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Hello and thanks for choosing Just Answer®. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and assist you.
To provide you with accurate information, could you please clarify these points so I can best address your inquiry:
Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Based on the facts as you have presented them, I do not see a viable cause of action here. There are a couple problems with a lawsuit. First, you had one diagnosis and you choose to seek a second. You ultimately discovered that the first diagnosis was correct, meaning you had the right information all along.
Another problem is the lack of any real harm. While I do appreciate your concerns, it would be difficult to make a legal argument that you suffered harm when an earlier doctor had provided a correct diagnosis.
Additionally, medical diagnosis is a tricky thing. Candidly, I suspect this is the reason you sought a second diagnosis in the first place. You can speak to five different doctors and quite likely get five different opinions.
Please let me know if anything requires clarification.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
Civil lawsuits are not based on harm that you might suffer or could have suffered, they are based on actual harm. As to the definition of harm, it would be some quantifiable loss. For example, if you were incorrectly diagnosed and it could be demonstrated that the diagnosis caused you to lose an arm, that would be a harm for which you could seek compensation.
In your case, you have not stated any quantifiable harm attributed to the second diagnosis. If I'm missing something on this issue, please let me know. Otherwise, you just don't have a cause of action.
As to "specific court cases or laws" to support my position, no, I do not have any such thing. This is just a basic principle of law, you cannot seek redress if you have no basis.
Feel free to let me know if anything requires clarification.
I have assumed nothing. I will continue trying to satisfy so as to earn the accept. And, of course, you are free to handle the accept as you deem appropriate.
While you can legally sue a doctor for being wrong, no attorney would take on such a suit. For there to be any viable cause of action, there must be some harm. Without any harm, there can be no compensation. Without compensation, the attorney won't get paid. Like any other business person, we need to be paid for our services. Otherwise, we can't pay a salary to our staff, pay the mortgage and keep the lights on.
CAN you sue with there being no harm directly attributable to the doctor? Sure. SHOULD you sue in such a situation? Absolutely not, there would be no compensation and it would end up costing you money.
"Harm" does not solely mean "something that costs money". However, it would need to be equated to money.
Using my earlier example of losing an arm, surely we would all agree that there is a "value" to the lost arm. The exact amount would be hugely contingent upon the person's age and what they did for a living. If the person was a 25 year old professional football player, that arm could easily be worth ten million dollars.
Conversely, if the person were 85, retired and dying from some unrelated issue, the arm would be worth much less, perhaps $50,000.
So yes, pain could certainly be considered harm. A good example is a personal injury lawsuit arising from a car accident. The person may have no visible injuries but might suffer from constant neck or back pain. This would certainly constitute harm and would be the basis of a viable lawsuit.
As to your questions regarding a hypothetical surgery, the answers would depend on several factors. First and foremost, you would need to be able to attribute the surgery directly to the doctor's missed diagnosis. In other words, you would need to prove that, but for his diagnosis, you would not have needed the surgery. If you could do that, then yes, you would have a viable lawsuit. In that event, his insurance would likely cover all of your related medical expenses as well as providing compensation for all related issues.
I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.
Thank you for your patience.
I apologize for the delay, I went offline prior to your recent post and this is my first time back online. Regardless...
You have mentioned several times that you have issues with pain regarding your condition. However, you have yet to state with any clarity that your condition was caused or worsened by the incorrect diagnosis of the second doctor. Herein lies the problem with any lawsuit.
Please allow me to use an example from my life for purposes of illustration. Many years ago, my wife was about 20 years old. She was having significant health issues and went to see a doctor. While her symptoms suggested breast cancer, the first doctor adamantly stated that it couldn't be breast cancer as, amongst other reasons, she was "too young for breast cancer." She sought a second opinion and, sure enough, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
While it would have been helpful if the first doctor had made the correct diagnosis, the fact of the matter is that she had breast cancer regardless of the first doctor and his incorrect diagnosis. Additionally, and of importance to this discussion, him missing the diagnosis did not cause or worsen her illness. So, she had no viable lawsuit.
Please let me know if you need anything else.
Sure, just change the facts of the example I provided with my wife. Had she not gone for the second opinion, it is quite possibly she would not have realized she had cancer, it could have gone undetected for years and spread throughout her body. Had that happened, her prognosis would have been quite poor and her life drastically shortened.
In that event, one could state with a high level of probability that the missed diagnosis caused harm to the patient. If so, there would have been a compelling case for medical malpractice.
If you can attribute the incorrect diagnosis to any future harm then yes, you could have a viable lawsuit.
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