Can I sue for a misdiagnosis?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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