Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:
Did you know that 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed by a doctor every year? While this number may seem alarming, the majority of misdiagnoses are not a result of a doctor’s breach of standards of care. Therefore, not all cases of misdiagnosis are actionable.
From a medical negligence perspective, a misdiagnosis must result in significant damages or harm to the patient in order to take action against the doctor or hospital. With most medical conditions, there may be 4 or 5 acceptable diagnoses based on the patient’s symptoms and exams, commonly known as a differential diagnosis. If a doctor diagnoses you with another of these acceptable conditions, he or she likely did not breach a standard of care.
If you believe you have been misdiagnosed by a doctor, there are a few questions you should ask before seeking legal counsel. First, is it really a misdiagnosis, or does your diagnosis fit within the differential group? If it does fit, your condition most likely isn’t actionable.
If your to the first question is no, your diagnosis lies outside of the differential group, you then need to consider the damages or harm caused to you. But for the misdiagnosis, would you have suffered these damages? If the answer is yes, you would have suffered despite the misdiagnosis, you do not have a case.
Even if you suffer damages only as a result of the misdiagnosis, the doctor’s breach must result in significant harm or permanent damages in order to be actionable. You must experience appreciable damage- as opposed to minor inconveniences- due to your misdiagnosis in order to file a claim against your doctor.
If you believe you have suffered due to misdiagnosis by a doctor, a free consultation with one of the medical negligence lawyers at the John Price Law Firm can help determine if you have a case.
If and when we conclude that you have a misdiagnosis case, our attorneys consult with confidential medical experts to review your records and give their opinion. Our Charleston lawyers work tirelessly to represent patients across South Carolina and recover damages for their pain and suffering.