Most people think of surgery gone wrong when they hear the phrase medical malpractice. While surgical errors are among the most common medical mistakes, there are many forms of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis. One of the most important jobs physicians have is to properly and accurately diagnose a patient’s condition. After all, the diagnosis determines what medications and treatments, if any, must be prescribed.
If you believe you are the victim of a misdiagnosis, you must establish the following facts in order to build a successful malpractice case:
- Existence of a doctor-patient relationship
- Your doctor acted negligently
- As a result of your doctor’s negligence you suffered actual harm
Proving a doctor acted negligently can be difficult. Yet proving negligence may be the most important aspect of your case. Negligence is the failure to behave with the amount of care that a person of ordinary prudence would have exercised in the same situation. To prove negligence, you must first establish the following four elements:
- Duty owed — Your first task is to show that the defendant owed you a duty.
- Breach of duty — A knowledgeable attorney can help you prove that the defendant breached the duty he or she owed to you.
- Causation — You must prove the defendant’s actions caused your accident.
- Damages — Lastly, you must have suffered harm.
Since many physicians consult with experienced medical malpractice defense lawyers, it is in your best interests to speak with an equally skilled injury lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can immediately assess the strength of your case and advise you what to do next.