Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Key aspects of a misdiagnosis case

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When you visit your physician, you expect to receive proper and beneficial treatment. However, what happens when you receive the wrong treatment and end up facing further injury or illness? In such instances, you may be able to file a misdiagnosis case.

If you are considering such a claim, there are some key aspects of the process that you should be aware of. By understanding these points, you may be able to successfully argue and win your case.

Who you may sue

In a misdiagnosis case, you usually can only include the primary physician in the lawsuit. However, there are certain instances where another party's negligence contributed to the misdiagnosis, in which case they may be responsible as well. Typically, this would be a specialist who saw the patient, attending lab techs or nurses. In most hospitals, doctors serve as contractors, so the facility is not usually held liable in a misdiagnosis claim.

Types of misdiagnosis

There are certain scenarios where a misdiagnosis may occur, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Staph infection
  • Asthma
  • Lymph node inflammation

There are other possible health issues you may have that a physician may misdiagnose. Even if a physician properly diagnosis an issue down the road, if you are harmed due to the misdiagnosis, a case may still be valid.

Burden of proof

To prove misdiagnosis, you must abide by the same rules as in a medical malpractice case. The Virginia code Title 8.01, Chapter 21.1 details the process and stipulations for such cases. In short, you must show that a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by the physician directly resulted in harm. Personal medical records, hospital records and expert witness testimonies can be helpful pieces of evidence.

If you are filing a misdiagnosis claim, it is important that you understand these aspects of the process and apply them to your case. Along with doing your own research, it may be helpful to consult with a party who is knowledgeable about such cases.


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