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Can a lawsuit be filed against a doctor who gave the wrong diagnosis without testing which led to medical condition to worsen?

Decatur, GA |

I went to the ER four months ago due to a bad swollen rash/bump like break-out on my face, glands behind my ears were beyond swollen, eyes were blood shot red. The doctor looked in my eyes with a light, looked in my nose , asked me what i ate and after i told her what i ate the day before she then gave a ballpark diagnosis that i had a peanut allergy without any tests being given. I was prescribed allergy tabs, eye drops, both which were cancelled & instructed to use OTC. My condition worsened severely over the next 3mths which had led to missing work/school due to illness. After recently seeking a second opinion from another doctor, proper tests were done & I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. Further pain & suffering could have been avoided if proper meds were given when symptoms started.

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Attorney answers 3


Doctors believe sarcoidosis stems from an abnormal immune response, most likely to something inhaled from the air. The bottom line is the med mal lawsuits are costly, and without a significant injury, a lawsuit would likely costs tens of thousands more than would be recovered, however, feel free to call a med mal lawyer in your state from Avvo to discuss in detail.

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Since tort reform occurred in 2005, there is a heightened standard of negligence that is required in order to bring a medical malpractice case against an ER doctor (in 99% of cases are independent contractors relieving the hospital of any liability). That standard of care is now wanton or wilful misconduct which almost amounts to intentional conduct. Very few cases meet that criteria and from what you have described, your case probably does not meet that criteria. If we assume that it did, the doctor's failure to diagnose did not cause the condition and a correct diagnosis would have only prevented treatment of the symptoms for three months. As has been stated, the damages would not arise to a level that would make it economical to pursue such a case assuming that it arose to the level of negligence required since 2005.

The above is just my opinion based upon the limited facts provided. It is not intended to be offered as legal advice nor is it intended to establish an attorney client relationship. You should seek a consultation either in person or over the phone to discuss any legal issue that you may have raised.


There are too many factors and variables to give a meaningful response to your question. Suing doctors is a very expensive and time-consuming proposition, as "tort reform" laws passed in 2005 afforded doctors, emergency room doctors in particular, with virtual immunity from legal responsibility for harming their patients. Even in cases where proving fault is the "easy" part, the settlement/verdict value of the injury may not be enough to cover out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing fees, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, and the like. Thus, it comes down to a business decision for the lawyer and the client. Are the estimated costs and expenses worth the risks associated with a lawsuit and potential jury trial (which is a gamble in every case).

Answers to questions on this web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Unless you have executed a written fee contract with Troy Marsh, P.C. dba The Marsh Law Firm, Troy W. Marsh, Jr. owes you no duty, and you are not a client of Troy W. Marsh, Jr.

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