You trust your doctors to know the proper tests and symptoms to make a proper diagnosis when presented with all the facts. Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis of a condition accounts for a significant percentage of Virginia medical malpractice claims. There are many reasons why a misdiagnosis occurs, but the bottom line is that if you are injured by this type of negligence, a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney may be necessary to fight your claim.

How do you know if you've been misdiagnosed?

We go to the doctor because we don't know what is wrong, so how can we tell if their conclusion is right or not? This is one of the saddest parts of a misdiagnosis - many times it's too late to tell you've been misdiagnosed and the damage has been done.

In many cases that I've seen as a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney, it's when a patient goes to another doctor that they are correctly diagnosed. Unfortunately, more often than not they are seeing another doctor because they were admitted to the ER with serious complications from the misdiagnosed condition.

Trust your instincts; if you question your doctor's diagnosis you have every right to seek a second opinion from another medical professional. You should also be wary of when your doctor tells you to keep waiting and your condition will improve when it's not. Signs like these should send you to another doctor, and perhaps an attorney for a review of your case.

The Dangers of Misdiagnosis

The biggest danger with misdiagnosis is that while you are being wrongfully treated for another condition, the real problem continues to persist. As a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney, I can attest to several cases where a patient is treated for a disease they were wrongfully diagnosed with and not only did they suffer harm from the undiagnosed condition, but also from the unnecessary treatment from the wrongfully diagnosed condition.

Time is an important loss when you suffer misdiagnosis of a serious condition. In cases such as misdiagnosis of cancer, another doctor finally catches the disease when it is in a much later stage of development. The time between the misdiagnosis and the proper diagnosis is lost time that could have been spent treating the condition.

Many medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis seen by Fairfax medical malpractice attorneys on a regular basis are those regarding heart attacks or stroke. We see doctors who ignore telltale signs of an impending heart attack and send patients off with some pain killers. When these patients end up back in the ER in full cardiac arrest they often have a textbook case of medical malpractice.

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Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney