Can I Sue a Doctor That Failed to Diagnose My Heart Attack?
Every year, over 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US. Medical professionals are required by their training to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and take proper measures to treat it before it progresses to cause death. It is well recognized that a heart attack can present in a variety of different ways, and some people only show mild symptoms when having a heart attack. However, the risks of missing the diagnoses are so high that doctors must take reasonable steps to investigate, and not just assume that the patient is experiencing some less serious condition. If a doctor fails to take these reasonable steps and misdiagnoses a heart attack, the patient or their family might have reasons to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Are The Symptoms of a Heart Attack – and Why Are They Sometimes Overlooked?
The most obvious signs of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, and arm or back pain, but some people may demonstrate milder symptoms such as cold sweats, nausea, or dizziness. When a patient does not show the classic symptoms of a heart attack, it is easy for a doctor to attribute those symptoms to a different condition such as heartburn or indigestion, especially for patients that do not have a family history of heart conditions.
This issue is more prevalent in women because heart attack symptoms manifest themselves differently in women than in men. A doctor that dismisses a female patient’s symptoms as anxiety and fails to request basic exams such as an ECG or EKG (Electrocardiogram), cardiac enzymes (Troponins), stress testing or cardiac angiography, might be subject to a valid negligence lawsuit.
Is Failing to Diagnose a Heart Attack Considered Medical Malpractice?
A doctor is required to act by the reasonable and acceptable standards of care established for their profession. When a patient comes in demonstrating possible heart attack symptoms, a doctor must go over a complete questionnaire of the patient’s history and current medical conditions. The doctor is also expected to order the appropriate laboratory and/or imaging exams to use as part of their diagnosis. A misdiagnosed heart attack may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim if the doctor acted below the standard of care of their profession, ignored or misread lab results, or failed to acknowledge the tell-tale signs of a heart attack.
How Much Is My Heart Attack Medical Malpractice Case Worth?
Medical malpractice cases are in principle similar to personal injury cases in which you can seek compensation for economic damages as well as pain and suffering resulting from the injury or condition resulting from the medical error. Practically speaking, medical malpractice cases are often valued higher than regular personal injury cases because the harm to the patient is typically so serious.
Generally, the more severe the injury or error and the more serious the consequences suffered by the patient, the higher you can expect a settlement to be. Because heart attacks can lead to permanent injury or death, medical malpractice lawsuits can recover millions of dollars for victims. Every case is different and no specific outcomes are guaranteed. If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack that was misdiagnosed by your doctor, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Gideon Asen LLC by calling our office.
When you find yourself in need of legal help after a car accident, chances are you might be feeling anxious or intimidated when it is time to sit down in front of an attorney. Most personal injury clients are first-timers and have never dealt with an attorney in this capacity before. However, it is important to remember that an attorney is there to serve you and to protect your rights rather than judging you in any way. Here are a few tips to ease your nerves and help you prepare for a successful initial visit with your car accident attorney.
What Kind of Questions Will My Attorney Ask?
During your initial appointment, your attorney will likely ask you specific questions about the accident, such as when and where it happened. Be ready to provide as much detail as possible about dates, times, locations, and how the accident happened. You can even draw a picture to help your attorney get a better idea of how it all played out.
Next, your attorney may ask about whether the police were called and if a report was filed, and details about whether you received medical treatment right away and where. You may also be asked about what was done while you were receiving medical care and if any x-rays or M.R.I.s were taken. Finally, your attorney may ask if the other driver admitted fault, and whether it was recorded on the police report.
How Should I Prepare for My First Appointment?
In order to prepare for your first appointment, you may want to bring copies of any and all documentation related to the accident that you may have in your possession. Medical records, police reports, pictures, videos, notes, and anything that may help reconstruct the accident and paint a clear picture of your injury.
It is in your best interest to share as much specific detail as you can. That includes the exact date and time of the accident, names of doctors or healthcare facilities that examined you, and any other piece of information that may be relevant to understanding what happened. Even if you believe you may have been partially at fault for the accident, it is important not to withhold any information from your attorney so that they can build a strong case on your behalf without being blindsided by an unexpected piece of information that may negatively impact your case.
What Questions Should I Ask My Attorney to See If We Are a Good Fit?
When hiring a car accident attorney, you must be paired up with a professional with whom you feel comfortable and confident. Don’t be afraid to see more than one attorney, and ask them important questions about their background and experience handling personal injury cases. Take some time to get their assessment of your case and ask them about what types of outcome you may expect from it. Make sure to understand their legal philosophy and approach to car accident cases, and how your case will be managed. Finally, ask questions about legal fees and expenses you may be looking at as part of your case.
The right attorney can make or break your car accident case. The attorneys at Gideon Asen LLC are proud to serve car accident victims by offering knowledgeable and compassionate services while offering aggressive and skillful representation for their claims. Call us today for a free consultation.