Receiving a diagnosis you weren’t expecting can be devastating. But not only is it important to understand your diagnosis and what the doctor recommends, it is also important to seek a second opinion.
According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, only 12 percent of people who sought a second opinion came back with the same exact diagnosis while 21 percent of people received a totally different diagnosis. This means that the remaining 67 percent of those who received a second opinion received an altered diagnosis or treatment plan.
Reasons for Medical Error or Misdiagnosis
With medical error being one of the top five leading causes of death in the U.S. and misdiagnosis as the number one reason for malpractice lawsuits, it’s clear to see why a second opinion is so important. But why do patients receive incorrect diagnoses from medical providers in the first place? There are a variety of reasons:
- Lab and test results are misinterpreted
- Proper screening for illnesses and diseases is not ordered
- Not enough time is spent with patients in order to speak about all of the symptoms
- Patients are not referred to appropriate specialists
- No follow-up is conducted with patients and their test results
- No follow-up is conducted with any referred specialists
- Incorrect performance of the test itself
It is also possible for a diagnosis to be overlooked all together. This can prove serious, as for many diseases or illnesses, time (and treatment) is of the essence. However, sometimes you can receive a missed diagnosis without incurring any measurable damages. In order to have a medical malpractice claim for an overlooked diagnosis, you must be able to prove that you have suffered measurable damages, including loss of function, loss of life, loss of income, or additional medical expenses.
Be Your Own Health Advocate
Since physicians are considered such an authority in society when it comes to our health, it may feel uncomfortable to second-guess anything they tell you. However, doctors are human and sometimes mistakes can be made.
You should seek a second opinion whenever you have received a serious or life-threatening diagnosis, or have been advised to undergo a potentially risky treatment plan. Physicians generally welcome or encourage patients to seek a second opinion. You may wish to ask them for a recommendation for another doctor, and be sure to understand your insurance plan and what seeking a second opinion may mean for your coverage.
The best thing that you can do is to always advocate for yourself and your health. Don’t be afraid to research for yourself, ask questions, and share all relevant information.
There is No Attorney’s Fee Unless We Win Your Case.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been mistreated or misdiagnosed by a physician or medical provider, it is very important that you consult with a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Choosing a lawyer is an important decision; you should seek a law firm with substantial experience in successfully handling similar cases.
The attorneys at Graves McLain have substantial experience in representing complicated medical malpractice cases. Additionally, we have the financial resources to conduct a thorough investigation to prosecute the case through trial and appeal if necessary.
There is no charge for Graves McLain to review your case. If we represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis (calculated as a percentage of the recovery we obtain). Call an experienced Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Attorney at Graves McLain at 918-359-6600 today. Trust our team. We’re here to help.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries.