My Doctor Misread My Medical Test – Can I Sue in New Jersey?

Many medical malpractice lawsuits arise from a medical professional’s mistake in reading or interpreting the results of medical tests. While it is true that everyone makes mistakes, in these cases, the mistake can be life-threatening. When a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake in reading or interpreting a medical test, it could delay life-saving treatment. If your doctor has, a medical malpractice attorney can help determine if the action was, in fact, medical malpractice.

How Can You Prove Medical Malpractice from Misread Test Results?

Not every mistake in diagnosing an illness is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are certain elements that must be proven in order to win. You must prove:

  • there was a doctor-patient relationship
  • the doctor did not conform to the standard of a reasonably skilled and competent professional (the doctor was negligent)
  • the doctor’s negligence caused your injury

How Do You Prove the Doctor Was Negligent?

Just because a misdiagnosis occurred, does not necessarily mean that the doctor was negligent. Faulty diagnostic equipment, sample contamination and other human error could be the culprit. To prove the doctor was negligent, you and your attorney must be able to prove that the doctor did not perform his or her job in the manner that a reasonably skilled and competent physician in a similar situation would have done.

If you cannot prove this element, there may still be a cause of action against another person or entity for the faulty equipment or action within the chain of custody of any specimen or result. Working with a competent medical malpractice attorney can be instrumental in determining liability in cases like this.

How Do You Prove The Doctor’s Negligence Caused Your Harm?

Once you have proven that the doctor or other medical professional was negligent, you must show that that failure to properly read the test and make a diagnosis lead to your condition progressing beyond what is would have had the doctor correctly read and diagnosed your test. You must also prove that the progression of your illness had a detrimental effect on your treatment. One of the most common cases we see in this realm is where a doctor failed to make a timely cancer diagnosis. The patient does not get the treatment needed to stop the cancer progression. By the time the doctor does make a diagnosis, cancer has spread to other areas of the body and is now untreatable.

In order to prove all of these elements, your medical malpractice attorney will engage the services of experts who specialize in determining standards of care, whether negligence was present, and whether the negligence resulted in an injury. These experts are also required in New Jersey in order to file an “affidavit of merit” with your complaint. This affidavit is required in all medical malpractice lawsuits.

If you believe your doctor misread your test results and you suffered because of it, contact our team at Nagel Rice, LLP today to discuss your options for pursuing a medical malpractice claim.