We rely on doctors to correctly diagnose our medical problems so they can provide appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, doctors and other health care providers often misdiagnose or fail to diagnose illnesses, allowing medical problems to worsen and possibly putting your life in danger.
If a doctor misdiagnosed your condition, you may be able to file a misdiagnosis lawsuit. The Savannah misdiagnosis lawyers at our firm can help you through every step of the legal process. We have a detailed understanding of how to prove a condition was misdiagnosed, resulting in harm to the patient.
Our attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, so your consultation with our attorneys is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Types of Medical Misdiagnosis
Our Savannah misdiagnosis lawyers take many different types of cases based on incorrect diagnosis of an illness, including:
- Misdiagnosis – This occurs when a doctor diagnoses you with one disease when you really have another.
- Failure to diagnose anything – This happens when a doctor diagnoses you as completely healthy when you actually have some type of illness or disease.
- Delayed diagnosis – This is when a health care professional correctly diagnoses an illness long after he or she should have done so.
- Diagnosis of the wrong subtype of a disease – Even if a doctor diagnoses the correct disease, he or she could diagnose you with the wrong subtype. A subtype of a disease can have different symptoms. For instance, there is one subtype of multiple sclerosis that causes attacks, or episodes that cause symptoms over a matter of days.
- Failure to diagnose a related condition – Illnesses often cause other medical problems related to your main illness. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to diagnose these problems.
- Failure to diagnose the underlying condition – Sometimes one disease is just a symptom of an underlying condition. If a doctor fails to diagnose the underlying condition, he or she could be held liable for medical malpractice.
- Failure to diagnose complications – Diseases often cause other health problems, which are often referred to as complications. Sometimes these complications are related to your treatment. It is important to diagnose these complications because they could aggravate your medical condition.
- Failure to diagnose an unrelated disease – There are times where patients have two diseases that are unrelated and the doctor diagnoses one illness but not the other. Even though they are unrelated, the doctor needs to diagnose both of them.
Diseases That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed
Unfortunately, doctors often misdiagnose serious illnesses that could be life-threatening for patients. Some of the diseases that are most commonly misdiagnosed include:
- Cancer – Certain types of cancer are misdiagnosed more often than others, such as breast cancer, lymphoma, melanoma and sarcomas.
- Heart attack – Sometimes doctors misdiagnose this as indigestion. Doctors often misdiagnose heart attacks in women because they do not always experience symptoms like chest pain.
- Depression – It is difficult to correctly diagnose depression because it often overlaps with other psychological issues, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders.
- Celiac disease – This is a disease characterized by an allergy to gluten. While some people with Celiac disease experience constipation, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms, others have no outward symptoms.
- Stroke – Sometimes doctors misdiagnose a stroke as intoxication, migraine headache or vertigo.
- Fibromyalgia – This condition causes muscle and joint pain in many areas of the body, along with fatigue, anxiety and trouble sleeping. Unfortunately, it is often misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Thyroid disease – This is a condition that can cause weakness, fatigue and fluctuations in weight. It is often misdiagnosed as depression or other conditions affecting the muscles.
Some other include Parkinson's disease, lupus, Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis, according to the American Association of Retired Persons.
If you were misdiagnosed and suffered injuries because of it, you may be able to file a malpractice lawsuit. Contact a Savannah medical malpractice lawyer today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Dangers of Misdiagnosis
When doctors misdiagnose an illness, they put patients at risk for suffering severe health problems that could be life-threatening.
For example, if doctors fail to diagnose your cancer when they should have done so, the disease could progress to a point where it is very difficult to treat or is totally untreatable. Even if there are treatment options, they could be much more severe.
If you are diagnosed with cancer when you do not have it, you may undergo medical care that is unnecessary. This can include undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, which can cause a variety of severe side effects.
Psychologists who misdiagnose patients with depression and prescribe antidepressants could put their patients at risk of having suicidal thoughts. Many antidepressants have been shown to put patients at risk for suicidal thoughts.
