Time is a precious thing, especially when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of a serious medical condition, disease, or injury. A delay in treatment caused by a misdiagnosis can lead to complications, unnecessary medical treatment, and even a patient’s death. If you suspect that you or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice because of a doctor’s negligent misdiagnosis, the Pembroke Pines medical malpractice attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help you obtain your medical records, retain an expert witness to review your chart, and file suit in a court of law to seek monetary compensation for what you and your family has been through.Proving a Misdiagnosis Under Florida Law
Medical malpractice lawsuits can arise from a number of different situations, such as lack of consent, surgical errors, and diagnosis mistakes. With regard to diagnosis errors, there can be three basic types of claims: delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose, and misdiagnosis.
- “Failure to diagnose” results when a physician completely fails to make a connection between a patient’s symptoms and complaints and the actual medical condition from which he or she suffers; as a result, no treatment is administered to the patient.
- In a “delayed diagnosis” scenario, a doctor eventually makes the connection between the patient’s symptoms and the medical condition he or she has, but the connection comes so late that the patient’s chances of a recovery are adversely affected.
- A “misdiagnosis” happens when a doctor opines that a patient has a particular condition when, in fact, the patient is suffering from a different illness, injury, or disease; in these cases, the patient not only suffers a delay in receiving proper treatment but may also receive treatment for an ailment from which he or she does not suffer.
In any malpractice lawsuit, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. As with other types of negligence cases, this requires a four-step analysis. Did the defendant owe the plaintiff a legal duty? Did the defendant breach the duty? Was the plaintiff damaged? Was the defendant’s breach of duty the actual cause of the plaintiff’s damages? An added component to medical negligence cases is that expert testimony is required in order to explain complex issues to the jury. Retaining an expert witness to review a medical malpractice case and testify at trial can be time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, and also to ensure compliance with the statute of limitations and/or statute of repose, it is best if a patient who suspects that he or she has been the victim of negligence by a physician or other health care provider seeks the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after the event giving rise to possible litigation.
If a plaintiff is successful in making out a case of medical malpractice for misdiagnosis, he or she may be entitled to recover medical expenses necessitated by the negligent act(s), lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and compensation for pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, other damages may be available, such as loss of net earnings to the victim’s estate, funeral costs, and loss of consortium with family members.Consult a Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Attorney in Pembroke Pines
Florida law requires that an attorney who files a lawsuit alleging personal injury or wrongful death due to an act of medical malpractice must first make a reasonable investigation into the circumstances complained of by the plaintiff. This takes time. If you or a loved one is suffering because of a misdiagnosis or other medical malpractice event, you need to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. The medical malpractice lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to help you during this difficult time. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. We assist clients in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, and North Dade County. In most instances, cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, wherein legal fees are paid out of the settlement or judgment. Because we understand the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties faced by those who have suffered injuries or whose families are coping with a wrongful death, no payment of legal fees is required upfront in most instances.