Suffering injuries and potentially permanent disabilities due to a doctor or medical professional’s misdiagnosis is a frustrating and stressful situation. As laypersons, we trust our healthcare providers to treat us with the proper care and attention that we deserve during our medical times of need. Although a medical malpractice settlement or judgment in your favor may not truly make you whole again after the misdiagnosis, it can help you cope with the financial burdens associated with missing work, requiring additional medical care, or the limitations on your daily life. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., an experienced Boston medical malpractice attorney can assist you in determining whether you have a viable legal claim against the doctors who treated you.Bringing a Misdiagnosis Claim in Massachusetts
Each state has its own laws governing medical malpractice claims, and Massachusetts has enacted some specific rules that parties must follow in order to preserve their legal rights. First, a claim for medical misdiagnosis must be filed within three years from the date that the misdiagnosis occurred, or from the date that the victim knew or reasonably should have discovered the misdiagnosis. If you fail to file your claim within this timeline, you waive your right to compensation. Different rules apply for minor children who have suffered a misdiagnosis injury.
Once your lawsuit has been filed, you must submit an Offer of Proof to a three-member tribunal consisting of a judge, a physician from the relevant medical field, and an attorney. The tribunal will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations of medical negligence. You can proceed with your lawsuit if the tribunal denies your Offer of Proof by filing a $6,000 bond with the court.Assert Your Right to Compensation
In the underlying medical negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to treat him or her in accordance with the same standard of care that other medical professionals with similar training and experience in the same region would have used. This includes running appropriate tests, conducting appropriate examinations, and ruling out possible diagnoses until the correct diagnoses is reached. In other words, you must show that a reasonable physician from the same medical background would have diagnosed your condition correctly. In some cases, a patient’s symptoms may be so general that a number of conditions could be responsible. This can make it difficult to identify the right course of treatment to address the condition. This is why testing is important to rule out possible diagnoses until the appropriate diagnoses is identified. Routine screenings are also an important aspect of healthcare, including screenings for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and circulation issues.
Next, be prepared to show that the defendant’s failure to diagnose your condition was the direct cause of your injuries. This is one of the most challenging aspects of a medical malpractice claim because the defendant will often point to other factors like your medical history, existing medical conditions, or medical complexity of your case to show that some other factor is to blame for the injuries that you are experiencing. In most cases, the parties obtain expert witnesses to testify about the medical condition that you experienced and whether it was diagnosed appropriately.
The last phase of the lawsuit involves determining the amount of damages that you are entitled to receive. Massachusetts has enacted caps on certain categories of damages, which is why it is wise to seek counsel from a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer. Examples of available categories of damages include lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.Speak With a Compassionate Medical Malpractice Attorney in Boston
If you believe that you’ve suffered harm or lost a loved one as a result of a medical misdiagnosis in Boston, we are standing by to help you understand the legal aspects of your situation. It can be extremely difficult to know whether you have a legal right to compensation, especially in the often complicated field of medical malpractice where it requires sophisticated knowledge to understand medical practice. We are available to represent injured persons in areas around Cambridge, Waltham, Newton, Lowell, Quincy, Somerville, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation, call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.