Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Lawyers
If a Mistaken Diagnosis Has Impacted Your Care, We Want to Help You Recover Compensation
Thanks to the internet, patients have more medical knowledge at their fingertips than ever before. However, individuals can only do so much to take charge of their care. When you need a prescription or referral to a specialist, your doctor is the only one who can help.
This makes it even more frustrating when your doctor refuses to acknowledge your symptoms or gives you the wrong diagnosis. Their actions usually aren’t malicious—doctors do, after all, take a pledge to help patients as much as they can. However, a doctor failing to diagnose you correctly can have serious and long-ranging impacts on your life. As you face these challenges, you deserve support.
The Beasley Firm serves patients who have been injured by medical malpractice, including cases of misdiagnosis. If your doctor made a mistake that affected your health and/or care, you likely have legal recourse. Our team is here to let you know what your rights are and how we can help you protect them.
If a misdiagnosis harmed you or a loved one, please reach out to us at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Why Misdiagnosis Happens
Despite attending four years of medical school, doctors don’t have in-depth knowledge of every health condition a patient may suffer. They are well-versed in more common issues like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and the like. Patients who are suffering from rarer diseases like multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, or IBS may wait months or even years to learn what is ailing them.
During this time they may suffer pain and other symptoms that are treatable with the right diagnosis; see their disease progress when it could have been treated instead; and even pass their eligibility window for some treatment methods. While receiving a correct diagnosis after years of waiting is a relief, many patients also feel anger and grief due to their previous experiences.
Causes May Go Beyond Your General Practitioner
Though new and unusual symptoms typically lead people to contact their primary care physician rather than a specialist, misdiagnosis doesn’t always happen in the doctor’s office. It can also happen in medical labs or even the ER. Common causes include:
- Collaborative failures between physicians
- Lack of physician experience
- Stress or time constraints among doctors
- Failure to order necessary tests for diseases that may have overlapping symptoms
- Failure to properly communicate with patients and their families
- Misusing technology meant to aid with diagnosis
- Failure of clinics to analyze and learn from diagnostic failure
When multiple parties make mistakes that stood in the way of you receiving a correct diagnosis, you deserve answers from all of them. Filing a claim can be a way to pursue this information.
Patient Identity and Misdiagnosis
Unfortunately, disparities in healthcare research and training also contribute to misdiagnosis. For example, many foundational medical studies were conducted only on white male adults. However, age, sex, and race/ethnicity can affect a disease’s symptoms. For example, strokes don’t always cause paralysis of one side of the body and slurred speech. A patient may only experience dizziness and/or a headache. By only considering the historically recognized symptoms of a disorder, doctors may do a disservice to demographics that were not included in original studies.
Implicit bias among doctors can also contribute to misdiagnosis. Many assume heart disease typically only affects men, though it is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths among women. A doctor’s subconscious assumptions might prevent them from recognizing the symptoms of a disease simply because they do not expect a patient to exhibit them.
Effects of Misdiagnosis
Some errors are less harmful than others. When conditions like stroke, heart disease, and cancer are misdiagnosed, patients may suffer disabling effects or even miss the window for treatment that could help. In other cases, a doctor may recommend an incorrect and/or unnecessary treatment that can cause severe side effects. In the aftermath, patients may be permanently injured and left with medical bills they can’t afford.
Not only is the rate of misdiagnosis far too high, but it also may be more common among the patients who are most in need of specific and timely treatment. One study published in the British Medical Journal suggests 1 of every 20 patients in the U.S. are victims of diagnostic error. Even more worrisome, diagnostic errors are more common in the ER than in inpatient care. Someone in need of life-saving care could die before the correct diagnosis is made.
We Can Help After a Misdiagnosis Error
When your health has been compromised by a doctor’s mistakes, you have the right to file a claim for medical malpractice. You are legally entitled to recover expenses like:
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Future medical needs
- Pain and suffering
When a misdiagnosis is fatal, the family of the patient can file a wrongful death suit to recover additional damages and understand why their loved one could not be saved.
The Beasley Firm is uniquely prepared to help anyone struggling after a misdiagnosis. Our Philadelphia misdiagnosis lawyers partner with doctors and nurses who can break down the elements of a medical error for a judge and jury. We also have decades of experience working with medical malpractice victims. Knowing how to argue medical cases in court is a skill, and you can be confident our attorneys know how to handle these claims.
Even if you aren’t sure what to do after learning about a misdiagnosis, we invite you to reach out to our team for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story and let you know your options at no cost and with no obligation. We simply want you to have all the information so you can make the decision that is right for you.
Our misdiagnosis attorneys in Philadelphia are here to help. Call our office any time at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation regarding your misdiagnosis claim.
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Jim Beasley Jr. led the Firm’s prosecution of the physicians and hospital that caused this child’s brain damage during this complex and challenging heart surgery.
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