July 26, 2018

I Was Misdiagnosed – What Are My Rights?


We count on doctors to provide us with correct and timely medical opinions. Their extensive training and experience should prepare them to determine what a variety of symptoms mean for you. When they aren’t sure about what kind of condition you may have, they should take the time to research your symptoms and give you a correct diagnosis. However, doctors don’t always get it right—and they may not take the time to research, or they may not want to second-guess themselves. So, what do you do when your doctor gets it wrong? You may have legal options.

What is Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor or other medical professional tells you that you have a medical condition that you really do not have or fails to identify a medical condition at all. The doctor ends up treating you for the wrong medical condition, or not treating you at all. Meanwhile, your actual problem goes unaddressed and may end up causing even more harm or damage because it continues without treatment. It can even lead to death. In some cases, the treatment that you are provided for the wrong condition can also cause damage.

When Does Misdiagnosis Turn into Medical Malpractice?

When you are misdiagnosed, it can lead to grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, not all misdiagnoses trigger the right to take legal action. You must meet certain conditions to move forward with a legal case. The medical malpractice attorneys at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP can walk you through these requirements. However, you can use this general checklist to get you started.

  1. There was a doctor-patient relationship (or relationship with another medical professional);
  2. The medical professional provided care that fell below the standard of care for the medical profession; and
  3. The doctor’s carelessness caused injuries to you.

How Do I Prove That the Standard of Care Was Breached?

Medical malpractice cases require expert testimony. Only a medically trained expert will be able to tell you if your doctor acted in a way that a reasonable medical professional in a similar situation would have done.

Having a misdiagnosis alone is sometimes not enough to show that medical malpractice occurred. Even highly trained doctors who are doing everything they should will occasionally misdiagnose a condition or disease.  However, doctors should go through a particular process to determine what your condition may be. Essentially, this process involves eliminating potential conditions based on your symptoms instead of starting with a probable diagnosis. When they don’t use this process, errors can result.

Contact Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP

The best way to determine whether you have a medical malpractice case is to talk to our team at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP. We can walk you through your options. If you think you have been misdiagnosed, but you aren’t sure, we can also help you find a doctor to provide a second opinion to get you the treatment you need. Our team cares and we are here to help you through this confusing time.

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