Misdiagnosis is the most common error that physicians make. In 2013, reporting by Kaiser Health News revealed that as many as 10 to 20 percent of cases are misdiagnosed, and that in one report, 28 percent of diagnostic mistakes lead to death or permanent injury.
This is not a new trend: In 1991, a Harvard study
found that misdiagnosis was responsible for 14 percent of all adverse events, and even more shocking, 75 percent of those errors involved negligence. Negligence is an important concept, since you must be able to prove negligence on the physician's part in order to win a medical malpractice case. Since the most common misdiagnoses are heart attacks and cancer, it's easy to see why misdiagnosis is such a common but serious mistake.
Medical malpractice cases have a statutory limitation of two years, meaning you can only bring a lawsuit up to two years from the date or discovery of the injury. After that time frame has passed, you no longer have legal recourse for your injury, no matter who caused it or how severe it is. If an injury was caused but not discovered until years later, you have from the date of discovery to take action.
If you have been injured by misdiagnosis, you need to gather the date of the injury, the physician's name, and note the type of medical care that was being provided when you received your misdiagnosis. Write down the date you became aware of the injury and any additional treatment you had to undergo as a result, and then contact a medical malpractice attorney to see if you have a case.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.