Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice if My Child Was Misdiagnosed?
As a parent, you’re expected to trust doctors and medical professionals to have your child's best interests at heart. However, mistakes happen—and when they do, the consequences can be devastating. One of the most common types of medical malpractice in pediatric care is misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to correctly identify a patient's medical condition. This can lead to delayed treatment, incorrect treatment, or no treatment at all, often leading to serious harm and, in extreme cases, death.
Pediatric misdiagnoses can lead to children being diagnosed with conditions they don't have, which can result in lasting physical and psychological damage. The good news is that families may be entitled to compensation if their child was misdiagnosed due to negligence on behalf of the healthcare provider or facility. It's crucial for parents to take legal action as soon as possible after medical negligence by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida courts.
To determine whether you have grounds for a suit, it's crucial to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about the specifics of your case. Your lawyer can help you better understand your rights and advise your legal steps accordingly to obtain the outcome you desire in court, in addition to explaining the compensatory damages available for medical expenses and other losses related to your child's injury.
What Damages Are Recoverable After Pediatric Misdiagnosis?
A qualified medical malpractice attorney can help caregivers and families understand their rights under Florida law and confirm whether or not they have a case to pursue damages after medical misdiagnosis, including:
- Economic damages - These entail financial compensation to cover quantifiable losses as a result of medical negligence, such as loss of income, hospital bills, and other medical expenses.
- Non-economic damages - These involve non-quantifiable damages that may lack a clear value, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by negligence on part of the medical provider in charge of your child's care.
It's imperative for parents to remember that filing a medical malpractice suit can be an incredibly complex process filled with paperwork and legal hurdles. Seeking assistance from a dedicated medical malpractice attorney is nonnegotiable if you wish to recover full compensation for your child's suffering. A competent attorney can review your case, fortify your claims with sufficient evidence, and provide sound counsel to help achieve justice, peace, and closure on behalf of you and your loved ones.
Common Misdiagnoses in Pediatric Care
Regardless of intention, there are various misdiagnoses caused by negligence in pediatric care. Consider these 5 common examples of pediatric misdiagnoses in Florida:
- Misdiagnosis of pediatric infections – In some cases, pediatricians can miss signs of infections in pediatric patients, such as meningitis or pneumonia, which can lead to deadly consequences. A lack of timely intervention to treat such infections can result in severe harm like brain damage, organ failure, hearing loss, and even death in children.
- Failure to diagnose pediatric cancers – In 2012, an alarming study revealed that pediatricians overlook cancer diagnoses in children 52% of the time. As you can imagine, failure to diagnose pediatric cancers can be time-sensitive and lead to serious, once-preventable harm in adolescent patients. Commonly overlooked cancers in pediatric care include hepatoblastoma, neuroblastoma, lymphomas, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and osteosarcoma.
- Misdiagnosis of birth injuries – Birth injuries are a common cause of pediatric malpractice lawsuits. Common examples include conditions like brain damage, newborn jaundice, spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, kernicterus, intraventricular hemorrhage, intrauterine fetal demise, periventricular leukomalacia, and more.
- Misdiagnosing autism – Misdiagnosing autism (or diagnosing it too late) can lead to missed opportunities for early intervention and treatment to equip a child with needed resources to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. This can lead to enhanced stress for families who are continually turned away by unsuspecting doctors or receive inappropriate medical advice. If your child has been misdiagnosed with autism or was diagnosed far later than appropriate, it’s crucial to turn to a trusted medical malpractice lawyer with experience in pediatric negligence cases.
- Asthma misdiagnosis – Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose asthma in pediatric patients can lead to serious risks. Children who are misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed by their pediatricians can develop severe systems and find themselves at an increased risk of health complications, including death. Asthma misdiagnosis can be costly to families in more ways than one, as caregivers often find themselves paying for unnecessary medical treatments and medications that fail to alleviate their child’s true symptoms after pediatric misdiagnosis.
Other examples of misdiagnosis lawsuits in pediatric care include undetected congenital heart conditions or vision impairment, food allergies, genetic disorders, lead poisoning from ingestion or paint exposure, and mental health conditions or psychological illnesses in adolescent patients.
Does Misdiagnosis Count as Pediatric Negligence?
It isn’t uncommon for caregivers to feel helpless and overwhelmed when caring for children who struggle with medical issues. The thought of not being able to alleviate your child's pain through proper medical diagnosis, treatment, and prevention can be heartbreaking for any parent. Unfortunately, pediatric misdiagnosis is a common occurrence that can lead to devastating medical complications.
Does misdiagnosis in pediatric care count as medical malpractice? In many cases, the answer is yes. Pediatric misdiagnosis is considered a form of medical malpractice under Florida law, which occurs when a medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. Misdiagnosis can fall under this category when a child’s physician fails to correctly diagnose their condition, often leading to serious health repercussions.
If you suspect that your child was the victim of pediatric misdiagnosis, it's essential to consult with an experienced pediatric misdiagnosis attorney in Florida, as they can help determine whether you have a case and guide your legal steps without losing sight of your family’s best interests. Litigation can be a lengthy and complex process, and a skilled lawyer can help fortify your case with relevant evidence and help establish realistic expectations regarding the lawsuit and anticipated compensation.
Compassionate Representation for Medical Malpractice Claims
From autism to cancer, misdiagnosis and other forms of medical malpractice in pediatric care are serious issues that can lead to long-term harm to your child's health and wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel from a qualified misdiagnosis attorney when needed, as having the right representation in your medical malpractice lawsuit can mean the difference between obtaining justice and walking away with less than you rightfully deserve.
At Rash Mueller, we have over 30 years of experience representing Florida families in a variety of medical malpractice claims, from prescription errors to brain injuries. Speaking out against acts of negligence in the medical community can be daunting and intimidating, but it’s crucial for Florida families to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for the harm they’ve committed. Our firm can help you recover maximum compensation for your suffering. Reach out to our office to learn how we can help.
Our firm knows how difficult it can be to navigate the fallout of medical malpractice. Contact us online to discuss your case with a trusted Weston medical malpractice attorney.