Can I sue for a misdiagnosis?

UPDATED: May 15, 2012

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Can I sue for a misdiagnosis?

Last year I injured my shoulder at work. I saw several different doctors. 1 of them told me I had a strain; another told me there was nothing wrong with my MRI. Long story short, I recently asked my doctor to refer me to an orthopedist to get another opinion on my shoulder. This doctor defiantly thinks I have had a tear this whole entire time. I am getting another MRI done next week but this time with dye in it to see if I do have a tear. If I do have a tear, and workmen’s comp doctors, misdiagnosed me, should I sue them?

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A misdiagnosis can be malpractice, or medical practice which does not meet then-currently acceptable standards for medical care, if the reason for the misdiagnosis was carelessness, failure to prescribe the correct tests, lack of training, or some other "fault" of the doctor; it is not malpractice if the doctor did everything right but simply came to the worong conclusion, since doctors are not held to a standard of perfection.

If this was malpractice, you could potentially sue for additional medical costs you incurred due to the failure to diagnose properly earlier; for lost wages (if any); and for significant disability or impairment of life functions or enjoyment, some amount for pain and suffering. On the other hand, malpractice cases are amont the most expensive cases to bring, since you need medical experts testifying on your behalf; it is not always enomically worthwhile to sue for malpractice even if malpractice was in fact committed. Unless you have had significant costs, lost wages, or disabilities, it is not likely worthwhile to sue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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