A misdiagnosis of an illness or injury can have serious implications. A patient may not receive necessary care, or an individual may spend money on inappropriate care that is ineffective and that may even make the condition worse or create a new health problem. In the meantime, an illness can progress, or a problem can go untreated, which may lead to further physical harm and a worsening of pain. Even if the condition is still treatable when a correct diagnosis is made, the likelihood of a successful outcome may be diminished. An inaccurate diagnosis, or a delay in getting a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment, may cause a person to be unable to work and participate in normal activities and may even lead to death.
If you suffered harm because of a misdiagnosis, a Los Angeles misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help you seek a financial award as compensation. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has handled thousands of personal injury cases for victims located across the United States. Our firm partners with attorneys throughout the country to better serve our clients. A member of our team can travel to meet with you in person to discuss your case. Call our office at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our staff and to explore your legal options.
Is Misdiagnosis Evidence of Malpractice?
Differential diagnosis is a method that doctors use to diagnose a patient’s condition. A physician makes a list of possible diagnoses, lists them in order of probability, and then gathers further information from the patient, from tests, and from consultations with specialists to figure out which diagnosis is correct. A doctor may be found negligent, as defined by the Legal Information Institute, if he or she did not consider the correct diagnosis during a differential diagnosis process or did not order tests or seek a second opinion to gather information that might have confirmed the correct diagnosis.
If a doctor misdiagnosed a problem, that does not necessarily mean that the physician committed malpractice. Doctors make mistakes. In some cases, a physician makes an accurate diagnosis but fails to identify complications, a disease that commonly occurs along with the diagnosed illness, or an unrelated condition.
A doctor may receive inaccurate information from a lab or radiologist that may in turn cause the physician to make an incorrect diagnosis. The problem may be due to faulty equipment, flawed procedures, or human error. Lab test results may be inaccurate if a technician did not use the correct procedure, if samples became contaminated or were mislabeled, if results were mixed up, or if a technician or physician misinterpreted test results or missed key information. In those cases, a laboratory employee or another doctor who misinterpreted the results may be liable for the eventual misdiagnosis. If staff in a hospital made an error that led to an inaccurate diagnosis, the hospital may be held liable.
Patients can be misdiagnosed in emergency rooms because hospital staff members often do not have enough time to perform a series of tests and to consider all possible diagnoses. People who come to emergency rooms with less common conditions or who do not have characteristics commonly associated with certain medical problems may not be accurately diagnosed. For example, doctors may fail to recognize a heart attack in a young, seemingly healthy person but may make a correct diagnosis in an older, overweight patient.
To prove that a doctor committed malpractice, an attorney must show that the physician failed to meet the standard of care, as defined by the National Institutes of Health, and that the misdiagnosis caused an injury to the patient because the individual received improper treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment. An attorney must demonstrate that another physician with similar education and experience would have made an accurate diagnosis under the same circumstances.
How a Los Angeles Misdiagnosis Lawyer May Be Able to Help You
If you suffered harm because a doctor made an inaccurate diagnosis or because there was a delay in receiving an accurate diagnosis, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to pursue justice for you. We can investigate to figure out what led to the misdiagnosis and who was responsible. Members of our team can speak to you and members of your family about your experience with a particular doctor or hospital. Our Los Angeles misdiagnosis lawyers can review your health care records and consult medical experts to figure out whether a physician, hospital, or laboratory was negligent. If so, we can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for what you have had to endure.
We may sue to seek compensation for medical expenses, including physical and occupational therapy and home health care, as well as lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If you were diagnosed with an illness that you did not, in fact, have, we may be able to seek compensation for medical bills related to unnecessary treatments, as well as emotional pain and suffering. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with a member of our team.
For a free legal consultation with a misdiagnosis lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Contact Us to Seek Justice
A misdiagnosis can have devastating physical, financial, and emotional effects. If you have suffered because you did not receive a correct and timely diagnosis, a Los Angeles misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to pursue a financial award to compensate you for your expenses and pain and suffering.
You should not be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on a contingency basis. If you hire us to represent you, we will cover the costs of litigation ourselves, and our firm will only be paid if we obtain a financial award for you.
Because of California Statute § 340.5, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for medical malpractice. You must file a lawsuit no later than three years after the date of injury or one year after the date when you discovered or should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first. Since investigating a misdiagnosis case is likely to be a complex endeavor, the sooner you contact us, the better. Call our office at (800) 794-0444 to get the process started.