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Wrongly Diagnosed With Hyperthyroidism: When to Sue

Any misdiagnosis, whether falsely identifying an issue that doesn't exist or failing to discover one that does, can be harmful. This can be especially true for hyperthyroidism, which affects millions of people per year. If not accurately diagnosed, those people may go untreated, or undergo potentially harmful treatments based on a doctor's misreading of their symptoms.

Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to properly diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism can be held liable. Here's what you need to know.

Malpractice, Misdiagnosis, and Negligence

If you think a doctor failed to diagnose your hyperthyroidism or gave you an erroneous diagnosis, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. In essence, most medical malpractice claims are alleging a form of negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. Medical malpractice claims based on a theory of negligence require four essential elements:

  1. Duty: A doctor owed you a duty of care, generally the basis of any doctor-patient relationship;
  2. Breach: A doctor breached his or her duty by misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose your hyperthyroidism when a reasonably competent doctor in his or her same position would not have;
  3. Causation: The doctor's misdiagnosis -- and not some other factor -- caused you harm, a likely event if hyperthyroidism goes untreated or mistreated;
  4. Damages: That harm you suffered is quantifiable and compensable, to some degree.

Doctors, Diagnosis, and Complications

Courts will judge doctors and their decisions based on what a reasonably prudent doctor would have done under similar circumstances. So it may be difficult to prove malpractice if your doctor did exactly what any other competent doctor would've done in treating your hyperthyroidism (or lack thereof).

In addition, medical malpractice claims can be especially complicated, often requiring the disclosure of detailed medical records and patient information, along with experts to testify regarding your injuries and your doctor's alleged misdiagnosis. Talk to an experienced injury attorney if you're considering a medical malpractice claim based on a hyperthyroidism misdiagnosis.

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