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Medical Misdiagnosis: Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Maryland?

When a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose an illness or injury, it could lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. On its own, misdiagnosis is not necessarily medical malpractice; even the most competent doctors can make a mistake. In order to rise to the level of medical malpractice, the misdiagnosis must have led to improper medical care, no treatment, or delayed treatment, which in turn caused the patient’s medical condition to worsen.

If you or a loved one believes you have a valid medical malpractice case, you need to speak with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney right away. It is important to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to build a solid case for malpractice.

Proving Medical Malpractice

As mentioned above, the law does not automatically hold a medical professional legally responsible for every diagnostic error. Patients need to prove three elements in order to be successful in pursuing a medical malpractice claim. These are:

  • A doctor and patient relationship existed.
  • The doctor must have been negligent, which means he or she did not provide treatment in a competent and reasonably skillful manner.
  • The medical doctor’s negligence resulted in actual injury to the patient.

The last two factors are what really can make or break the case on whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice claim. Was your doctor negligent and did that negligence lead to actual harm to you?

Different Types of Medical Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is a broad term that can encompass different actions. The most common are:

  • Incorrect Diagnosis: This is when the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis based on your symptoms.
  • Failure to Diagnose: This is when the medical professional does not include the proper potential illnesses on the differential diagnoses list, resulting in not diagnosing the proper illness.
  • Missed Diagnosis: This is when the medical provider says you are healthy but there is actually an injury or illness from which you are suffering.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: This is when there is an avoidable, significant delay in diagnosing the correct illness or injury.
  • Failure to Recognize Complications: This is when the medical doctor makes the correct diagnosis but misses other complications that make the condition worse.

Another reason for a misdiagnosis can be faulty lab tests or results. A mistake in test results can be caused due to human error or even faulty equipment. Maybe a technician screwed up the test or the physician reading it misinterpreted the results and that caused your doctor to make an incorrect diagnosis. In these cases, the technician and other physician can be held liable. If the hospital staff makes the error, the hospital can be held directly liable, as well.

Retaining a Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe you have a valid medical malpractice claim, you need an attorney with the skills and experience to determine whether your particular situation warrants legal action. At the Law Office of Robert R. Castro, we specialize in personal injury matters in southern Maryland. Contact our office today at 301-870-1200 to schedule a consultation.

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