A 2016 study published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) claims “medical errors” in hospitals and other health-care facilities may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 251,000 lives are lost due to medical errors every year. That’s more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s.
According to further data, most people will suffer from at least one wrong or delayed medical diagnosis during their lifetime. And when diagnostic errors lead to incorrect treatment or no treatment, the patient’s condition can worsen and even result in death. So what should you do if you think you've been misdiagnosed?
Addressing Concern for Misdiagnosis
Trust your instincts. If you feel the diagnosis doesn't fit your symptoms, or the prescribed treatment isn't improving your condition, don't hesitate to go back to your doctor. Don't just wait to get better—even if that's exactly what you've been instructed to do. Seek a second opinion or ask for a referral to a specialist.
Recourse For Victims
A medical malpractice lawsuit is one option for victims of misdiagnosis. Medical malpractice cases are usually based on the theory of negligence, alleging that a medical professional did not provide treatment or care in a reasonably skillful and competent manner, resulting in injury to the victim.
Misdiagnosis of a medical condition or disease is a common example of medical malpractice. If you feel your healthcare provider violated the standard of care and caused injury, an attorney can help determine if you have a case.
When to Act
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait to act. Victims have a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit in New Hampshire. This is called a statute of limitations. The typical statute of limitations in New Hampshire is three years from when you knew or reasonably should have known you suffered a medical injury due to negligence. There are exceptions to the standard deadline, including a separate statute of limitations for minor children, that may apply to your case.
Obtaining Legal Advice
Law concerning medical malpractice in New Hampshire is complex. You can always consult an experienced attorney with any questions you might have. In the meantime, you might want to find a new doctor or healthcare provider if you feel your concerns are being ignored or dismissed. There is nothing more important than your health.