Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is an infection that should be diagnosed quickly so that a patient can be properly treated. Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis of HIV is more common than you might think. If laboratories and medical practitioners fail to recognize when a person has contracted HIV, they put a patient at risk for several other illnesses. If your medical provider failed to accurately diagnose you with HIV, you should contact an experienced Baltimore clinical HIV misdiagnosis lawyer.
The skilled legal team at Whitney, LLP is ready to help you hold a negligent medical practitioner or laboratory liable for their actions. We understand how difficult it can be to contend with this illness and we are here to stand with you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.
How an HIV Misdiagnosis May Occur
HIV is a virus that attacks a person’s T-cells. These cells are needed to help a person regulate their immune system and fight off any infections. When T-cells are diminished due to HIV, the likelihood of contracting an illness increases. There is no cure for HIV. However, with the right treatment, a person living with HIV can have an easier life. Which is why it is important for HIV to be diagnosed as soon as possible.
When a misdiagnosis of HIV occurs, it can mean one of two outcomes occurred. The first outcome may be that the patient received a false-positive HIV test result. The second outcome is that the patient received a negative test result even if they had contracted HIV.
These two outcomes may occur for a variety of reasons. For example, a lab technician could mislabel one patient’s results with another patient’s name. Other factors that may cause an HIV misdiagnosis include:
- Mixing up test specimens
- Incorrect handling of test material
- Inaccurately interpreting the results of a rapid HIV test
Other scenarios that can result in a false-positive result is having an autoimmune disorder or other medical conditions that can affect the test.
If an HIV test is positive, an additional test should be ordered to verify the accuracy of the initial test. Additional testing could mean that the patient is referred to a health care provider or that the laboratory technician will perform a series of rapid visual-read HIV tests. If additional HIV tests were not ordered after you had a false-positive result the medical providers that performed the test may be liable to you for injuries.
While the amount of true positive tests results vastly outweigh the number of false-positive test results, one false-positive result can have a profound impact on a person’s life. To learn more about HIV testing, you should contact an experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer.
When to Sue for an HIV Misdiagnosis
Having to deal with the misdiagnosis of HIV whether it was a false-positive or a positive result that was read improperly can be a serious burden. Many patients may experience depression or severe emotional distress. Others may lose relationships with their loved ones or respond erratically to the test results. Additionally, patients that believe they have contracted HIV may be started on several medications that could have harmful side effects.
If your HIV status was not properly diagnosed, you should not delay in filing a claim for your injuries. A medical malpractice claim in Maryland must be filed according to the deadline set by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a certain type of lawsuit.
In Maryland, the filing deadline for medical malpractice cases is five years from the date the injury was committed or three years from the date the plaintiff discovered the injury. If your claim is not filed within either of these timeframes, you risk having the court bar your claim. A barred claim will result in being unable to pursue compensation for any injuries related to an HIV misdiagnosis.
Filing your case as soon as possible will make it easier to litigate your claim. For example, it may be easier to gather evidence concerning your case if you do not allow too much time to pass.
Maryland Laboratory Malpractice Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
If you or a family member received a false-positive HIV test, you should consult with an experienced Maryland laboratory malpractice attorney. At Whitney, LLP, our medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience dealing with several types of misdiagnosis cases. We will provide you with the unique legal representation that you need to pursue the legal compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.