According to national statistics, about 12 million patients receive an incorrect diagnosis from their medical providers every single year. This number is jarring, given how much faith and trust many patients put in their doctors that they will help them get better if they are sick or injured.
Even more alarming is how many of these patients don’t report the medical error because there is no simple way to do so, compared to other types of issues that consumers encounter. When a patient has suffered damages because of a missed, incorrect, or misdiagnosis, what legal options do they have for the pain and losses these medical errors cause?
One of the main issues with misdiagnosis is the patient realizing the doctor’s mistake, to begin with. Most medical issues have a variety of potential symptoms, and these symptoms affect patients differently. Some of the warning signs that a patient may have that their medical professional has made an error in their diagnosis include:
- There are no tests or other screenings to ensure that the diagnosis they have come up with is correct.
- The symptoms the patient is having do not match up with the diagnosis they have been given.
- The treatment the doctor has prescribed is not helping the patient’s condition and/or is actually causing more health issues.
If you have been a victim of a misdiagnosis or other medical error, even if you are not entirely sure, it is important for your health that you say something to your doctor. Not having a medical issue treated or treating it with the wrong medication can have an adverse effect on your health and cause even more serious medical problems. This can cause the patient to suffer emotional, physical, and financial stress as their health continues to decline.
A Virginia medical error attorney recommends that any patient in this situation take the following steps:
- Document all symptoms and any other health issues that arise: Even if something feels like it is only a minor symptom or may not be related to your current condition, it is important to document and keep a record of it.
- Consider getting a second opinion. If your doctor has made an error in your treatments, you need to confirm and make sure you receive the property treatments for your condition.
- Always bring someone with you to these appointments. Having someone with you is good emotional support, especially when you are not feeling well and may also be feeling overwhelmed because you are not getting better. They will also make a good witness in a malpractice case should the need arise.
- Never hesitate to ask your doctor questions. Many patients feel as if they are inconveniencing their doctor or are taking up the doctor’s time from their busy schedule. Remember, not only are you paying the doctor for this time, but you also have every right to have your questions answered.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuits
Multiple studies have found that incorrect or delayed diagnosis happens much more frequently than patients realize. One study, conducted by the National Academy of Medicine, found that the majority of us will receive at least one incorrect or late diagnosis in our lives. If you or a family member has suffered serious illness due to a doctor’s missed or late diagnosis, contact a seasoned Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options you may have.
The attorneys at our personal injury firm understand how devastating medical errors like these can be to a family, not only emotionally, but also financially. We have successfully represented many clients in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved and will aggressively advocate for you and your family. Call Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.