A doctor working at his desk after giving a patient the wrong diagnosis.

Can You Sue a Doctor for a Wrong Diagnosis?

October 4, 2022 | Attorney, Allan Ziffra

We’re all aware of the saying “everyone makes mistakes.” Even though we may not like to think about it, even doctors make mistakes. However, in some cases, a mistake is not a mistake but rather negligence. Determining whether you can sue for your misdiagnosis can require some investigation and evaluation. If your doctor gave a wrong diagnosis, Rue and Ziffra is ready to help you.

Proving Negligence After a Misdiagnosis

As previously mentioned, a mistake and negligence are two different things. To establish your misdiagnosis was a result of negligence, you must first satisfy the following elements:

  • The treating physician owed you a duty of care;
  • The physician breached this duty of care;
  • The breach resulted in injury; and
  • The injury resulted in damages.

Depending on the details of your case, proving negligence can be tricky. A medical malpractice attorney can help investigate your case and establish negligence.

Situations Leading to a Wrong Diagnosis

Several situations can occur, leading to a misdiagnosis. These can include:

  • Failing to take a thorough medical history;
  • Not ordering the proper tests;
  • Misreading your test results; and
  • Confusing test results with another patient’s results.

In some situations, the doctor is not the only responsible party, and you may be able to sue the hospital for the wrong diagnosis. Your medical malpractice attorney can help determine what caused your misdiagnosis and who is at fault.

Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions

Some conditions are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. These typically include:

  • Cancer,
  • Heart attack,
  • Stroke,
  • Lyme disease, and
  • Blood clots.

Many conditions, if misdiagnosed, can have lasting impacts. Not only can a misdiagnosis mean adverse effects on your health, but it can also bring about mounting medical bills and the need for continued medical care.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases

A statute of limitations is a law imposed to restrict the amount of time a person has to file a claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the malpractice occurred or two years from the time the malpractice was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases can be tricky because a patient can be completely unaware that the malpractice has even occurred.

If a person fails to file their claim within two years, their claim will likely be barred.

Statute of Repose

Along with a statute of limitations, Florida also has a statute of repose. This statute states that unless there is fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation, a patient cannot file their claim more than four years after the date of the malpractice. The statute of repose can hurt a person’s wrong diagnosis lawsuit, as a patient can go many years without discovering the malpractice, depending on their condition. 

Don’t risk losing your right to compensation. If you believe you have been misdiagnosed, discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney right away.

Consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

For over 40 years, Rue & Ziffra has had the pleasure of helping innumerable clients when they’ve needed us most. A misdiagnosis can change your life, bringing many stresses and financial burdens. We provide every client with the care and compassion they need and strive to attain the best possible outcome. Our firm offers free consultations. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.

Attorney Allan Ziffra

Allan Ziffra

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article has been written and reviewed by Allan Ziffra. Allan L. Ziffra is a founding partner and president of Rue & Ziffra, a personal injury law firm. With over two decades of experience, Allan has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries, securing over $100 million for clients. He holds a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Miami and a JD from Stetson University.

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