People nationwide, including in California, could be victims of medical errors, incompetence or oversight. If you are one of them, improper treatment could cause additional injuries, illness or even death. Along with the devastating consequences, navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit might be more challenging than expected, particularly if you do not understand the difference between misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis.
If your doctor examined you after you explained your symptoms during consultation and received appropriate examinations, you would expect to undergo the necessary treatment. However, the doctor failed to diagnose an illness, declared you healthy and sent you home without any treatment or medication. Missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose are terms for this medical malpractice, which could significantly affect your quality of life.
If your doctor sent you home with a clean bill of health, you would likely suffer severe mental anguish. Having no idea how to deal with ongoing symptoms and pain without treatment or medication could keep you from regaining normalcy, but it might even push you to self-treatment.
Although missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis sound similar, there is a difference. Misdiagnosis happens when you explain your symptoms, and your doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis. Your condition will deteriorate if the treatment you receive is for a different illness. Treatment and medication for a non-existing condition could cause significant harm to your health. Your body might react adversely to inappropriate treatment and possible side effects of the medicine. Furthermore, the lack of treatment for the condition the doctor failed to diagnose could allow your actual illness to become worse.
The consequences of misdiagnosis could lead to hopelessness and depression. Not only will your actual medical problem become worse, but also, you might have to deal with additional health problems caused by incorrect treatment and medication.
Your legal options:
You will likely have grounds to pursue financial recovery through the California civil justice system. For a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show the court a connection between the medical professional’s incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose and your resulting condition, injuries and losses.
To establish such a connection, you must base your medical malpractice claim on all four of the following conditions:
- Proof that the medical professional owed you a duty of treatment.
- Proof that the medical professional breached such duty.
- Proof that the consequences of the breach caused additional illness or injury.
- Proof that the breach caused you damages and losses.
The successful presentation of a medical malpractice lawsuit could result in a monetary judgment to cover your documented financial losses and mental or emotional damage.