Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Lawyer

Can You Sue for a Medical Misdiagnosis?

While properly diagnosing a patient’s condition is one of the most basic responsibilities of a healthcare professional, misdiagnosis is one of the most common causes of serious injury and illness in the medical profession. When a doctor fails to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a harmful medical condition, the patient can suffer serious consequences. The illness can get worse and even lead to death, and patients may also be harmed by incorrect treatment, unnecessary surgical procedures, and medications wrongly given.

The term misdiagnosis includes diagnoses that are wrong, missed, or late. If the misdiagnosis involves a serious disease or condition that requires immediate treatment, early detection, or prompt action — such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or other potentially deadly diseases – it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died from medical misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a medical malpractice lawsuit. While money can never bring back your health or your family member, fair restitution can help pay for costs and treatments, help survivors go on with their lives, punish wrongdoers, and help ensure that such mistakes don’t happen again.

Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases are complicated. Insurance companies will try to deny your claim or get you to settle for the lowest amount possible.  Making mistakes can be costly; symptoms change over time; and evidence and witnesses disappear. For all these reasons, contacting an attorney experienced in misdiagnosis cases is essential as soon as possible.

The skilled and experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Wapner Newman are committed to giving your case individual attention and getting the best settlement possible. Our personal injury lawyers can provide dependable guidance and strong legal strategies. Through the years, we have helped hundreds of clients secure the compensation they need to reclaim their future through our comprehensive and creative investigative legal solutions. We offer a free consultation to examine your situation and show you how we can help.

Don’t delay. Please contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia medical misdiagnosis lawyers and determine whether you have a viable claim. Call now at (215) 569-0900.

Why Choose Us?

Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and you need a lawyer who is well-versed in the law, understands insurance companies’ tactics, and fights non-stop on your behalf. Wapner Newman medical misdiagnosis attorney Robert Miller is a partner in the firm who was born in Philadelphia and is fiercely committed to helping people in his community who have been harmed. He has served as Chairperson of the Philadelphia Bar Association Arbitration Committee. He has been recognized as a 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and 2020 Best Lawyers In America, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Philadelphia, PA.

We aren’t just strong advocates for our clients, we get results. We have secured several settlements in the millions of dollars in medical malpractice suits, including an $8.4 million settlement for a woman whose delay in diagnosis led to brain damage. We also secured $4 million on behalf of a child who suffered injuries after a failure to diagnose heart problems present at birth.

How our clients feel about our representation is important to us. We are committed to being partners in our clients’ quest for justice, and we want each client to feel like their case is as important as anyone else’s. Our client testimonials bear witness to how Wapner Newman has been able to positively affect our clients’ lives.

“I needed an experienced lawyer who understood all of the medical issues. Wapner Newman provided the experience that was required to win the case. I always felt my son’s future was in good hands during all phases of the case through settlement.” – Client testimonial.

How We Can Help

Being a good attorney isn’t just about knowing the law and courtroom procedures. When you or a loved one are suffering after a medical misdiagnosis, you need an attorney who can ask you the right questions and listen with compassion. The foundation of your medical misdiagnosis case is built on your experiences and how you and your family have dealt with physical and emotional pain, lost work, and mounting medical bills.

Our medical misdiagnosis lawyer will also encourage you to ask any questions you may have. You have shouldered enough of the burden, and it is time to let our Wapner Newman legal team take some of it away. We will keep you informed every step of the way and stand in front of you when the insurance company lawyers try to undermine your case or offer you a lowball settlement.

Don’t face deep-pocketed insurance companies alone. Contact Wapner Newman at (215) 569-0900, so we can start building your case together.

What Constitutes Misdiagnosis?

A Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney Can Determine Whether Your Case Is Valid

Not every medical mistake means a medical professional should be held accountable in a medical malpractice claim. Still, our medical misdiagnosis attorneys can analyze your situation to see whether you have a valid case.

