Medical Malpractice In Riverside is often the result of delayed or inaccurate diagnosis of an injury, illness or medical condition. When a patient is given the wrong treatment because of an incorrect diagnosis or because they weren’t treated at all, their condition can become serious or even fatal. However, a diagnostic error is not usually enough to warrant a medical malpractice suit. Here, you will learn what patients must prove in order to be successful in court.
Proving Malpractice After Errors in Diagnosis
Doctors are not held legally liable for every diagnostic error; patients must instead prove three factors to bring a successful suit: that there was a doctor/patient relationship, that the physician was negligent, and that their injuries were caused by that negligence. Most malpractice cases depend on the second or third elements, or a combination of both.
Negligence on the Part of a Physician
Delayed or inaccurate diagnoses are not proof of negligence. Good doctors can and do make diagnostic mistakes; the key is in finding whether the doctor acted in a competent manner. To do this, your lawyer will look at the differential diagnostic methods used by the doctor in making a treatment determination.
In differential diagnostics, doctors systematically identify conditions and diseases based on the patient’s symptoms and upon probability. Doctors test the likelihood of each possible diagnosis by making additional observations, asking questions and referring patients to specialists.
In most cases, all but one diagnosis is ruled out, but medicine is by nature uncertain. For malpractice to be shown, lawyers must prove that the physician did not include the right diagnosis, or that they failed to order the correct testing to investigate a particular diagnosis’ viability.