When visiting a doctor in Ohio, be it a general practitioner or specialist, the chance exists someone may hear bad news. Unhappy with a diagnosis and prognosis for care, some patients may want a second opinion. Seeking out another doctor’s assessment might not be a wrong decision.

Seeking a second opinion may be wise when a diagnosis or treatment lacks clarity. Others may want a second opinion to confirm the first. Some may choose to hear alternatives to surgery as surgery brings with it concerns about risks, recovery and more. If a different physician can provide a reliable alternative to surgery, such news could be welcome to hear.

There is also the unfortunate specter of a misdiagnosis. The wrong diagnosis may reflect a severe case of medical malpractice. For example, one psychiatrist diagnoses someone with bipolar disorder and prescribes numerous prescriptions for years. Years later, a different board-certified psychiatrist suggests that the condition is mild anxiety, and drug therapy isn’t necessary. The first psychiatrist could be guilty of malpractice.

Of course, the possibility exists that the second diagnosis is incorrect. Such incidents might occur as medicine is not perfect, but doctors owe their patients a duty of care, and negligence or breaching that duty of care could constitute medical malpractice. Patients benefit from being aware of the possibility of a misdiagnosis.

Patients who suffer needless treatment or harm after misdiagnoses may meet with attorneys to discuss filing a medical malpractice suit. The lawsuit might seek compensation for additional care, pain and suffering, and other damages depending on the case. If an attorney takes on a case, he or she might bring in third-party medical experts to show the extent of the patient’s harm when negotiating for a settlement. Settling a claim might lead to a substantial payment and a potentially faster resolution.