Due to pain in your back and abdomen, you have been to see multiple doctors over the last several years. You have been diagnosed with everything from severe constipation to minor a back injury. You have undergone more than one surgery to fix the problem and been prescribed a multitude of different medications.
Nothing seemed to help. You were eventually diagnosed with multiple herniated spinal discs and a tumor that sat on your lower spine. According to your current doctor, you condition should have been caught long before now. You had been receiving a different misdiagnosis from every other doctor you had seen.
Being misdiagnosed is not an uncommon occurrence. You are one of millions that have been victims of doctor error.
Startling statistics on misdiagnosis
A recent study published in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety states that one in every 20 adults that goes to the emergency room or a community health clinic is misdiagnosed. This means that roughly12 million people per year receive the wrong diagnosis. Of these, 6 million people might suffer harm due to the doctor's mistake.
The study also found that more than 5 percent of original diagnoses were wrong. Errors occur due to a combination of factors. Doctors have a very limited time with patients, whose symptoms can be very complex. Doctors also lack support and technical help that could aid them in using good reasoning on a consistent basis.
Regardless of the reason behind the error, you have suffered pain and harm due to years of being misdiagnosed and someone should be held accountable for that. As a victim of misdiagnosis, it is important to look at all of your options.. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the process if you decide to pursue a claim in court.
What does it take for a misdiagnosis claim to be successful?
When a patient is misdiagnosed based on diagnostic errors, the patient must prove three things to successfully pursue a medical malpractice case.
First, the patient must be able to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. Next, the patient will have to prove that the doctor was negligent and did not provide treatment in a manner acceptable by medical standards. Finally, the patient will have to prove that the doctor's negligence caused an actual injury.
In general, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is not evidence of negligence. Doctors can make diagnostic errors even when using a high standard of care. Instead, the court will need to determine if the doctor acted competently. An evaluation will be conducted to discover what the doctor did and did not do in deciding on a diagnosis.
Proving medical malpractice can be very complicated in cases of misdiagnosis if you can't prove the circumstances discussed above. For a better understanding of Ohio malpractice law and advice on your case, a skilled attorney can provide valuable assistance.