Making a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

Making a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

‘If symptoms persist, see your doctor’.

It’s age old advice from the back of a medicine bottle and it would serve the reader well to follow.

Making an appointment with a doctor when you are sick or for a regular checkup is the responsible thing to do, and few would argue with the welcome relief that answers and treatment from a reliable doctor can bring.

Healthcare professionals are trusted to identify a medical condition, illness or injury and prescribe treatment accordingly, but when a healthcare professional fails to do this, it’s not a small mistake. It could spell the difference between life and death, and patients can rightly pursue compensation.

What is a Medical Misdiagnosis?

Medical Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional fails to make a diagnosis or makes an incorrect diagnosis. In both cases, the consequences can be devastating.

Types of Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical Misdiagnosis is used to describe a few different situations.

In the first instance, total misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional fails to properly consider all the patient’s symptoms and as a result a health condition or illness goes undiagnosed. For example, the presence of a rash associated with other symptoms may be indicative of a more serious condition, and a healthcare professional who doesn’t consider the rash may be liable if such a condition goes undiagnosed.

In the second instance, a late diagnosis can lead to other health complications and longer recovery time if there is a delay in treatment. This is particularly pertinent for illnesses like cancer which can quickly spread if it is missed on initial scans or test results.

When a healthcare professional makes an incorrect diagnosis this is also Medical Misdiagnosis. A patient who is diagnosed with a condition they do not have may undergo unnecessary treatment or take unnecessary medication which in some cases leads to more harm, especially if there is actually another undiagnosed medical condition that remains untreated.

In all cases, Medical Misdiagnosis may involve significant physical and emotional trauma, additional medical expenses and in the worst case scenario, loss of life that could have been prevented.

Making a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

Medical Misdiagnosis falls under the broader category of Medical Negligence and claims for compensation can be made under the provisions of the Civil Liability Act.

Healthcare professionals owe their patients a duty of care and in order to make a Medical Misdiagnosis claim, a patient or family member, must prove negligence on the part of the healthcare professional. To determine negligence, a court will consider if the standard of care given was below that of a reasonable professional in their position. In cases of medical misdiagnosis questions will arise as to whether a similarly-trained healthcare professional in the same medical community could have identified the health condition correctly or at an earlier stage.

In addition, a claim must prove that damage occurred as a result of the misdiagnosis and such damage could have been prevented if the healthcare professional had made the correct diagnosis or diagnosed the condition at an earlier stage. Compensation can be claimed for loss of earnings, medical expenses, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and even loss of life.

Cases of Medical Misdiagnosis are rarely simple as there are many factors to consider, and these are often of a complex medical nature. A legal professional with experience in claims of medical negligence will be essential in making a Medical Misdiagnosis claim. In addition to guiding you through the process, a legal professional can seek experts in the field to assist with your case. It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible as there are time limits which will apply when making a claim.

If a trusted healthcare professional failed to correctly diagnose your medical condition or that of a family member then you may be eligible for compensation. At Taylor & Scott we understand that these cases are particularly sensitive. Our team, headed by recognised Law Society of NSW experts, will ensure the strongest possible evidence is obtained on your behalf so that you have the greatest likelihood of obtaining a fair result.

In a free initial case assessment, we can discuss your situation and advise of your legal options. In some cases, our no-win, no-fee option applies so there won’t be any additional financial stress.

Contact us today to arrange your FREE case assessment.

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