Telehealth exploded during the pandemic, and the trend isn’t slowing down. The CDC reports that 37% of adults use telemedicine. Here in New York, the trend is likely to continue, as patients may now use Medicaid coverage to access telehealth services.
While studies show that telemedicine is effective, there are still times when care can go wrong. What happens if a teledoctor misdiagnoses you, prescribes the wrong medicine, or otherwise causes you harm by failing to meet the standard of care?
You might have a medical malpractice claim. You may sue a teledoctor just like you may sue an in-person doctor. Your rights remain the same.
Have telehealth malpractice cases emerged?
There are very few telehealth malpractice cases out there. Many in-person malpractice suits revolve around surgical errors.
When we have seen telehealth malpractice cases, they’ve often revolved around physicians exceeding the scope of their medical licenses by crossing state lines or prescribing medication over state lines. There have also been a few cases where physicians have over-relied on patient questionnaires or misinterpreted imaging tests or patient data.
Nevertheless, there are instances where telemedicine doctors misdiagnose common but potentially fatal conditions. Often, this arose from an inability to see the patient in person.
A misdiagnosis would not lead to a malpractice suit. The question is whether the doctor violated the standard of care and harmed the patient. Few reasonable people would expect a doctor to deliver the same medicine over a video call. The medium of video is likely to be considered when evaluating the standard of care.
It’s also important to note that telemedicine’s “standard of care” hasn’t fully evolved. Doctors typically set the standard of care, and lawyers generally prove violations of the standard by bringing in expert witnesses.
What should you do if you’ve been harmed by telemedicine?
Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney with a successful track record of handling medical malpractice cases. These cases are not easy to win, and they’re very complex. Even determining whether it’s worth it to pursue a lawsuit requires a legal background and good legal judgment.
We’ve been helping the injured since 1965, and we’ve been through multiple changes in the law and emerging trends in standards of care.
You don’t have to do guesswork. We’ll perform a case evaluation for free. If we decide to take your case, we work on contingency, which means we only get paid if we bring your case to a successful conclusion.
Contact us to get started today.