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Requirements of Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

Published on Jul 1, 2019 at 12:02 am in Medical Malpractice.

There may come a day when you feel your doctor failed you by misdiagnosing (or entirely miss diagnosing) an issue and illness, meaning that you will need an Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer to assist you in your endeavor to receive a settlement. If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice by means of diagnostic failure, you face the burden of proving the three qualifications of negligence.

First, you must establish a relationship between yourself as the patient and the doctor existed during the alleged incident. This can be proved as easily as a record of a visit, or examination, when the diagnosis in question should have been noted, assessed, or treated. It does not matter if it’s a doctor you have seen for years, or if it is the first visit with a new doctor — one instance is all that is needed to move onto the next step. This is the easiest of the requirements.

Second, proof of incompetence of care, compared to other doctors in similar circumstances, is necessary. It is strongly recommended to attain the insight and testimony of an expert in the field, oftentimes a renowned doctor. Through your Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer, such as the attorneys at Buckingham & Barrera, a doctor intimately familiar with the field of practice in question is hired to offer examples of what other doctors would have done in comparable situations. In the event that a misdiagnosis was made based on faulty machinery and technology, the doctor may not be at fault for negligence, but the hospital, or manufacturer, may be.

Finally, it must be proven that the diagnosis directly lead to harm in the form of pain, suffering, inability to work and earn living wages, loss of quality of life, or death. A misdiagnosis, in theory, could affect motor skills in either the limb, or in the pathway between the brain to the muscle. Missing a diagnosis of a serious illness could result in a patient’s death, as the necessary steps for treatment were delayed, or never begun.

Proving that a misdiagnosis caused harm later on is a challenge to be navigated by you medical malpractice attorney. Just because harm followed a doctor’s visit does not mean that the doctor will be found guilty of malpractice, or even that he, she, or they acted negligently. It is a tricky step that needs to be discussed at length to determine if a suit can proceed.

Assuming all three steps are followed and in order, the suit can move forward to determine if the doctor is guilty of malpractice, resulting in payment for damages, hospital bills, and potentially more. In Albuquerque, there is no cap on settlements, meaning that at a minimum, hospital bills will be covered if the doctor is proven guilty.

It’s true that everyone makes mistakes. While it is fortunate that doctors strive to mitigate mistakes when treating patients,  it is possible that errors will occur and you may find yourself, or a loved one, the victim. If you believe you’ve been subject to misdiagnosis and/or failure to diagnose, contact the expertly trained Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyers at Buckingham & Barrera. Call today for more information.



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