What Should You Do If You Were Misdiagnosed? 


All of us rely on medical professionals when we are ill, but when the doctors end up giving bad advice, it can be extremely concerning. Misdiagnoses are not as rare as we would like to think. Approximately twelve million people in the United States are misdiagnosed each year. Talk to a Richardson Personal Injury Lawyer to know more about misdiagnosis and what you can do after being misdiagnosed. 

What qualifies as misdiagnosis? 

There are approximately twelve million cases of misdiagnoses per year in the United States alone. However, many medical experts think the number is much larger since many people do not even realize they have been misdiagnosed and thus never report it. A misdiagnosis can: 

  • Cause a serious medical condition to remain untreated 
  • Result in treatments that were not needed or were not appropriate 
  • Cause a delay in the accurate diagnosis 
  • Result in the health getting worse 
  • Cause physical harm or even death 

Some of the most common causes of misdiagnoses are: 

  • Not performing the tests that were needed 
  • Not following the proper procedure needed for testing 
  • Not following up on the test results 
  • Prescribing the wrong treatments or medicines 
  • Surgical or anesthesia errors 
  • Equipment malfunctions 

How can you prevent misdiagnosis? 

Misdiagnoses are very common, but there are ways to prevent them. Some of the things you can do to prevent a misdiagnosis are: 

  • Bring a copy of the reports of all your lab work and blood work 
  • Ask any questions you may have about your symptoms and condition 
  • Bring a written description of your medical history, and any other information about your current condition 
  • If you keep progress charts of your symptoms, bring them too 
  • Bring a list of all medications and supplements you take, including how long you have taken them and their dosage 
  • Ask follow up questions if you feel like you are not getting better 
  • Ask for second opinions from other doctors 

The most common misdiagnoses 

Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses are: 

  • Asthma 
  • Heart attacks 
  • Lyme disease 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Lupus 

How do you prove a misdiagnosis? 

If a doctor has misdiagnosed you, you can sue them for negligence. To prove a negligence claim, it is necessary to prove the four elements of negligence: 

  1. Duty 

You must first prove that the doctor owed you a duty of care. 

  1. Breach of duty 

To prove that the doctor breached their duty by acting negligently, you should be able to prove that another capable doctor would have been able to diagnose you properly. 

  1. Causation 

You must be able to prove that it was the misdiagnosis that caused you harm. 

  1. Damages 

You must be able to prove that the misdiagnosis resulted in some damage. 

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