A serious injury or illness can change a person’s life in the blink of an eye. However, with immediate medical attention and treatment, hopefully a person will be able to recover if doctors can minimize the long-term damage of a specific condition.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes treatment is ineffective; sometimes it is medically impossible to repair the damage already done. And sometimes, misdiagnosis is to blame.
Misdiagnosis can be particularly upsetting, as it may be discovered later that doctors failed to make the right diagnosis even though they had all the right information at their disposal. In these situations, victims and their families may want to seriously consider their options for legal action.
This is what one family did after a woman suffered catastrophic injuries when doctors wrongly diagnosed a brain infection as a brain tumor.
Two neurologists named in the case reportedly failed to follow procedure when they prescribed the woman steroids to treat what they thought was a brain tumor. But the steroids they prescribed only exacerbated the infection, causing it to grow and spread. Eventually, she lost the use of both her legs and one of her arms, confining her to a hospital bed.
Had the doctors made the right diagnosis, they would have prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. The woman’s family says that if that would have happened, she would never have become nearly incapacitated and she would have eventually been able to return to her life at home.
A judge agreed with the family and recently awarded them $7 million.
Of course, no amount of money can repair the damage done or undo the pain endured by this woman and her family. However, in cases like this, financial awards can help medical malpractice victims and their families cover medical expenses and other bills. They can also serve as a means of acknowledging the full extent of damage suffered because of a misdiagnosis.