Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Lawyer

Can You Sue for a Misdiagnosis?

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. While properly diagnosing a patient’s condition is one of the most basic responsibilities of a healthcare professional, misdiagnosis one of the most common causes of serious injury and illness in the medical profession.

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 disease – 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 in the future.

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, and symptoms change over time and evidence and witnesses disappear. For all these reasons, it is important to contact an attorney experienced in misdiagnosis 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 you with dependable guidance and strong legal strategies. We have helped hundreds of clients through the years to secure the compensation they need to reclaim their future through our thorough 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 medical malpractice lawyers and find out whether you have a viable claim. Call now at (215) 569-0900.

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, but 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, and 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, and this violated 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 that they will do their best to diagnose a patient properly by providing timely care that takes all available facts into consideration. 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 into 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.

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’ lab 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 embolism and aneurysm 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. This would not be a reason to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. For your case to be valid and to win it, 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. Wapner Newman has gathered some examples, which include a patient who was misdiagnosed with breast cancer. The misdiagnosis that was not found until the patient had already undergone a double mastectomy that resulted 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

There are a wide range of compensation amounts that may be awarded in a medical misdiagnosis case. Amounts may range from the 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 and 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, and not just the cost of medical care. Every single cost you have encountered should be factored into your claim.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

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

The seasoned and compassionate Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Wapner Newman offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your situation and determine whether you do have a viable medical malpractice claim. Our unique legal approach helps ensure that 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.

Don’t delay. There are time limits for filing. According to Pennsylvania statutes (Title 42, Section 5524), the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally two years from the time the patient discovers or should have discovered that the injury occurred, although there may be additional time allowed for medical injuries involving children and where the injury was not immediately known. If you do not get your case filed on time, the courts will refuse to hear it.

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