When doctors in West Virginia are treating patients, they are expected to follow standard treatment protocols while maintaining a thorough standard of care. Deviations from these standards, especially when applied negligently, can pose numerous risks for patients and could make a medical professional liable.
With regards to medical malpractice lawsuits, the most common types of medical malpractice cases in West Virginia include misdiagnosis, diagnostic errors, and delayed diagnosis. In some of these cases, otherwise healthy individuals are forced to suffer serious consequences that could have been prevented.
For this reason, if you or a loved one was injured due to misdiagnosis or medical malpractice, make sure to get the legal help you need by contacting Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles M. Love today.
Understanding Misdiagnosis as Medical Malpractice
Doctors and medical professionals in West Virginia and elsewhere enjoy a wide range of protections against lawsuits, and if a medical professional’s diagnosis is wrong, but he/she still followed standard procedures (that another, reasonable medical professional would have done), then you might not have a medical malpractice case. Remember, the following elements need to be present in any medical malpractice case:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment
- The doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have
- The doctor’s negligence caused the injury
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, diagnostic errors were the most common cause for a lawsuit and were also the most dangerous to the patient’s health. Errors in diagnosis were also most likely to result in death when compared to other types of malpractice.
What Constitutes a Misdiagnosis
The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance company, conducted a study looking at 1,180 medical malpractice claims. In this study, the researchers found that more than half of all of the misdiagnosis claims stated that the medical professionals conducted inadequate assessments, delayed diagnostic tests, or failed to test properly.
Additionally, many misdiagnosis claims showed that the liable medical professionals did not conduct adequate physicals or medical histories, failed to consider clinical information, and failed to address abnormal discoveries.
A misdiagnosis can be devastating to your health, as it could leave an illness to go untreated for a number of years, doing substantial damage to your body and your health. At the same time, if your doctor starts treating you for a disease that you don’t have, you could experience the negative effects of that misguided treatment.
How Medical Misdiagnosis Can Occur
Many victims of malpractice are not certain, at first, whether or not the doctor did something wrong. Nonetheless, there are many types of diagnostic errors that can lead to a medical misdiagnosis claim, including, but not limited to:
- Botched lab tests (contamination, testing the wrong sample, reporting the wrong results)
- Misread test results (CT scans, X-rays, PET scans, MRIs, and blood tests)
- Failure to order a testing follow-up
- Misidentified symptoms
Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses
Although misdiagnosis can occur with virtually any illness, there are some illnesses that are particularly susceptible to a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is mostly because the medical standards for diagnosing these illnesses are fairly clear. Also, the misdiagnosis of these illnesses can present very serious health issues to the patient. As such, these commonly misdiagnosed illnesses often include:
- Stroke and heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism
- Cerebral palsy
- Pregnancy-related complications
How to File a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim
If you or a loved one was injured (or killed) due to a negligent medical misdiagnosis claim, then you may have a lawsuit. However, it’s essential to speak with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney first. Remember, these claims can be highly convoluted, and you may be litigating against the hospital’s (or another type of medical facility) own team of lawyers. In any case, if you were injured due to medical misdiagnosis, then you may be rightfully owed compensation for both the economic and non-economic losses that result.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Love Law
Medical misdiagnosis is a very serious issue, and it’s important to act quickly and resolve the misdiagnosis as soon as possible by contacting Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles M. Love. With extensive experience in medical malpractice claims, we at the Love Law Firm will carefully listen to your claim, file the lawsuit, and vigorously litigate for your rightfully owed compensation.
For your free consultation with attorney Charles Love, call our Charleston WV law office today at (304) 344-5683.