Obtaining Compensation After A Misdiagnosis Of Serious Illness: How Lawyers Can Help

It's a type of malpractice, although one that tends to conjure up very mixed emotions. What happens if you were misdiagnosed with a serious -- possibly fatal -- health disorder, only to discover that the diagnosis was wrong? You may feel grateful that it turned out to be an error, while also having intense negative feelings toward the doctor and medical facility.

You may deserve financial compensation for what happened, particularly if you experienced physical or emotional harm.

Serious Illness Misdiagnosis

It's more common to hear of patients filing lawsuits when doctors fail to diagnose a serious condition. Their health was compromised and they may have missed out on early treatment that could have made a big difference. 

Being diagnosed with a serious disorder that the patient doesn't actually have creates other problems. Dealing with this diagnosis can lead to all sorts of disruptive and even harmful actions. Some of the worst situations involve undergoing life-changing surgery and debilitating treatment that was not needed.

Even when these far-reaching consequences did not occur, patients may make major decisions about their job, finances, marriage, home and other aspects because of a scary diagnosis.

Case Examples

Some misdiagnosis episodes become big news. One young woman, for example, was awarded more than $15 million in 2001 after being misdiagnosed with cancer and undergoing a hysterectomy, additional surgery and chemotherapy -- all of it unnecessary. Not only did she suffer through all of that, but also would not be able to have children. 

In 2013, a man was awarded $200,000 after being misdiagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and told he had less than a year to live. In fact, he had a type of cancer that is more readily treated. This individual received compensation for the two months of emotional distress and anguish he endured before the diagnosis was corrected.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury attorney will provide aggressive legal representation and guide you through all the essential steps.

For example, if you are mainly suing for emotional distress, you'll need to prove that the misdiagnosis caused this to happen. The proof might be in the form of personal witnesses and expert witnesses from the field of psychology or psychiatry.

The lawyer also needs to determine at which point during medical care the negligence took place, leading to the wrong diagnosis. For instance, your doctor may not be at fault if he or she was provided with the wrong lab test results. However, the laboratory may be held responsible.

Contact an injury attorney for a consultation, during which you can explain what happened to you and learn what to do next. To learn more, contact a company like Tracy & Stilwell PC Attorneys At Law.