Misdiagnosis of Medical Conditions in Atlanta, Georgia
The treatment a patient receives is dependent on the diagnosis provided by their medical practitioner. Of course, different conditions require different forms of treatment. Treatment will often come with side effects that impact a patient. Those side effects are worth enduring to treat the underlying condition. One form of medical malpractice takes place when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient. Misdiagnosis means that the patient is not being treated for the condition they are suffering from, but it may also mean that the treatment they do receive causes unnecessary harm to that individual. When we seek treatment from a medical practitioner, we place our trust in that individual or facility. Mistakes made by medical professionals can have serious life-altering or even fatal consequences.
If you sought treatment from a doctor and received an incorrect diagnosis, you might have a claim against that provider. To learn more about your rights and your legal options for pursuing a claim against a medical practitioner, contact an Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorney. At The Moses Firm, our lawyers are experienced in handling complicated medical malpractice claims throughout the Atlanta area. Call us today at 404-721-1050 for a consultation with one of our dedicated and compassionate attorneys.
Why do Doctors Misdiagnose Patients?
When a patient seeks treatment for a medical condition, doctors must rely in part on the patient’s statements regarding their symptoms. If a patient comes in complaining of pain that could be indicative of a heart attack, the doctor will likely run tests to check for that severe condition, in some cases even if the doctor suspects a much less serious issue is causing the symptoms.
There are several reasons why a doctor may fail to diagnose a patient’s condition properly. The following are some common causes of misdiagnosis:
- Failing to review the patient’s medical history thoroughly
- Failing to listen carefully to the patient’s symptoms and complaints
- Failing to review medical records from previous exams and tests
- Failing to consider all of the potential causes of the symptoms the patient is experiencing
- Failing to order the proper diagnostic exams
- Failing to seek prompt test results
- Failing to review the test results promptly or at all
- Confusing test results and records from different patients
- Failing to seek an outside opinion from a relevant specialist
It is important to understand that not every misdiagnosis is considered malpractice. To prove the doctor committed medical malpractice, you must be able to indicate that the individual was negligent in their misdiagnosis.
Proving Negligence in Misdiagnosis Cases
Sometimes a doctor will misdiagnose the condition, but the misdiagnosis will not be the result of carelessness or negligence. Some diseases will have similar symptoms, and tests may not always perfectly indicate a condition is one thing rather than another. Proving negligence will require an expert witness who will be capable of analyzing the actions or omissions that your doctor took to reach your diagnosis. It is necessary to have an expert who is willing to sign an affidavit that they identified at least one negligent action taken by your doctor or medical practitioner to file your claim. If your doctor failed to take the necessary steps in reaching a diagnosis, failed to require certain tests, to consult an expert, or otherwise carelessly reached the wrong conclusion regarding your condition, then you likely have a claim against that practitioner.
Harm Resulting from Misdiagnosis in Atlanta
There are some cases where a doctor may be negligent, but in which that act or omission did not result in injuries to a patient. For instance, if the doctor misdiagnoses a condition, but the condition cleared up on its own without treatment, and the treatment prescribed for the erroneously diagnosed condition did not cause harm, there will be no claim for medical malpractice.
Sometimes, a misdiagnosis may result in a patient failing to undergo treatment for a disease that then progresses and causes other severe consequences. Perhaps the disease was once treatable, but there is nothing providers will be able to do in its advanced state. In such cases, the patient might have a claim for medical malpractice and should contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney to discuss the legal options for pursuing a claim.
Recovering Damages in a Misdiagnosis Case in Atlanta, Georgia
Medical malpractice claims, including medical misdiagnosis, can result in financial losses as well as physical and emotional pain. The law provides compensation for economic losses and non-economic losses resulting from a medical misdiagnosis. Economic losses include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of future treatments, medical equipment, and lost earnings. Non-economic damages address a patient’s pain and suffering resulting from the injury. In some cases, spouses may have a loss of consortium claim as well. To learn about the damages available in your particular case, contact an Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorney.
Call the Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Moses Firm Today
At The Moses Firm, our compassionate attorneys understand the devastating consequences of medical misdiagnosis. If you suffered from a misdiagnosis, you and your family have likely suffered economic and other hardships as a result. Call us today at 404-721-1050 to learn how our dedicated attorneys can help you and your family.