The legal repercussions of misdiagnosis

A misdiagnosis is not something anyone wants to ever have to deal with. It causes huge delays to treatment and means there are then additional challenges to overcome when recovering from an illness or medical condition.

This form of medical negligence can result in significant emotional trauma. You might be left feeling frustrated, disappointed and even angry. There will be so many things going through your mind that legal action might be the last thing you think of.

However, there will undoubtedly be repercussions on your life. Therefore, you might want to weigh up whether the clinician responsible should face legal repercussions.

Who was responsible?

If you think you want to pursue legal action against the medical professional who misdiagnosed you, you’ll have to establish who it was. But finding out who that was may not be quite as simple as you may initially think. It’s not always the doctor who delivered your results to you.

There may be certain situations when other medical staff may be responsible for a misdiagnosis. This could include radiologists, nurses or lab technicians. This could be when an error was made in the testing stage. This makes it important to direct your legal action against the right person.

All doctors are capable of making mistakes. They’re human, after all. This means you’ll only be able to take legal action against them if they’ve made an error that another doctor would not reasonably have made. This adds to the challenge of proving medical negligence took place.

Proving a misdiagnosis

Proving the misdiagnosis could potentially be difficult. When you show symptoms of the illness you were misdiagnosed with, you could find it challenging to prove that no other doctor would have made the same error.

Your records are going to become vital to helping you make your case. Keep anything that relates to your treatment plan, prior to your misdiagnosis and following it. This can help to show that you were suffering from an entirely different condition to the one you were diagnosed with.

Proof can also include photographs of any injury sustained. You can also submit a statement, detailing what you’ve gone through as a result of the misdiagnosis. Your friends, family and colleagues could also provide evidence of what they’ve seen in regard to your injury or illness.

Should you act?

You may think it’s not a moral decision to take legal action against the medical professional who misdiagnosed you. After all, health services are there to help you. But you should remind yourself that the person who made this error may go on to do it again to someone else.

If someone has been negligent, this should be addressed. This person should face the legal repercussions of their actions and you should be compensated for the pain and suffering you’ve been through.

Although it’s a difficult decision to make, you are within your rights to pursue action against the person who misdiagnosed you. The UK legal system exists to help people obtain justice. A no win no fee agreement ensures you can act without having to worry about the financial implications.

Image copyright: Hanna Kuprevichv