Fort Lauderdale Medical Negligence Attorney
Medical misdiagnosis generally refers to a medical professional’s failure or delay in properly diagnosing a patient. A patient may be eligible for compensation if the misdiagnosis has resulted in injury or a further, unnecessary progression of the disease.
Misdiagnosis claims are governed by negligence and medical malpractice laws. In order to prove liability, it must be proven that the medical professional owed a duty of care to the patient, that he or she breached that duty and that the breach was the actual cause of the injuries.
It is important to note that failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis are not evidence of negligence on their own. Even doctors exercising reasonable care can make diagnostic errors. You will need to prove whether or not your doctor acted competently, which will involve investigating what your doctor did or did not do to arrive at your diagnosis. This may include hiring an expert medical witness in order to prove that your doctor did not take the same steps that a reasonable practitioner would have.
How Can I Prove That I Was Misdiagnosed?
Basically, in order to prevail in your misdiagnosis claim, you will need to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your practitioner, the your doctor did not provide treatment in a reasonably skillful and competent manner and that your doctor’s negligence caused you injury.
Typically, an incorrect diagnosis is due to one of the following:
- Misdiagnosis – When a doctor diagnoses the wrong illness.
- Failure to diagnose – When a doctor does not diagnose an illness or disease when one exists.
- Delayed diagnosis – A doctor eventually makes the correct diagnosis, but only after significant delay. Late diagnosis is one of the more common types of diagnosis error.
- Failure to recognize complications – A doctor makes the right diagnosis, but does not identify complications or factors which could change or aggravate the condition.
- Failure to diagnose a related disease – A doctor correctly diagnoses one condition, but fails to diagnose a related condition.
- Failure to diagnose an unrelated disease – The doctor correctly diagnoses one condition, but fails to diagnose a completely unrelated second condition.
It is also possible that a doctor can misdiagnose a patient due to faulty diagnostic equipment or other human error, such as a lab tech mixing up samples or any other specialist or technician missing something on an x-ray or pathology slide. If this is the case, there may be several parties that are liable for your injury. It is also possible to be misdiagnosed in an emergency room due to the volume of patients requiring care.
What Damages Could I Receive After a Misdiagnosis?
After a misdiagnosis, you may be eligible for monetary damages. You could be entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, treatment, and medications associated with your misdiagnosis. Additionally, you may also be entitled to receive lost wages and other damages that might be related to the misdiagnosis.
BE YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE TO AVOID MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN FORT LAUDERDALE
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reports medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—following heart disease and cancer. This is an alarming statistic: In 2012, there were over $3 billion spent in medical malpractice payouts averaging one payout every 43 minutes.
Florida was rated number five out of 50 states for medical malpractice payout in 2012 with recoveries of over $200 million. Becker’s Hospital Review statistics for 2012, reported that of the $3.6 billion in medical malpractice payouts nationally for 2012, Florida had $203,671,100 in payouts.
According to Becker’s report, most of the medical malpractice claims consisted of injuries related to diagnosis, surgery, treatment, obstetrics and medication. Is there anything you can do as a Fort Lauderdale resident to avoid becoming one of these unfortunate statistics?
There is. You must become your own health-care advocate and be proactive about your medical care. With the amount of health and medical research available on the Internet there’s no reason to go to your health provider unprepared. Document your symptoms and prepare a written list of questions and then demand full and complete answers.
Sometimes patients are intimidated by the medical system and physicians. Yes, it’s important to place a level of trust in your doctor or nurse, but it’s also important to listen to your body. Consider bringing a family member or friend with you during visits to health-care providers. Sometimes, they will remember things that you forget or have additional questions that can help provide important information about your diagnosis or patient care.
In an interview about medical malpractice in Forbes, a medical malpractice attorney in Virginia, believed that, “Hospital systems and health-insurance companies significantly impact the quality of medical care that patients receive, and, in my opinion, that impact is not always for the best.”
In regard to being your own advocate he stated, “Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion! And don’t be afraid to find a new doctor if you don’t feel that you’re receiving proper medical care. Your health is too important to place in the hands of a provider who hasn’t earned your confidence, isn’t answering questions or isn’t giving you—or your condition—adequate time and attention.”
Currently, the Fort Lauderdale-based EZ Doctor, as reported in Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Sentinel provides patient scheduling and video chats with doctors in order to facilitate better doctor-patient communication so consumers can learn important facts about a doctor, from education and board certifications to malpractice claims and settlements.
However, the company sees its potential money-maker in a bigger market: providing detailed physician reports for consumers researching new doctors.
After getting lots of patients asking if particular doctors were good, the co-owner of EZ Doctor, Marsidi realized they couldn’t really answer those questions. Marsidi said, “We can buy a Carfax report on any used Honda we’re buying, but we can’t do that for a doctor.”
EZ Doctor began setting up a nationwide system to gather information about doctors from states and courthouses, and collecting patient reviews, to provide a report to consumers.
Their reports include a doctor’s education; board certifications; hospital affiliations; average price of a prescription; publication; any disciplinary actions or criminal offenses; malpractice claims, dismissals or settlements; and insurance taken. The reports also give a summary of patient reviews and rankings online. The information is updated monthly.
This is a good way for South Florida and Fort Lauderdale residents to be their own patient advocate.
Ft. Lauderdale Misdiagnosis Lawyers
The most difficult part of obtaining compensation for your injuries is proving that the physician’s misdiagnosis was the actual cause. In this case, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney working for you. A medical misdiagnosis can lead to serious injury or wrongful death. The medical malpractice attorneys from Wolf & Pravato will investigate your claim, hire expert witnesses if necessary and do what it takes to prove your case. If you have suffered an injury or misdiagnosis in Fort Myers – contact the Fort Myers Medical Malpractice Lawyers at 1-954-633-8270.
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