What Should I Do If I Have Been Misdiagnosed?
If you suspect your doctor has misdiagnosed you, it is important to seek additional medical advice without delay so you can receive treatment as soon as possible. A misdiagnosis delays treatment, allowing your health condition to progress and potentially become terminal. If a medical misdiagnosis has already caused you harm, contact our skilled misdiagnosis lawyers to learn about your legal options.
If you have symptoms of a serious medical condition, but your doctor diagnosed you with a different condition, you will need to immediately start advocating for yourself. Ask your doctor to perform additional testing. If your doctor refuses, seek a second opinion. You may be able to get a second opinion by asking your doctor to refer you to a specialist.
Speaking up for yourself can be difficult in a medical setting. If necessary, enlist a supportive friend or family member to go with you to your doctor’s appointments. Educate yourself about your health, and insist your health care provider answer your questions and concerns.
If your doctor refuses to budge and is unwilling to give you a referral, check your health insurance plan to determine whether your insurance will cover a specialist without a referral. If your insurance is through an HMO plan, you will likely need a referral. PPO plans generally allow you to see specialists without a referral.
If your plan requires you to have a referral and your doctor refuses to order additional testing or provide a referral, you will have to take your health into your own hands. You have two options:
- Consider paying for the specialist visit out-of-pocket. If you receive the correct diagnosis from the specialist, your primary care provider will receive this record and may give you the necessary referrals to continue treatment.
- Find a new primary care provider. You can ask the new provider to perform a more thorough investigation of your symptoms or refer you to a specialist.
Being misdiagnosed prevents you from accessing the treatment you need. Most conditions have a significantly better prognosis with prompt treatment. Your most important priority is to start the correct treatment as soon as possible. However, you will need an accurate diagnosis before you can receive the correct treatment.
Being misdiagnosed can also mean that you are receiving unnecessary treatment for a condition you do not have. This can do more harm than good. However, you should not stop treatment based on a suspicion that you have been misdiagnosed. You will need tests to confirm a misdiagnosis.
If you have already suffered irreparable harm because of a misdiagnosis, contact one of our experienced misdiagnosis lawyers to schedule a free case review.
Your Legal Options if You Received a False Diagnosis
You may have the option to sue a doctor for misdiagnosis if you can prove all of the following:
- Your misdiagnosis occurred because your doctor failed to follow established medical standards.
- Your misdiagnosis caused you to suffer harm that you would not have suffered if you had received an accurate diagnosis.
- The misdiagnosis is the actual and proximate cause of the harm you suffered.
A doctor is only one of the parties whose negligence may lead to a wrong diagnosis. You may also be able to sue radiologists and pathologists if your misdiagnosis resulted from laboratory or imaging tests being misread or mishandled. If a health care provider who misdiagnosed you acted as a hospital’s employee, you may also be able to sue the hospital.
When you file a misdiagnosis lawsuit, you can pursue damages for your emotional distress, lost wages, medical expenses, physical pain, and other losses that stem from the misdiagnosis. You will need to prove that your misdiagnosed illness would not have caused these damages had your condition been diagnosed on time.
An experienced misdiagnosis lawyer at our law firm can help you justify your damages and prove that your health care providers breached their duty of care.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Misdiagnosed
If you have been diagnosed with one condition when you actually have another one, take the following steps to advocate for yourself and pursue justice when a false diagnosis has harmed you:
- Ask your doctor for additional tests or a referral to a specialist.
- Enlist a supportive friend or family member to attend appointments with you.
- Learn everything you can about your condition.
- Ask your doctor detailed questions about the rationale for not testing.
- Do whatever it takes to get an accurate diagnosis.
- Seek additional medical opinions if the second opinion is inadequate.
- Follow all treatment recommendations until you get an accurate diagnosis.
- Document the dates when you disclosed symptoms to your doctor.
- Keep a written record of your doctor’s refusals to test or refer you.
- Contact a medical malpractice attorney.
Our award-winning misdiagnosis lawyers at Levin & Perconti have over 400 years of combined experience helping clients recover significant damages from negligent health care providers. We have won more than $2 million in settlements and verdicts.
If a misdiagnosis has harmed you, we can help you recover significant damages. The initial consultation is free, and you only pay if we win. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf.