Skip to main content
Medical Malpractice

How Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice Is Determined

When you see a medical professional, you expect them to do their best to help you treat and recover from whatever ailment you’re facing. Unfortunately, no one is perfect and that includes doctors and other medical practitioners. Mistakes, like receiving the wrong diagnosis from your doctor, can and do happen. Not every wrong diagnosis incident is considered medical malpractice. However, misdiagnosis malpractice can occur if a medical professional is deemed negligent; in this case, you may have grounds for compensation if their negligence caused you harm.

What Is Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis happens when a medical professional incorrectly identifies your condition. This may be a type of medical malpractice if the doctor’s actions or inactions were negligent. To prove misdiagnosis medical malpractice, you must be able to demonstrate that your physician deviated from the proper standard of care, resulting in harm to you that could have otherwise been avoided with a correct diagnosis.

Signs of Misdiagnosis Medical Negligence

As mentioned, receiving a wrong diagnosis from a doctor doesn’t automatically mean you have a medical malpractice case. For example, it’s reasonable that even a specialist may initially have trouble diagnosing a complex or rare condition correctly. However, misdiagnoses of common conditions such as cancer, stroke, heart attack, or fractures are more likely to fall under malpractice because medical professionals can follow a clear set of procedures to correctly diagnose patients.

A misdiagnosis can be viewed as negligent if the doctor failed to:

  • Listen to or take notice of all patient symptoms and complaints
  • Order appropriate tests
  • Interpret test results correctly
  • Refer the patient to a specialist
  • Follow up with the patient
  • Consider all possible diagnoses according to medical history and symptoms

Effect of Misdiagnosis Malpractice

In a misdiagnosis case, a doctor may have prescribed treatment correct for the diagnosis you received, but not for your actual condition. This delays proper care or could even directly cause conditions to worsen. Untreated conditions can also lead to further complications such as long-term or permanent damage. Receiving a delayed diagnosis is also a stressful, anxiety-inducing event. Future interactions with medical professionals may be affected, especially if you believe your concerns were dismissed by the professional(s) who misdiagnosed you.

Work With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you received a misdiagnosis and believe your health was affected due to the negligence of a medical professional, you might feel unsure about your options. The team at Stephens & Holman may be able to help. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation. We’ll let you know if you have a case and what next steps you should take.