All doctors have a legal responsibility to care for their patients. Accurately recognizing diseases, diagnosing illnesses and recommending proper treatment is their number one job.
Unfortunately, doctors are human and there are times when mistakes are made.
Failure to diagnose a disease, a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can cause a patient to suffer a more serious injury or illness, or even result in their death.
Following such scenarios, victims and their families often ask:
Can I sue a doctor for medical malpractice?
If you’re considering a malpractice lawsuit, understand that there are several things that you must prove:
- There was a patient-doctor relationship and your doctor had a legal duty of care.
- The doctor breached that duty and failed to provide a proper diagnosis.
- As a result of this breach, you or your loved one suffered injury or harm and the medical condition was made worse.
- You or your loved one developed a more serious condition due to the doctor’s mistake.
Other errors that can result in medical malpractice can be the fact that your doctor failed to ask you your medical history, failed to order proper tests or misinterpreted the result of your tests.
You, as the patient, have some responsibilities as well.
Firstly, you must be completely honest with the physician. Were you upfront about your medical history and personal habits? Did you educate the doctor on risk factors that may exist in your family?
No one is perfect and there are times doctors will make mistakes. Whether or not it is considered medical malpractice will depend on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
Consult a medical malpractice lawyer near you to find out if you have a strong case.