.
The third type of diagnostic error is incorrect diagnosis. This occurs when your doctor diagnoses you with the wrong disease entirely. You suffer harm because the doctor wastes time and resources treating the wrong illness while leaving your actual ailment untreated.
What Are Common Diagnostic Errors?
According to Johns Hopkins, there are three significant diseases that doctors often fail to diagnose correctly: vascular events, infections, and cancers. Johns Hopkins found that misdiagnoses of these three types of diseases accounted for 75% of all severe injuries from diagnostic errors.
What Causes Diagnostic Errors?
There are two primary reasons for diagnostic errors. The first is lack of knowledge. When your doctor doesn't know about your disease, your doctor can make an error in diagnosing you. Doctors should uphold a reasonable standard of care. If most doctors knew about your diagnosis and your doctor didn't, your doctor may have been negligent.
The second reason is problems with communication within the medical setting. If your doctor does not get the most recent information about your condition, it may be more difficult for your doctor to diagnose you correctly.
Can You Sue Your Doctor For A Diagnostic Error In Florida?
In Florida, you may sue your doctor for a diagnostic error. You must prove four elements for a medical malpractice claim.
- First, you must show that your doctor owed you a duty of care. A doctor-patient relationship is enough to establish a duty of care.
- Second, you must show that your doctor breached their duty of care to you when they acted negligently and made a diagnostic error.
- Third, you must demonstrate that you suffered harm.
- Fourth, you must establish that your doctor's diagnostic error caused your harm.
Let's look at an example. Suppose your doctor misdiagnosed your cancer because they did not know what it was. As a result, your cancer progressed and worsened. Did the doctor commit medical malpractice? If most other doctors would have been able to diagnose your cancer, then your doctor likely committed medical malpractice.
Florida Diagnostic Error Attorney
If your doctor made a diagnostic error, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. The savvy attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC have a deep understanding of diagnosis errors and medical malpractice. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to speak with an attorney.