Medical malpractice is scary to patients in Michigan and throughout the country. When people are sick or injured, they place their trust in the professionals who are caring for them. Of course, not everyone recovers perfectly, but knowing that continuing medical problems are linked to negligence or basic mistakes is a horrible feeling to live with.

Everyone wants to think that their doctor is right. While that’s often true, there are cases where doctors get it wrong. This can be true for several reasons. Sometimes, patients are less than honest and don’t tell the truth about things like drug use or unprotected sex, which could affect their medical treatment. At other times, a misdiagnosis is due to neglect or malpractice.

One of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical problems is also one of the most serious: cancer. In one well-known case, a U.S. military doctor misdiagnosed a soldier with lung cancer as having pneumonia. When medical malpractice errors like this occur, the outcome can be very serious. Many cancers have to be caught early for the patient to have a chance at full recovery.

Autoimmune disorders can also be tricky to diagnose. Lupus, for example, shares symptoms with many other medical problems. Sometimes, it can take several years for a patient with lupus to be properly diagnosed. Patients may be told they have another autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis before the real diagnosis becomes clear. Celiac disease is another autoimmune problem that can masquerade as other disorders.

For people who’ve been misdiagnosed, it may be helpful to contact an experienced attorney. Medical malpractice isn’t always the cause, but when it is, patients may be eligible for damages that allow them to live a more complete and normal life. A lawyer might help patients understand whether or not they have a solid case.