When patients sit in the consultation room and relay their concerns and symptoms to the doctor, they put a certain amount of trust in the latter to timely and accurately find out if something is wrong and what the injury or illness is. Unfortunately, there are situations wherein doctors make the wrong diagnosis or fail to conduct the necessary tests, which can worsen the patient’s condition.
In cases like this, can the patient sue the doctor?
Yes, if there is medical malpractice
All medical professionals, including doctors, have to apply a reasonable medical standard of care when providing services. But this does not mean anyone who receives an inaccurate diagnosis can successfully file a lawsuit. To successfully bring the case to court, the claimant must prove the following elements of medical malpractice:
- There is a patient-doctor relationship and the doctor has an obligation to correctly diagnose the patient
- The doctor failed to apply the required standard of care expected from a medical professional
- The misdiagnosis worsened the patient’s condition or led to more complications
- The patient incurred losses due to their worsened condition
If the patient is able to prove the elements mentioned within the time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, they may be able to recover compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Preparing for battle
Any injury or illness can take a toll on a person’s life. Moreover, having to think of financial concerns can add to one’s stress. If a patient believes that they are a victim of medical malpractice, it is best to start collecting evidence and consider discussing it with a legal professional to know their chances.