Burlington, VT – Doctors can make various types of mistakes, and some are more serious than others. An incorrect diagnosis can become malpractice if it results in incorrect treatment and tangible harm to the patient. The reason for this requirement is that any civil lawsuit requires that the plaintiff shows some kind of actual loss, and not just the threat or potential of a problem that was unrealized. In malpractice cases, this can require additional help from people within the healthcare profession.
When a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis
There is always the possibility that a doctor believes a patient has a different condition that the one that they actually need treatment for. Serious medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, strokes, and thyroid conditions are sometimes misjudged, which can cause a number of different problems later on. This is especially true if one of these life changing conditions goes unnoticed and results in devastating health problems.
However, for a mistake to rise to the level of negligence or malpractice, the plaintiff may have to make some particular findings. There is a requirement that a doctor with a similar background and training would have noticed the condition and treated it properly. This is why many medical malpractice cases require expert testimony from another doctor with the same or similar qualifications.
A late diagnosis
In some situations, the doctor may not initially notice a problem until it causes more serious complications. A late diagnosis can often be more devastating to the victim than a misdiagnosis, because there is additional time for the condition to cause damage to the body. In these situations, the victim generally has to prove that a failure to notice and treat the problem earlier caused additional damage. However, this can be a highly fact intensive inquiry that requires help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and analysis by medical experts.
The plaintiff can possibly show that the doctor violated their standard duty of care by giving a wrong diagnosis and causing additional harm to their patient. Being able to show these elements essentially proves all of the elements of negligence. The concept of negligence is important because medical malpractice actions follow the same structure, and all civil personal injury lawsuits are similar. These elements include the relevant duty of care, a breach of that duty of care, actual and proximate causation, and damages. The structure of these kinds of lawsuits does not change whether the malpractice at issue is as different as a birth injury versus cancer treatment.
Listings of local malpractice attorneys
USAttorneys.com is a site that makes finding a lawyer for a medical malpractice case in Burlington, Vermont or other cities around the country easy. The directory contains listings of attorneys in every state and practice area.