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Can You Sue a Doctor for Misdiagnosis in Kentucky? A Misdiagnosis Happens More Often Than You Think.

Can You Sue a Doctor for Misdiagnosis in Kentucky? A Misdiagnosis Happens More Often Than You Think.

Misdiagnosis errors are all too common. While it is understandable that a doctor might not immediately know what a patient is suffering from due to limited symptoms and a lack of evidence, there are plenty of cases where misdiagnoses happen because the doctor simply didn’t do a good enough job evaluating the patient or because someone else at the facility made a mistake.

Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis and treatment can have serious consequences. A misdiagnosis of a minor injury or illness may be fine, but some conditions can grow worse and become life-threatening if they are not caught in time. And when this happens, it can be devastating for the patient, especially if a proper diagnosis at an earlier stage could have prevented permanent impairment or even death. 

In these cases, patients and their families often wonder, can you sue a doctor for misdiagnosis? And the short answer is, yes. However, medical malpractice lawsuits are challenging and complex. 

Essentially, to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will have to provide a substantial amount of evidence that proves that a doctor or healthcare facility acted negligently and breached their duty of care. And doing so will require the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. 

If you or a loved one are the victim of a doctor misdiagnosis or other diagnostic error, the team at McCoy & Sparks can assist you. When a medical practitioner or facility acts negligently, resulting in a misdiagnosis, we believe they should be held accountable for their mistake. And as the victim of their mistake, you deserve to be adequately compensated for all you have suffered. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys today for help. 

How Often Does Misdiagnosis Occur?

Misdiagnosis is a major health concern in the United States. Studies show that outpatient diagnostic errors affect 12 million adults every year. Furthermore, an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 people die each year from diagnostic mistakes, with 1 in 10 patients being misdiagnosed when they have a major infection or disease, such as cancer.  

Unfortunately, not only can a misdiagnosis affect a person’s health, but it can also end up costing the patients hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses that could have been avoided had they received a proper diagnosis in the first place. It is estimated that $100 billion is wasted every year as a result of misdiagnosis.  

Why Do Diagnostic Errors Happen?

Numerous factors can result in a misdiagnosis or a diagnostic error, including:

  • Human error
  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Misread scans and test results
  • Inexperience
  • Lack of knowledge about a specific medical condition
  • Lack of information about patient history
  • Document mixups
  • Lab mistakes and mixups
  • Lack of follow-up after an appointment

There are a lot of moving parts in the healthcare system, so it is not uncommon for the above or for any other types of mixups to occur. However, it is still ultimately the responsibility of your doctor to keep you informed and to provide you with a certain standard of care to the best of their ability. So if something goes wrong due to a lack of care resulting from someone’s negligence, they should be held liable. 

What to Do If Your Doctor Misdiagnosed You

Filing a claim or a lawsuit against a medical practitioner is not easy. So it’s important that you know what to do if your doctor gives a misdiagnosis. A wrong diagnosis, missed diagnosis, or delayed diagnosis can have disastrous results for you as a patient, so you will need to provide sufficient evidence to ensure you get the settlement you deserve. 

Part of providing the necessary evidence to prove that your doctor or healthcare facility acted negligently is showing that you followed their order and yet did not get better. If you simply refuse to follow their orders and don’t take the prescribed treatment because you think they are wrong, they could claim that you didn’t get better not because of misdiagnosis, but because you didn’t follow their orders. 

So always follow your doctor’s orders and document this to prove to the court that you did what they said and still didn’t get better. Beyond that, you can also seek a second opinion from another doctor or go back to your doctor again and ask for another evaluation because you still don’t feel well and think that you were misdiagnosed or that you were given the wrong information. 

If your doctor denies that anything happened and will not put further effort into helping you get the correct diagnosis, this can be further proof of their lack of care and negligence. However, it’s important for you, as the patient, to be honest, and not do anything to purposely make your condition worse. 

If your case goes to trial, you will be under just as much scrutiny as your doctor. So be honest about your misdiagnosis and everything that happened to you after. If you are found to have attempted to make your situation worse to get a correct diagnosis, you could be seen as committing fraud. 

Medical Misdiagnosis Settlements and Lawsuits

If you are interested in suing a doctor for misdiagnosis, you will need to work with an attorney to have professional representation and provide enough evidence to establish fault. Misdiagnosis lawsuit settlements can be large and are awarded in plenty of cases, but it will be your responsibility to provide proof of negligence to get the amount you deserve for your specific situation. 

Again, doctors and healthcare facilities are responsible for providing a standard of care. So to prove negligence, you have to show that they breached their duty of care. To do this, you must provide evidence that establishes the following criteria:

  • A Doctor-patient relationship existed; thus, that doctor owed you a duty of care;
  • The doctor breached that duty by failing to provide a standard level of care, resulting in a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or inappropriate treatment;
  • The doctor’s negligent breach of duty was the direct cause of serious harm to or death of the patient. 

Trust McCoy & Sparks—Premier Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Central Kentucky

Even if you think you have enough proof to help you meet the above criteria, misdiagnosis lawsuits can be complex and take time. This is why it is essential that you work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. 

Medical practitioners and facilities have their own lawyers and insurance teams to protect them against lawsuits due to medical errors. So you will need to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to fight against them and sufficiently advocate for your rights to ensure you win your case and get the settlement you deserve. 

Recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms for over a decade, McCoy & Sparks represents thousands of clients in Central Kentucky. We are dedicated to providing premium service and delivering superior results. 

You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.