CALIFORNIA DIAGNOSIS ERROR LAW
In California, doctors have a responsibility to identify exactly patients’ issues, interpret symptoms, and recommend appropriate treatment. When a diagnosis error leads to delayed or incorrect treatment or no treatment at all, you can have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, it should be noted that a mistake in diagnosis is not enough to sustain a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Below, The Margarian Law Firm Personal Injury lawyers will introduce you the main elements of the California Diagnosis Error Law. In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning California Personal Injury Law for free.
What is California Diagnosis Error Law?
The law does not consider doctors legally responsible for all diagnostic errors. In order to prove that a medical malpractice based on a wrong diagnosis took place, the patients must prove three elements:
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is not evidence of negligence. The aim is determining whether the doctor acted competently. In practice, in order to establish negligence in a diagnosis error, we try to understand whether the “differential diagnosis” method was used by your doctor. Differential diagnosis is a systematic method which is used by doctors to identify patient’s disease. They make a list of diagnoses in order of probability based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient. Ideally, only one diagnosis will remain at the end after a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses.
In order to establish a medical diagnosis error case, the patient must prove that a doctor, under similar circumstances, would not have misdiagnosed the patient’s illness or condition. It can be indicated even by one of the following facts:
- A relationship patient-doctor existed;
- The doctor was negligent and the treatment did not be provide in a skillful and competent manner;
- The patient’s actual injury was the result of the doctor’s negligence.
Oftentimes, it occurs that a doctor’s incorrect diagnosis reason is an inaccurate radiology films resulting from laboratory tests, or other types of tests. It can happen in one of the following two ways:
- The doctor did not include the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list, though under similar circumstances a reasonable, skillful and competent doctor would have done it;
- It was included the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list, but the doctor failed to perform appropriate tests or seek opinions from specialists in order to investigate the viability of the diagnosis.
Although the doctor might not be liable for medical negligence in this situation, but the patient can prove that the error was the result of negligence of someone else who was liable under California diagnosis error law.
- The equipment was defective;
- An error was a result of the wrong action by human being, for example, the samples were mixed up, the test results were read incorrectly, the technician used an improper procedure, or the technician or specialist missed something in an x-ray or pathology slide.
Obtaining Compensation if You Suffered Damages in a California Diagnosis Error Case
The Margarian Law Firm offers you to have an initial consultation for free. Our lawyers will explain you how you may be entitled to compensation and reimbursement for suffered damages from diagnosis error in California. When you hire us, you can leave the entire legal headache and concentrate on your recovering. We will protect your interests.
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