A wrong diagnosis happens when a medical professional fails to identify a health problem or issues an inaccurate diagnosis. Incorrect diagnoses can have dire consequences, from delaying a much-needed treatment to patients receiving treatments that cause more harm than good.
According to Illinois state law, you can sue a medical practitioner for medical malpractice if they failed to diagnose a significant injury or disease correctly. According to negligence law, a medical expert may be financially responsible for a misdiagnosis that resulted in serious harm. The third most populous city in the U.S. happens to be Chicago, which is also the most populated city in the state of Illinois. In a city this big, it is common to witness or experience personal injuries or harm due to the negligence of another party. Chicago residents must be aware of their legal rights involving medical misdiagnosis cases. Keep reading to learn more about the causes and factors behind typical misdiagnosis cases.
If you happen to be a resident of Chicago, IL, and are a victim of medical negligence leading to a misdiagnosis, you must be aware of the causes and factors that Chicago wrong diagnosis attorneys often determine in the cases they take on:
No Time or ResourcesA lack of time and resources is a common cause. For example, overworked healthcare providers don’t have enough time to sit with patients and listen to their symptoms. In addition, they might not have the equipment or resources needed to conduct tests.
Wrongful DiagnosisSometimes, a wrongful diagnosis results from a lack of experience or expertise. It can happen if a young doctor overlooks some symptoms or a generalist fails to refer their patient to a specialist.
MiscommunicationsUnfortunately, miscommunications happen in healthcare. Doctors and nurses need help understanding what a patient is describing or assessing the severity of the symptoms the patient is reporting.
Over 12 million Americans receive an inaccurate misdiagnosis every year. There are some key factors contributing to this worrisome trend:
The healthcare system needs to be more cohesive. It can be challenging for medical teams to communicate and share their observations.Language can be a barrier. For example, a patient who isn’t fluent in English might have difficulty describing their symptoms.Some communities need help accessing healthcare due to a lack of insurance, staff shortages, or living in isolated areas.Healthcare providers may have implicit biases leading to discrimination against patients based on race or socioeconomic status.
An inaccurate or delayed diagnosis can drastically affect one’s health and even lead to death. Victims have some legal recourse in these situations.
Medical Malpractice ClaimsIn most cases, the victim can file a medical malpractice claim. This case seeks compensation from a medical professional who failed to provide the level of care the patient needed. Examples include a misdiagnosis resulting in delayed treatment, a patient who took a medication that caused more harm than good, or a patient who underwent unnecessary surgery.
A misdiagnosis can sometimes result in the death of the patient. In this challenging situation, the patient’s loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Proving NegligenceA healthcare provider has a duty of care. This duty of care includes providing the services the patient needs. Therefore, for a misdiagnosis case to be valid, a plaintiff must prove that the medical professional failed to meet their duty of care and acted negligently.
It’s also crucial to show a direct link between the mistake the healthcare professional made and the consequences the patient experienced.
Proving negligence is complex, so you need a lawyer specializing in medical cases. They can work with medical experts who can review your case, assess whether you have a valid claim, and give their expert opinion on what your doctor did wrong.
Settlements and TrialsIf you have a valid medical malpractice case, your attorney will typically attempt to negotiate with the medical professional and their insurer. You will likely receive a settlement offer, and your lawyer can advise you whether or not to accept it based on what the insurer offers.
If you don’t settle your case, your lawyer will file a medical malpractice case in civil court, where a judge or jury will issue a verdict.
A misdiagnosis is a grave medical mistake. It can prevent you from receiving the treatment or result in a treatment that causes more harm than good.
Misdiagnosis cases are complex, but a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice cases can help you navigate this process and attain peace of mind.