There are some situations where a quick, correct diagnosis is extremely important, such as when patients have a heart attack or stroke. If these conditions are not treated right away, the patient could die within a matter of minutes or hours.
Even if medical misdiagnosis does not put your life in jeopardy, it can put you through unnecessary treatments that could have a negative impact on your physical or emotional health. The Savannah misdiagnosis attorneys at Roden Law may be able to pursue compensation for the effects of misdiagnosis.
Contact our attorneys right now by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for my Misdiagnosis Case?
It is very difficult to prove a medical malpractice case, no matter how strong the evidence appears to be. This is particularly true in a malpractice case involving misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness. That is why you should strongly consider hiring a Savannah misdiagnosis lawyer.
The attorneys at our firm have detailed knowledge of the process for diagnosing an illness and how to determine if and when mistakes were made that could be considered medical negligence.
For example, we may need to prove that the doctor failed to consider the correct diagnosis when evaluating possible medical conditions. There are also situations where a doctor received incorrect test results because of malfunctioning equipment. In these cases, the medical facility or laboratory technicians could be held responsible.
Our reputable attorneys also have access to medical experts who can help us analyze your situation to determine if negligence was involved. This is a necessity in Georgia, because we are required to file an affidavit with your complaint written by an expert who provides evidence of malpractice.
Our Savannah misdiagnosis attorneys also know how to prove the misdiagnosis of your illness caused harm. This is particularly difficult in cases where your disease can still be treated effectively. For example, if your cancer diagnosis was delayed but the disease is still treatable, we might try to show that the delay increased the risk of your cancer coming back.
If you were diagnosed with the wrong disease, we can gather evidence to show how this affected your life.
Contact a misdiagnosis attorney in Savannah today by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
How do Doctors Diagnose Medical Conditions?
Many health care professionals use a process called differential diagnosis to determine their patients' illnesses. Misdiagnosis is often a result of mistakes or oversights during this process.
Differential diagnosis is a system where a doctor comes up with a list of possible diagnoses based on your symptoms, including the symptoms you tell him or her about and other medical issues he or she observes.
The doctor will try to determine the probability for each diagnosis and take steps to narrow down the list to the correct medical condition. These steps could include:
- Asking a variety of questions about your symptoms
- Studying your medical records, including records from other doctors you have seen
- Referring you for testing, such as blood tests, MRIs and CT scans
- Referring you to specialists who have more detailed knowledge of the body parts or systems affected by your symptoms
Eventually, the doctor should be able to cross some diagnoses off the list and determine what medical issue you are suffering from. There may be cases where the doctor adds new diagnoses to the list based on the new information collected from doctors, medical records and medical testing.
Unfortunately, doctors often make mistakes doing differential diagnosis that could be considered medical malpractice. For example, if the doctor did not include the correct diagnosis after discovering possible evidence of this diagnosis, it could be considered negligence.
Doctors could also be held liable for failing to ask the right questions or conduct the proper testing to discover your disease. Our misdiagnosis lawyers in Savannah would need to establish that a similarly trained medical professional in a similar situation would have done those things.
In some situations, doctors do an incorrect analysis of the information they obtained from medical tests or your medical records.
There are also situations where the medical professional who diagnosed you is not at fault because there were errors with the testing that was conducted. For instance, maybe the tests were conducted with defective or malfunctioning equipment. Technicians may have made mistakes that contaminated test results.
Our misdiagnosis attorneys in Savannah can review your situation to determine if you have grounds for a misdiagnosis lawsuit.
Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation Right Now
Misdiagnosing an illness is one of the most dangerous forms of medical malpractice because it often puts patients' lives at risk.
If an illness was misdiagnosed because of medical negligence, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Our Savannah misdiagnosis lawyers can guide you through every step of the legal process, defending your best interests, keeping you informed, and answering your questions.