A recent health study found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Another study found that there are more than 12 million instances of medical misdiagnosis each year. While most Georgia doctors care deeply about their patients and skillfully carry out their jobs, medical errors occur in Georgia every day.
When doctors negligently make a misdiagnosis in Georgia, patients that suffer harm have a right to bring a medical malpractice against them. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Williams Elleby, handle these types of cases throughout the State of Georgia. If you would like to discuss your case, call today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Claims
Doctors in Georgia have a duty to exercise a “reasonable degree of care and skill.” This standard of care requires doctors to act with a degree of care and skill that is ordinarily employed by other doctors in Georgia under similar conditions and circumstances. If a doctor fails to meet this standard of care and a patient suffers harm as a result, Georgia law provides that a medical malpractice claim can be made.
Misdiagnosis as the Basis for a Malpractice Claim
Georgia courts have long recognized that a misdiagnosis can be malpractice. Misdiagnosis claims most commonly arise when a doctor fails to uncover or recognize the symptoms of a serious condition. A failure to diagnose a serious progressive disease, like cancer, can be a life-threatening mistake for a doctor to make.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS IN KENNESAW, GA
However, although misdiagnoses can have severe consequences for a patient, not all instances of misdiagnoses are considered malpractice. After all, even the best doctors will sometimes fail to make the correct diagnosis. The question is whether the failure to make the correct diagnosis was a direct result of the doctor’s failure to exercise reasonable care and skill. In other words, a plaintiff in these cases must prove that a doctor exercising reasonable care and skill under the circumstances would not have misdiagnosed the patient’s illness or condition.
Every case is different because the particular conditions and circumstances of each case are relevant to determining whether malpractice occurred. For instance, a failure to diagnose cancer could be malpractice in under some circumstances, but would not be malpractice in others. The patient’s symptoms, health history, and age could all be factors. The staff and resources available to the doctor can also be relevant.
In some cases, a misdiagnosis is the result of faulty testing. Laboratory results, radiology films, or x-rays could have inaccuracies that were not the doctor’s fault. As long as the doctor was reasonable in believing that these test results were accurate, he or she cannot likely be found liable for malpractice. However, it may be possible in these cases to bring a claim against a lab technician, some other healthcare provider, or even an equipment manufacturer if they were negligent in producing the erroneous test results.
Medical malpractice cases can be exceedingly complex and difficult to prove. This is especially true when it comes to misdiagnosis cases. Detailed medical evidence and expert testimony are needed in these cases. Despite the fact that these claims can be difficult to win, victims of harm should still understand their legal rights and options. If you or a loved one has been harmed because a doctor failed to properly diagnose an illness, Williams Elleby, can help you understand your potential case and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
To Discuss Your Case, Contact Williams Elleby
Williams Elleby, is dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims get justice. To schedule a free medical malpractice consultation, call 833-LEGALGA today.