A misdiagnosis of any type of medical condition, whether it would be a disease, illness, or injury, is one of the leading causes of lawsuits related to medical malpractices. It is apparently a medical error that happens when a doctor inaccurately diagnosis a sickness, leading to a delayed, incorrect, or no treatment at all. As a result, a patient may be in a worse situation, or possibly cause an untimely death.
Technically, a medical misdiagnosis consists of three major categories, and these are the following:
False Positive – The misdiagnosis happens when the diseases in inexistent.
False Negative – The medical practitioner fails to diagnosis the disease of the patient.
Equivocal Results – There is an interpretation that leads to an indefinite or uncertain diagnosis.
Is Suing Someone for Medical Misdiagnosis Possible?
If for instance, you or someone you know had been misdiagnosed, then can you sue for misdiagnosis? The answer is yes, sometimes you can sue for a misdiagnosis but not always. The first thing you need to know is; were you harmed because of the misdiagnosis? And then you need to answer; were you able to receive a treatment that was not supposed to be given to you? Was it too late for you to get the treatment because you were misinformed? Or will something undesirable happen to you because the doctor did not catch it earlier?
Assuming that there was harmed done due to the misdiagnosis, the second question you need to answer is; would another doctor with a reasonable medical profession come with a different diagnosis instead? If the second opinion gives a different conclusion, and it happens to be the correct diagnosis, then there would possibly be a case for medical damages.
When a person is on the verge of suing someone for medical misdiagnosis, he or she needs to get the opinions from other doctors about the standard procedures and find out where the doctor, who is being sued, failed to conduct before giving the patient’s diagnosis. If the court will see that there was an occurrence of a medical misdiagnosis, then you can recover a considerable sum for going through the effects of a misdiagnosis.
Apparently, most of the medical malpractice lawsuits in the US are related to medical misdiagnosis due to the doctor’s negligence or failure to follow a standard procedure. They are also more common in the outpatient department since both the private sector and the government gives more focus on the safety of the patient who is under treatment in a hospital.
Suing the Hospital for Misdiagnosis
Instead of suing someone for medical misdiagnosis, can you sue for misdiagnosis when it happened in a hospital? If this the case, then it depends on whether the doctor, who did the diagnosis, is an employee of that certain medical institution or not. When a hospital employee commits an error while doing his or her duties, the hospital takes full responsibility for the damages. The principle of an employer’s liability has indicated that any act or omission made by the employee during his or her employment, which has resulted in damages, losses, or suffering, can be liable to the employer, in this case, the hospital. That being said, when a doctor is an employed individual of a hospital, then all his or her actions are attributed to the medical institution, hence, suing the hospital for a misdiagnosis is possible.
But if the doctor is just an independent contractor of the hospital, then the hospital no longer has the control over how the doctor does his or her duties as a medical professional, therefore, the institution will not be liable for any medical misdiagnosis or error.