When you visit a doctor or hospital seeking treatment for an illness or injury, you expect the medical provider to follow professional standards of care in evaluating you. This generally means using what physicians call the “differential diagnosis” method – identifying the potential conditions causing a patient’s complaints and then ordering the appropriate tests to rule in or rule out the possibilities. The goal of this method is to arrive at the correct diagnosis as promptly as possible so the patient can begin receiving the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes act below the standard of care when diagnosing patients, either by failing to identify the potential conditions, failing to order the correct tests, or failing to review test results. A harmful misdiagnosis could cause you to lose the opportunity for timely and effective treatment and result in permanent harm.
If you have suffered from a misdiagnosis in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contact the attorneys at Youman & Caputo for a free case consultation. Our medical malpractice lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience and work on a purely contingent fee basis.
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Pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose in Philadelphia can be difficult. Medical malpractice is a complicated area of personal injury law. Only an attorney with years of experience will understand this complex area of law and all of the procedural and legal requirements that govern these types of claims.
To investigate your case, your Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney will need to obtain the necessary medical records and imaging studies, research the relevant medical literature, collect evidence (such as photographs or text messages), hire highly qualified medical experts and take other steps to build your case. Our lawyers work with medical experts at the top of their fields to conduct the investigation. If our experts conclude the you were the victim of malpractice, we will aggressively represent your interests and pursue claims on your behalf.
Misdiagnosis is a medical diagnosis that is incorrect, delayed or missed. It can refer to a doctor or other health care provider making no diagnosis, making the wrong diagnosis, or making the correct diagnosis but not in a timely fashion. In Philadelphia, a doctor can be held accountable for a preventable misdiagnosis if it results in patient injury.
Not all misdiagnosis is medical malpractice. Some conditions can be very difficult to diagnose correctly or while a patient still has a chance for a good outcome. A misdiagnosis can be the basis to file a medical malpractice claim in Philadelphia if another doctor in the same or similar circumstances most likely would have made a correct and timely diagnosis. This is medical negligence, or the failure of a doctor to use the correct standards of care when diagnosing a patient.
The standard of care for making a diagnosis generally involves following the “differential diagnosis” method. Based on a patient’s presentation (history, symptoms, vital signs and other information), doctors should formulate a list of potential causes of the patient’s condition and then order the appropriate tests or physician consultations necessary to rule in or rule out those potential causes. Failing to identify potential causes, order appropriate tests or consultations, or act properly on the results can be medical malpractice and be grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A patient who suffers injuries or harm due to a negligent misdiagnosis is entitled to damages for all of the economic and noneconomic harm that results from the misdiagnosis. The damages that are available depend on many circumstances, such as how significantly the misdiagnosis impacted the patient’s health and future, and ultimately are determined by a jury at trial if the case does not settle. Available damages may include:
In Pennsylvania, there is no arbitrary cap on the damages that a malpractice victim may receive to compensate him or her for the harm suffered. To find out the potential value of your misdiagnosis claim, consult with an attorney at Youman & Caputo. We will evaluate your claim and advise you regarding the types of damages which you may pursue in your case. As your lawyers, we will pursue maximum compensation for the harm that you have suffered.
Medical malpractice cases arising from a misdiagnosis generally involve conditions where the consequences of misdiagnosis are severe and permanent. Serious conditions that worsen if they are not caught and diagnosed in a timely manner include:
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered serious harm as a result of a health care provider’s misdiagnosis, consult with our lawyers about a potential lawsuit today. The consultation is free and you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your harm.
Misdiagnoses are dangerous. If a patient has a serious disease or medical condition that requires immediate treatment, early detection is critical. Failing to make a timely diagnosis can lead to missed opportunities to save or prolong the patient’s life. In addition, being diagnosed with the wrong condition could lead to treatments or surgeries that the patient does not need. Meanwhile, the patient will not receive the treatments that he or she does need for his or her actual condition.
When you file a misdiagnosis claim in Philadelphia, you have the burden of proof. The burden of proof means it is your responsibility to prove that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not true. This evidentiary standard is known as a “preponderance of the evidence.” Your lawyer must prove the four elements of malpractice by this preponderance of the evidence standard:
Pennsylvania law requires these elements to be proven with expert testimony. In Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed without a “certificate of merit,” which is a document signed by a lawyer certifying that the lawyer has a signed statement from a licensed physician expert that the defendant’s conduct fell outside of the standards of care expected of the health care provider and caused harm. At Youman & Caputo, we work with only highly qualified medical experts who are at the top of their fields.
If you are a victim of misdiagnosis or another diagnostic error in Philadelphia, you have rights. At Youman & Caputo, our medical malpractice attorneys can help you pursue justice and fair financial compensation for the losses you have suffered. We care deeply about our clients and take very seriously the trust that our clients place in us to help them rebuild their lives. Call (215) 302-1999 or contact us online today to request a free case consultation. We are here to help.
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