Call today to schedule a free initial consultation

Phone :415.835.6777

When is Doctor Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice?

When you seek professional medical care, you reasonably expect you will receive an accurate and timely diagnosis. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis remain serious problems. According to AARP, as many as 20 percent of serious medical conditions are initially misdiagnosed by medical professionals.

This raises an important question: Is misdiagnosis medical malpractice in California? The answer is “it depends” — misdiagnosis is only medical malpractice if the doctor/healthcare provider was negligent and the patient suffered actual harm as a result. Here, our San Francisco medical malpractice lawyers provide an overview of doctor misdiagnosis claims.

Malpractice Claims: Patients Must Prove Negligence 

Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are not automatically considered to be medical malpractice in California. The law does not expect physicians to be perfect when diagnosing medical conditions. Medicine is complicated and perfection is certainly not possible. Instead, California law requires medical professionals to perform their job with a reasonably high level of attention, care and competence. When they miss a diagnosis they should have spotted, they may be legally liable for any harm the patient suffered. Here is the most important thing you should know when misdiagnosis becomes medical malpractice in California:

  • To prevail in a medical malpractice case, a patient must prove an alternative doctor of ordinary skill and prudence would have likely made a timely, accurate diagnosis — if placed under similar circumstances.

Modern medicine is an incredibly complex field. As such, expert testimony will make up a key part of any successful medical malpractice lawsuit. It is crucial victims of doctor misdiagnosis and their loved ones get support from an experienced San Francisco medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to connect you with the right medical experts.

Compensation Available through a Medical Malpractice Claim

A patient can only bring a successful medical malpractice claim if they suffered actual harm as a result of the misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis. If you were misdiagnosed but did not suffer any injuries or harm, you will not have a viable claim. On the other hand, patients who did suffer harm as a result of medical negligence have a right to recover financial compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the specific nature of your doctor misdiagnosis claim, financial compensation may be available for:

  • Emergency medical care;
  • Other medical bills;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Psychological counseling;
  • Lost wages and diminished earning power;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Scarring;
  • Permanent impairments; and
  • The wrongful death of a family member.

Call Our San Francisco Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Immediate Assistance 

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our California medical malpractice lawyers are strong, aggressive advocates for patients and their loved ones. If you or your family member suffered harm due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, we are here to help. For a free case evaluation, please contact us today at 415-835-6777. We handle medical malpractice claims in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.

Medical Malpractice Attorney