The correct and timely diagnosis of a medical condition, injury, or illness is critical for a patient’s recovery. If a doctor makes a diagnostic error or a missed diagnosis, this can lead to incorrect treatment or no treatment at all. Wrongful diagnosis can make a patient’s condition worse and even lead to wrongful death.
If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of wrongful diagnosis in Morgantown, West Virginia, discuss your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit with the attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. You may be entitled to financial compensation. We can help you move forward.
Why You Need a Wrongful Diagnosis Attorney
Wrongful diagnosis falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice law. This is a complicated practice area that requires specialized legal and medical knowledge. It is in your best interests to hire a skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyer to represent you during a diagnostic error case. A law firm will have connections to medical experts and other qualified professionals to help you build a stronger case. A lawyer can handle the complicated legal aspects of your case for you while you and your family focus on healing after a harmful diagnostic error.
What Is Wrongful Diagnosis?
Wrongful diagnosis means that a physician did not correctly diagnose a patient’s condition, did not make any diagnosis, or did not make the diagnosis within a reasonable amount of time. Wrongful diagnosis can refer to many diagnostic errors, including:
- Failure to diagnose
- Missed diagnosis
- Misdiagnosis/wrong diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Other diagnostic error
Diagnostic errors can occur at many different stages of the patient’s care. The party responsible for the error may be the attending physician, a specialist, an x-ray technician or radiologist, the professional who interpreted the test results, the manufacturer of the diagnostic equipment, or the hospital.
Can You File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Diagnosis?
The law does not expect all doctors to make correct diagnoses 100 percent of the time. It does, however, hold doctors legally responsible (liable) for diagnostic errors that reasonable and prudent physicians would not have made in the same or similar circumstances. To have grounds for a wrongful diagnosis lawsuit in West Virginia, you or your attorney must prove three things as most likely to be true:
- You and the defendant had a doctor-patient relationship at the time of the alleged malpractice.
- The doctor did not provide patient care in a reasonably skillful and proficient manner.
- The doctor’s violation of the standard of patient care gave you an actual injury or illness.
A wrongful diagnosis itself does not make a physician liable for your injury. You or your attorney must prove that what the doctor did or did not do to arrive at a diagnosis – or to fail to diagnose you entirely – constitutes a breach of the physician’s duty of care.
How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis?
In a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Virginia, the injured party (plaintiff) bears the burden of proof. This means the plaintiff is responsible for proving his or her case against the party allegedly guilty of malpractice (the defendant). The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, or enough evidence to convince the jury that the defendant more likely than not caused the injuries claimed. This is a lesser standard than in criminal law (proof beyond a reasonable doubt).
Proving your case requires clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was in the wrong and that this caused your injury or illness. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, eyewitness statements, and testimony from qualified medical experts. A lawyer can also help you navigate the claims process, such as filing your lawsuit by the state’s deadline and providing the required screening certificate of merit.
Speak to a Morgantown Wrongful Diagnosis Lawyer Today
A wrongful diagnosis lawsuit can allow you and your family to hold a careless physician accountable for a diagnostic error. It can result in the financial compensation your family needs to pay for ongoing medical expenses and other debts. For more information about this type of lawsuit, as well as an overview of how our lawyers can help with the complicated legal process, contact Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today. Call (304) 594-1800 or contact us online.