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Medical Malpractice

Have You Been Misdiagnosed?

August 3, 2020

No one wants to receive bad news from their doctor, but the reality is that all of us, at one time or another, will have to deal with a major health problem. We rely on our doctors and other medical professionals to provide expert guidance and top-notch care to get us through these times. Unfortunately, doctors aren’t perfect and are very capable of mistakes. Sometimes, a doctor’s negligence can make an already bad situation much worse. If you’re suffering from a health condition that you suspect was originally misdiagnosed, you should speak with a Billings medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. 

What Constitutes a Misdiagnosis?

The most obvious type of misdiagnosis is one where your doctor diagnoses you with an illness you don’t actually have. As a result, you undergo treatment that is ineffective and leads to additional complications or illnesses. Meanwhile, the real cause of your illness goes untreated and perhaps gets worse, later requiring more extensive treatment than it would have originally required. 

Failure to Diagnose

Another type of misdiagnosis is when your doctor doesn’t make any diagnosis – perhaps they suggest you just need to get more rest or change your diet. Again, the actual cause of your illness goes untreated and your condition worsens. Critical time is lost, thus requiring more extensive treatment than if your condition had been diagnosed earlier. 

Delayed Diagnosis

Another type of misdiagnosis is when your doctor is unreasonably delayed in diagnosing the cause of your illness. This could be due to failing to follow-up on lab results, failing to provide a referral to a specialist, or simply mismanagement of their practice. Again, the delayed diagnosis may lead to a much more serious situation because time is lost that could have been spent treating your condition. 

How a Misdiagnosis Can Occur

A misdiagnosis can result from many different causes: 

  • Faulty testing. If the test is incorrectly administered, it could certainly lead to a misdiagnosis. In this instance, the lab that conducted the test would be at fault rather than your physician. 
  • Misinterpretation of test results. The tests were performed correctly, but your doctor misread or misinterpreted the results, resulting in a misdiagnosis. 
  • Failure to thoroughly review your medical records. A misdiagnosis can occur when your doctor fails to understand their patient’s medical history. 
  • Failure to perform an adequate examination. If your doctor fails to ask you the proper questions, listen to and evaluate your symptoms, or relies solely on information provided by someone else, they can miss vital information that is necessary for a proper diagnosis. 

Medical Malpractice Cases Are Complex

The fact that you were misdiagnosed doesn’t necessarily mean that your doctor committed medical malpractice. There are a variety of factors that need to be considered, such as whether the diagnosis would be within the doctor’s training and expertise or whether your condition is one that can be difficult to identify. A Billings medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether you have a claim for medical malpractice. 

Billings Medical Malpractice Attorney Jim Ragain Can Help

Your health is your most important asset, and a misdiagnosis can change your life forever. Billings medical malpractice attorney Jim Ragain holds negligent medical professionals accountable for their negligence, and he can help you get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 406-651-8888 to discuss your case and whether you have a claim.