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When a doctor gives you the wrong diagnosis

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Personal Injury

If you live in Indiana and you are receiving treatment for a condition without showing any improvement, you might wonder whether you have been misdiagnosed. Physicians can misdiagnose a condition or fail to diagnose that anything is wrong with you at all. While the repercussions of this are not always serious, in some cases, it can lead to injury or even death.

Frequency of misdiagnoses

There is no system in place for tracking misdiagnoses or missed diagnoses, and some people might not even realize that this has occurred if the condition they have clears up on its own. However, missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses may occur because a test is misread, symptoms are misunderstood or several conditions have the same symptom and the doctor diagnoses the wrong one. It is estimated that around 5% of outpatients are misdiagnosed.

Preventing misdiagnoses

A doctor goes through a process known as differential diagnosis to reach a conclusion about what ailment a person might have. This is essentially a process of elimination. If you believe that you have not received the right diagnosis, you might want to do some investigation yourself and talk to your doctor about how they reached a conclusion about your condition, including what symptoms they recorded.

If a medical professional does not diagnose you correctly, it might be because they are negligent, but it could also be because you have a hard-to-diagnose illness. For this reason, if you are harmed by a misdiagnosis and file a lawsuit against a doctor, a court will look at whether you received a reasonable standard of care. In other words, they will consider whether the level of care you got is roughly the same as you would have gotten from most other doctors. If a court determines that your misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis was the result of negligence, you could be eligible for compensation.