When the average person thinks of medical malpractice, he or she probably first thinks about surgical errors. A doctor can commit medical malpractice, however, without ever taking hold of a scalpel. A misdiagnosis of an illness can take a significant toll on a patient, and if not caught early, can even result in death.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a doctor’s misdiagnosis, the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are here to help.
Common Forms of Misdiagnosis in Pennsylvania
Although there are endless examples of diagnostic errors by a physician, misdiagnoses generally occur as one of three scenarios.
An incorrect diagnosis occurs when a person visits a physician and is diagnosed with a medical condition that turns out to be different from the actual condition that the person is suffering from. Incorrect diagnosis can result in a patient being subjected to medication or medical treatment for a condition that the patient never actually had. During this time, the underlying condition that the person is actually suffering from can worsen. Sometimes, treatment for the incorrect diagnosis can even exacerbate the condition that the person is suffering from.
This form of misdiagnosis occurs when a physician takes too long to diagnose a patient with the medical condition from which the patient is suffering. Although the physician may eventually make the correct diagnosis of the patient’s medical condition, by the time that the condition is determined, it is often too late for the patient to receive the medical treatment needed to recover from the condition. In this case, a patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim, as the patient may have been able to recover from or treat the illness or condition if it weren’t for the delay in the physician diagnosing the medical condition.
In contrast to the two forms of misdiagnoses listed above, a failed diagnosis occurs when a person goes to a doctor for symptoms relating to an illness and the doctor determines that there is nothing wrong with the person. This can be extremely dangerous to a patient, as the patient may go on with his or her life believing that everything is okay while the condition continues to worsen in the background. Even if the patient is adamant that there is something wrong with him or her and seeks a second opinion, the period of time between the occurrence of the symptoms and the eventual diagnosis by another doctor can cause the condition to worsen to the point that it cannot be treated. In this case, a patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the doctor who failed to diagnose the condition.
If you believe that any of the scenarios listed above may apply to your situation, it’s important to speak with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Injured by a Physician’s Misdiagnosis? We’re Here to Help
If you experienced a misdiagnosis by a Philadelphia physician and suffered injuries as a result of the misdiagnosis, the team of medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are standing by to help you receive the justice you deserve. To speak with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.