When you seek medical treatment for an illness or pain complaint, you trust that the medical professionals will take care of you and accurately diagnose your condition.
In most situations, they reach a proper diagnosis. However, there are times when that doesn’t happen. A condition that is complex and hard to diagnose may result in a failure to diagnose.
When a medical professional says you have one disease, but it’s really something else, then it’s a misdiagnosis. Not all medical misdiagnosis claims are necessarily malpractice, though.
Mistakes can happen, and a doctor can’t be right in 100% of the cases they handle. However, some mistakes can lead to a malpractice claim.
To successfully recover compensation for medical misdiagnosis, you need to prove that the provider acted negligently.
Contact the skilled team of New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates, LLP, to learn whether you potentially have a malpractice claim.
How to Prove a Misdiagnosis Claim in New Mexico
Proving a misdiagnosis claim starts with showing that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor. If you were a regular patient with a scheduled appointment, this element is easy to establish.
If the doctor was someone you met at a social function and discussed your symptoms with, that wouldn’t be enough to establish a doctor-patient relationship.
You need to show the medical provider was competent in the field of medicine for which you were seeking treatment.
For example, it would be tough to make a medical malpractice claim against an orthopedist if the problem was neurological in nature or vice versa.
Next, you need to show the medical provider acted negligently. That means their care fell below the standard of care. You need to prove that another doctor with similar skills and background would have reached a different conclusion from the doctor in question.
Other medical experts may be able to testify as to whether they would have reached the same conclusion based on facts and whether they would have made the correct diagnosis.
Once you establish the doctor’s care fell below the accepted standard of care, you need to show that their negligence caused your injuries. Examples include pain, further injury, physical incapacitation, lost wages, etc.
If the misdiagnosis didn’t cause you any harm and financial loss, then you do not have a misdiagnosis claim.
Common Reasons for Medical Misdiagnosis Claims
A misdiagnosis can happen for numerous reasons:
- Lack of familiarity with an illness or disease;
- Failure to recognize your symptoms;
- Inaccurate interpretation of the test results;
- Ordering the wrong labs, scans, or other tests;
- Failure to perform any additional or alternate diagnostics; or
- Unqualified administration of the tests or reading the results.
Some misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose claims happen in the emergency room due to it being a high-stress and fast-paced environment. Medical professionals experiencing a high volume of patients could be more likely to make a mistake.
Medical misdiagnosis claims aren’t limited to emergency room situations, though. They can happen with your primary doctor or a specialist you are seeing.
Contact a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe you are the victim of a misdiagnosis, speak with an experienced New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer at Poulos & Coates.
We specialize in medical malpractice claims and have a medical doctor and nurse on staff. That gives us an added advantage when evaluating medical misdiagnosis claims. Let us put our expertise to work for you.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and let us show you how to prove a misdiagnosis in New Mexico.