Despite advances in medical technology, misdiagnoses of pregnancy can still occur. If the misdiagnosis is caused by negligence and leads to injury of the mother or the fetus, there can be grounds for medical malpractice.
Numerous aspects of a pregnancy can be misdiagnosed as a result of failure to test or inaccurate test results. Different problems can occur if the following are incorrect or inaccurate:
There are several risks of misdiagnosis that could result in a medical malpractice lawsuit, including:
If the existence of a pregnancy is not determined, both the mother and the fetus can be placed at risk as a result of insufficient prenatal care, exposure to harmful substances, or use of inappropriate medical treatments.
Occasionally, a pregnancy will occur ectopically - outside of the uterus. Failure to determine that a pregnancy is ectopic can put the mother at serious risk.
A multiple pregnancy - where there is more than one fetus can create complications for both the mother and the unborn fetuses.
Thanks to advances in medical technology, labor can actually be induced if necessary. Often, this occurs when delivery has still not occurred beyond the standard 40 week gestational period. To determine whether to induce, doctors must first establish the likely date of conception and calculate the gestational age. If this calculation is inaccurate, inducing labor can place the baby at risk.
In all of these cases of misdiagnosis, if an injury occurred as a result of the misdiagnosis, the doctor can be held liable for medical malpractice. The doctor's failure to conduct appropriate tests to determine the existence of a pregnancy, the nature of the pregnancy or the gestational age may be negligent if the failure occurred despite symptoms or circumstances that would generally warrant such tests. However, if there is evidence to suggest that it was reasonable not to test because of other symptoms or circumstances, or if the test results were inaccurate or inconclusive because of other conditions, then the doctor may not be held liable.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured by medical malpractice, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case, who can be held liable, and what types of recoveries are available to you.
Last Modified: 04-17-2018 10:48 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.