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Can you file a lawsuit if you suffer from a misdiagnosis?

If you suffer from a misdiagnosis, it can easily change your life. For example, if you had an early stage of cancer that was misdiagnosed, then the diagnosis you do receive could happen so much later that it's too late to receive treatment at all.

If you have skin cancer and have been misdiagnosed, you may be able to sue your medical provider for failing to diagnose your illness. It's not always easy to prove that a doctor makes a mistake or that he or she is liable for the misdiagnosis, but your attorney can help you review your case's facts to determine if you have a claim.

To win a case against a doctor or other medical provider, you'd need to prove medical malpractice. In a medical malpractice claim, you show that the doctor or medical provider owed you a duty of care and then breached it. Essentially, you need to show that you would have been diagnosed correctly if you had seen another doctor with the same information.

Your attorney needs to be able to show a deviation from the standard of care necessary to prove malpractice. For example, if you had an oddly shaped mole and asked for a diagnosis, your medical provider should have ordered a test to be certain that it was not skin cancer. Failing to do so may have been a breach of his or her duties and a deviation from the standard of care.

Not all cases of misdiagnoses are a doctor's mistake. Sometimes, symptoms do not present the same in different patients, which can make it harder to identify. Your attorney can help you decide if your case is one worth pursuing.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Sue for a Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis?," Ephrat Livni, Esq., accessed May 16, 2017

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