When you go to the doctor with a mysterious ailment, you expect to receive care and consideration. However, doctors do make mistakes and sometimes misdiagnose patients. There may have been a diagnosis without appropriate testing, an inappropriate differential diagnosis, a failure to order the right tests, a failure to notice an obvious illness symptom, or a failure to follow up on test results. If you suffer an injury due to a misdiagnosis in Dallas or the surrounding cities, the medical malpractice attorneys at Feizy Law Office may be able to assist you in suing a doctor for compensation for the resulting injuries.Holding a Careless Physician Accountable for a Misdiagnosis
A mistaken diagnosis could result in improper treatment, worsening conditions, or even death. Not all errors are a sign of negligence, however. Sometimes skilled doctors make a diagnosis that turns out to be wrong, even though they were doing everything in the way another competent doctor in the same specialty and geographic area would. In order to sue for medical malpractice, a patient must prove a doctor made a misdiagnosis that a qualified doctor with similar training and experience would not have made, due to knowing disregard of medical standards, negligence, or recklessness.
You must also prove that there were injuries that arose from this misdiagnosis. In other words, you must prove actual damages. For example, if your doctor had an opportunity but failed to diagnose cancer at a stage where treatment would probably have saved you, and it progressed to Stage 4, there are actual damages. Similarly, if you were misdiagnosed with heart disease and had to undergo a risky bypass surgery because the doctor mixed up your lab results, and you were on bed rest for months with no paid leave, you probably suffered actual damages.
In Texas, there is a cap on noneconomic or intangible injuries arising out of misdiagnosis or other medical malpractice. Noneconomic damages are injuries like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment. A plaintiff can only collect up to $250,000 in noneconomic damages when suing a negligent health care provider. The cap for noneconomic damages is $500,000 if there are multiple non-individual entities.
You generally have two years from a negligent misdiagnosis to bring suit. However, if you do not learn of an injury until much later, you can bring the suit within two years from the time of discovering the injury for up to 10 years after a negligent misdiagnosis. If a minor child is injured through misdiagnosis, he or she usually has until his or her 20th birthday to file a claim, as long as the negligent act happened before his or her 18th birthday. Since this statute of limitations may vary depending on the particular facts, you should consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible after realizing your misdiagnosis caused you an injury to make sure that you file within the applicable statute of limitations.
In some cases, a misdiagnosis results in death. The surviving family members may be able to sue for wrongful death and recover both economic and noneconomic damages arising out of the negligence.Enlist a Dallas Attorney after an Incident of Professional Negligence
If you are hurt due to a misdiagnosis, you may need to take legal action. You have a limited window within which to file your claim, and in most cases, a medical malpractice case in the Dallas area requires an experienced injury lawyer who understands how to explain medical terminology to a jury. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or reach us via our online form for a free consultation. We also represent accident victims in Fort Worth, Arlington, Garland, Irving, and Plano, as well as other Texas cities.