Can a Flu Misdiagnosis Lead to Medical Malpractice?

flu misdiagnosisEvery year, thousands of people get the flu. However, doctors may still misdiagnose this condition as a cold, pneumonia or other medical condition. When a condition is misdiagnosed, a patient can miss out on important treatments. Additionally, he or she may receive unnecessary treatment that may actually cause harm.

If you believe that your flu was misdiagnosed due to a health care provider’s careless actions, the Phillips Law Group can help. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Phoenix can review the circumstances surrounding your claim. We can discuss your legal rights during a free consultation and explain whether medical malpractice may be involved in your claim.

Flu Symptoms and Misdiagnosis

Flu symptoms are not the same for all patients. Each patient may experience a unique set of symptoms. Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Misdiagnosis often occurs because of human error. Health care providers must use the information they have available to them to properly diagnose patients. The flu has many symptoms that are common in other types of medical conditions, such as the common cold or pneumonia. Misdiagnosis can occur when a health care provider fails to run the proper tests or account for all of the patient’s symptoms.

A Doctor’s Duty to Diagnose Your Symptoms

A health care provider has a duty to properly diagnose a patient’s illness by using reasonable care. Even if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, this does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred.

The doctor can be held responsible for damages stemming from misdiagnosis if his or her actions are considered unreasonable for another medical professional under the same circumstances. It may require the use of a medical expert to testify about what procedures a reasonable health care provider would have followed under similar circumstances and how the doctor’s treatment deviated from the standard of care.

When a Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis is Negligent

A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosisis a common medical mistake and may be negligent when the following four elements are present:

  • A doctor-patient relationship ”“ The patient must be able to establish a doctor-patient relationship before being able to pursue the claim.
  • Misdiagnosis due to carelessness ”“ The misdiagnosis must have been caused by deviating from the standard of care. It must be considered unreasonable to a doctor who is similarly trained under similar circumstances.
  • Harm ”“ The patient must be able to show the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis harmed the patient. If there is no harm, there is no medical malpractice case.
  • Damages ”“ The patient must also be able to establish specific damages, such as increased medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Every case for medical malpractice is unique. Judges and juries determine the presence of negligence on a case-by-case basis. They may conclude the health care provider’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis was negligent if they find it was caused by:

  • Failure to screen for the flu
  • Failure to properly consult with the patient about symptoms and medical history
  • Failure to properly follow up and investigate possible causes of the reported symptoms
  • Use of improper testing procedures
  • Failure to follow up on preliminary results
  • Not ordering additional tests after getting some preliminary test results
  • Misinterpretation of lab test results

Speak with Our Phoenix Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Misdiagnosis cases are often quite complex. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Phillips Law Group have spent years pursuing compensation for patients who were injured due to health care providers’ negligent actions. This includes $3 million in damages for a medical malpractice case.

We can examine the specific circumstances involved in your case during a free consultation. We will analyze the circumstances to determine if your misdiagnosis was preventable. If you have a viable claim, we can help you pursue compensation for the additional medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you have incurred. We will handle the legal case so that you can concentrate on your recovery.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no upfront fees and only get paid if you recover for your claim.

We look forward to helping you. Call 602-222-2222 now.