Medical professionals and facilities are held to the highest standard of care. They have a duty to use their training and tools like MRIs, CT Scans, blood tests, EKGs, and other tests to make the proper diagnosis and to begin treatment in a timely manner. If they do not, what would have been a treatable condition may become untreatable and lead to serious damage or death. Patients may have a valid negligence claim for misdiagnosis.

To win a lawsuit, you and your attorney must show that the duty of care was breached because of the negligent actions or inactions of the medical professionals or facility and that this breach caused an injury or death. You must be able to demonstrate that:

  • You had a doctor/patient relationship with the professional.
  • You have been injured.
  • The injury is the result of a wrong diagnosis.
  • The doctor acted unreasonably or negligently when making that diagnosis, violating the standard of care – the level of skill that a similarly trained and experienced doctor would have shown under the circumstances.
  • The violation led to avoidable harm, which caused your injury.
  • You suffered damages as a result.

However, not every misdiagnosis is medical negligence. For example, if the results of the mistake were not serious, or the disease was too advanced for available treatment to have made a difference, you would not have a claim. Some mistakes, such as when symptoms are the same as those for another condition, may be reasonable, so determining whether the standard of care was violated requires the testimony of expert witnesses in the fields involved.

How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis?

The standard of care required of healthcare providers is to do their best to diagnose a patient properly by providing timely care that considers all available facts. They must recognize signs of a serious illness and respond accordingly to the best of their ability or they can be held accountable for medical malpractice.

When you suspect you are a victim of misdiagnosis, Wapner Newman will take all steps necessary to investigate and prove it. Our attorneys will:

  • Meet with you to hear your version of what happened, evaluate whether you have a valid medical misdiagnosis case and which medical professionals might be at fault, and determine what your case may be worth
  • Investigate the case and gather evidence by examining medical records and interviewing witnesses
  • Locate all parties who may have been responsible for the misdiagnosis
  • Hire relevant expert witnesses in the field to demonstrate medical negligence and assess damages and costs to you and your family in the future
  • Negotiate and handle communications with insurance companies and their lawyers
  • Take care of all paperwork and court appearances in a timely manner
  • Build your case and take it to trial if necessary.

Our attorneys will also help you get the Certificate of Merit required in medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania. The certificate is a statement by a doctor in a similar field agreeing that there was negligence. Our experienced Philadelphia medical misdiagnosis lawyers will make sure your Certificate of Merit is filled with the court within the required 60 days.

Our experienced medical diagnosis attorneys will help you prove your medical misdiagnosis and take all the necessary steps to move your case forward. Call Wapner Newman today at (215) 569-0900.

Common Misdiagnosis Areas

Our Medical Misdiagnosis Attorneys Know From Experience That There are Common Areas Where Misdiagnosis is Likely to Occur

Misdiagnosis may involve:

  • Failure to screen for a particular medical condition
  • Failure to properly follow up and investigate potential causes of symptoms
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • Misinterpretation of or failure to obtain lab test results and communicate to patients
  • Failure to notice and diagnose fetal problems or birth injury, and failure to call in a necessary specialist for neonatal or maternal care
  • Laboratory mistakes, such as reading the wrong sample or mixing up patients’ results.

Some of the most common illnesses that are misdiagnosed are:

  • Asthma – misdiagnosed as bronchitis
  • Cancer – biopsy errors or misreading test results may cause cancer to be overlooked and left untreated, or false positives may lead to unnecessary treatment
  • Heart attack – misdiagnosed as indigestion or panic attack
  • Stroke
  • Orthopedic and joint problems, including wrist, hip, femur, and knee injuries
  • Pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms, and aneurysms that may not show up on chest X-rays.

What Happens If A Doctor Gives You The Wrong Diagnosis?

Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney Must Show Harm

Sometimes the effects of a wrong diagnosis don’t make much difference, and when the correct illness is found, it can still be treated effectively. In this situation, there would not be a reason to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. For your case to be valid and win, your attorney must prove that the misdiagnosis caused you actual harm and that the harm could have been avoided.

