A Misdiagnosis or Late Diagnosis Can Be Considered Medical Malpractice

by | Mar 23, 2013 | Legal Services

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You may have heard of medical malpractice and think that even though you were misdiagnosed or have a late diagnosis that you don’t have a case. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Medical malpractice in Iowa City, IA can cover both misdiagnosis as well as late diagnosis. In fact, a large number of medical malpractice cases stem from late diagnosis or misdiagnosis. If a doctor is incorrect about a diagnosis or they take too long to diagnose the problem, the illness or injury could get even worse, causing unnecessary pain and suffering. However, there is a thin line when it comes to medical malpractice and just because of a misdiagnosis, it doesn’t mean you can sue. What it does mean though, is that you should contact a local attorney to see if you have a case.

How a Misdiagnosis Can Lead to Medical Malpractice

It is expected that, at times, doctors are going to misdiagnose. Diagnosing a patient is like solving a mystery where all the clues can lead to several suspects. Sometimes doctors literally have to take their best guess when it comes to diagnosis. Malpractice can come into play when it is determined that the misdiagnosis was negligent. For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient who ends up suffering due to the misdiagnosis and another doctor comes in and easily diagnoses the patient with what is really wrong, that is negligent.

Differential Diagnosis has a Part to Play

In addition to everything above, determining medical malpractice in Iowa City, IA will consider differential diagnosis. Differential diagnosis is the method in which a doctor will use in order to diagnose a patient. Based on the initial exam, a doctor will typically take all of the symptoms and consider all of the conditions that they can lead to. At that point the doctor will rank the conditions then uses medical tests, the questioning of a patient and other methods to narrow it down.


If the medical malpractice case is based on differential diagnosis, the burden will fall on the patient and their attorney, to prove negligence. If they can prove that another doctor, in the same specialty and under the same circumstances would not diagnose in the same way, you would have medical malpractice based on differential diagnosis.

There are certainly other things that can bring about a medical malpractice case in Iowa, some of them easier to prove than others. If you believe that you may have a strong case of medical malpractice, it is recommended that you contact an attorney.

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