Getting sick is often stressful, especially when waiting for an official diagnosis. Tennessee residents rely on these diagnoses to be accurate, trusting local doctors with their wellbeing. Unfortunately, doctors are human and sometimes make mistakes, even when diagnosing.

It makes sense then that misdiagnosis is a leading cause of medical malpractice claims. Before filing such a claim, Tennessee residents may want to understand how to determine negligence in these cases.

How to determine negligence in a misdiagnosis

It is not easy to determine negligence in a medical malpractice suit. There are many parties involved that may ultimately be culpable for a misdiagnosis. Those concerned about their diagnosis will find an experienced lawyer helpful with the following steps:

  1. Inform the doctor: First steps include informing the doctor of the problem and allowing the organization to remedy the situation, if possible.
  2. Contact relevant licensing board: Pressure from the doctor’s licensing board may prompt the medical professional or organization involved to act.
  3. Understand the statute of limitations: All states are different — Tennessee residents have one year from the time of the incident to file a malpractice claim.
  4. Get a second opinion: Most malpractice claims will need evidence of a differing opinion. A lawyer experienced with malpractice can help set up an appointment to secure a second opinion and certificate of merit.
  5. Consider a settlement: Most medical malpractice cases settle out of court. Considering how often insurance companies covering medical malpractice reject claims, this is often the best option for victims.

34% of malpractice claims involving a patient’s death or severe disability cited bad diagnoses. Researcher David Newman-Toker of Johns Hopkins University said that these diagnostic errors were “the most common, most catastrophic and most costly of medical errors.” According to the study, fully 28% of all malpractice payouts involve a misdiagnosis.

Seek legal representation

Those with severe medical conditions face constant anxiety and stress throughout their treatment. These stressors impact the family as well, as close relatives often help as unofficial caretakers and helpers. These families must have the accurate information they need to protect those they love. Those who believe they have received a misdiagnosis by a local doctor might consider contacting legal counsel to explore options.