What is my recourse regarding a misdiagnosis?

I went to eye doctor for yearly exam and to get new prescriptions for contacts and eyeglasses as vision wasn’t as good as it had been and it had been awhile since gotten new glasses. Was given new prescriptions, spent almost $1000 on new contacts and glasses and my vision was no better and perhaps worse as I am now back to wearing old glasses and contacts. At the initial visit was told I had the beginnings of cataracts but that was all no problem as to be expected at my age, cataracts are slow growing. When my vision was no better with no prescription saw a different doctor in the practice and he said I had full blown cataracts and that was why my vision was so bad When I said how could I have gone from the beginnings of cataracts to full blown cataracts and needing surgery in 30 days, he initially said

Asked on March 29, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury. In such cases, there are 2 things must be prove: (1) due to another's negligence (2) a person suffered harm as a result. In this case, there is no question that you suffered physical harm, however the issue of negligence may or may not be present.
In such cases, if a doctor fails to make an accurate diagnosis of a health condition, the issue regarding to negligence is whether or not the doctor breached the "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. Basically, would a doctor with similar training in the same medical community have identified the problem?
While you may or may not have a claim, proving medical negligence can be a difficultundertaking. You sreally hould consult directly with a personal injury attorney; such a consultation is usually free.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury. In such cases, there are 2 things must be prove: (1) due to another's negligence (2) a person suffered harm as a result. In this case, there is no question that you suffered physical harm, however the issue of negligence may or may not be present.
In such cases, if a doctor fails to make an accurate diagnosis of a health condition, the issue regarding to negligence is whether or not the doctor breached the "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. Basically, would a doctor with similar training in the same medical community have identified the problem?
While you may or may not have a claim, proving medical negligence can be a difficultundertaking. You sreally hould consult directly with a personal injury attorney; such a consultation is usually free.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You don't really have any recourse. First, it's not a given this was malpractice--doctors can be wrong without it being malpractice. Only if the doctor's diagnosis was not merely mistaken, but was so wrong as to be "unreasonable"--basically, that no reasonably competent doctor could have come to that diagnosis--might it be malpractice.
But even if it was malpractice, it would cost you more money to sue for the $1,000 than you'd get back: that's because even if you were your own lawyer ("pro se")--which is not recommended, but which you are allowed to--you MUST hire a medical expert (e.g. an opthamalogist) to exam you, write a report, and testify at trial. (Your opinion, as a layperson, is worthless; and if the expert doesn't testify live, anything he or she said is hearsay, and so not admissible in court.) Given the typical costs to hire doctors or other medical expert to do this--a cost which you have to bear yourself and cannot get back in the lawsuit--you'd spend more suing that you are trying to recover.


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