Examples of harm include:

  • A shortened life expectancy
  • Emotional trauma
  • Expenses and pain for inappropriate treatments
  • Unnecessary worsening of the medical condition
  • Scarring and disfigurement from unnecessary surgery
  • Death from the treatment or lack of treatment.

Misdiagnosis can lead to horrendous suffering, disfigurement, and death. You can read about some examples of cases handled by Wapner Newman, including a patient misdiagnosed with breast cancer. The misdiagnosis was not found until the patient had undergone a double mastectomy, resulting in multiple infections and more surgeries to correct the problem. In this case, a pathologist was responsible for a paperwork glitch that led to the misdiagnosis and was held liable.

If you have suffered harm from any type of medical misdiagnosis, our Wapner Newman attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Compensation Our Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers May Recover

A wide range of compensation amounts may be awarded in a medical misdiagnosis case. Amounts may range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the factors involved in the case.

If you win your lawsuit, the compensation you receive will depend on your individual situation and the specific types of harm you suffered. It can include:

  • Economic damages for things like medical expenses and lost wages
  • Non-economic damages for “intangibles” like loss of life’s pleasures, pain, suffering, and grief
  • In rare cases, punitive damages to punish medical professionals who have acted recklessly or intended to harm patients.

Our attorneys will look to find all the ways a misdiagnosis has affected your life. We will demand compensation that reflects all of your suffering and intangibles, not just the medical care costs. Every single cost you have encountered should be factored into your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions of Our Philadelphia Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers

It is not uncommon to have questions about a medical misdiagnosis and what you should do about it. These are some of the questions our clients commonly ask our Philadelphia medical misdiagnosis lawyer:

Is there a time limit to file a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit?

According to Pennsylvania Statutes (Title 42, Section 5524), the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally two years from when the patient discovers or should have discovered that the injury occurred. Additional time may be allowed for medical injuries involving children or where the injury was not immediately known. If you do not file your case on time, the courts will refuse to hear it.

How long will my medical misdiagnosis case last?

We will do all we can to come to a settlement with the other party’s insurance company that gives you fair compensation for all of your damages. That could happen in a few months. If we cannot do so, there may be a lengthy court case. We will be by your side every step of the way, keeping you informed of the next steps.

How much can I get from my medical misdiagnosis suit?

It is hard to put an exact number on your compensation before reviewing your case to determine the circumstances, injuries, and other potential damages. Severe cases of medical misdiagnosis that lead to long-term health and other problems lead to higher settlements and jury awards.

Does the doctor have to release my medical records?

Federal law dictates that you can look at or make copies of your medical records. If you ask for one, your doctor can charge you a fee that includes only the cost of copying your records.

Should I avoid medical treatment so I don’t hurt my case?

You should never avoid medical treatment, and doing so might actually hurt your chances of recovering damages. Part of your duty in a medical malpractice case is to try to mitigate the costs associated with your condition.

Dealing with a medical misdiagnosis and the legal system is hard enough. You shouldn’t also have to worry about your relationship with your medical misdiagnosis attorney. At Wapner Newman, we take our commitment to our clients very seriously, including communicating in a way that moves your case forward toward a positive resolution. We may have to ask you some tough questions to collect the necessary information, but we will do so with the compassion you deserve. We also want and encourage you to ask any questions you may have. We are partners in the fight to get you fair compensation following your medical misdiagnosis.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Time is of the essence if you or a loved one has suffered from a medical misdiagnosis. It is essential to have a skilled and knowledgeable Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer on your side.

The seasoned and compassionate Philadelphia medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Wapner Newman offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your situation and determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim. Our unique legal approach helps ensure no stone is left unturned as we investigate and document every detail relating to your misdiagnosis claim and do everything possible to get you the settlement you deserve.

Let Wapner Newman get started fighting for justice and fair compensation. Call today at (215) 569-0900.