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DNA Tests Can Be Inaccurate and False (But You Could Sue the Paternity Testing Firm)
Having a baby is one of the most exciting experiences in life, but for some, that event comes with a level of heartache and doubt. Questions of paternity can be complex and heart-rending. Even once you get DNA test results back, you may still wonder if they can be accurate.
You may be surprised to learn that, in certain rare circumstances, DNA test results can be inaccurate. Read on to learn how this happens and whether you can sue the company that produced the false result.
Accuracy of DNA Tests
In cases where you get a quality DNA test from a reputable facility, DNA paternity tests are over 99.9 percent accurate. As long as a test is performed correctly, it can tell with a high degree of certainty if two people are related.
That being said, the accuracy of DNA tests depends on the testing facility handling the samples properly. And although it is rare, sometimes mistakes do happen, and a paternity test can come back with inaccurate results that may be disproven by another (correctly handled) test.
How Errors Happen
There are a few times throughout the testing process that samples can get compromised or mislabeled. At the earliest stage, someone could tamper with the original sample that’s sent to the testing company. If the other parent or another relative has a vested interest in the DNA test going a specific way, they could swap the sample out.
Sometimes, lab technicians can make mistakes when processing the sample that can result in a false positive or negative result. If the person taking the paternity test is related to the actual father, it could complicate the results of the test. And there are some extremely rare genetic mutations that cause false negative results.
Can You Sue a Paternity Testing Firm?
False DNA tests, whether positive or negative, can have devastating consequences. A false positive could cost someone thousands of dollars in child support payments that they may not need to pay. And false negative results can tear apart relationships where, in truth, no infidelity happened.
If your paternity test came back with inaccurate results, you can sue the paternity testing firm that provided the incorrect information. You may be able to sue for negligence, breach of contract, and more. But you may face a long journey to get the compensation you’re entitled to.
What to Do If You Suspect Your DNA Test Is Wrong
If you suspect your DNA test results may be wrong, one of the first things you need to do is contact a family lawyer. They can help you start the process to get a second DNA test done. You may need to file a petition with the court, and your lawyer can guide you through that process.
A good family lawyer can also help you avoid unfair child support payments while the question of paternity gets straightened out. And if a paternity test proves that your partner’s child is not yours, having a divorce lawyer already involved in your case can make your life simpler as you decide how you want to move forward.
Get the Representation You Need
Questions of paternity can be fraught and may have far-reaching consequences for all the parties involved. Although DNA paternity tests are highly accurate when performed correctly, mistakes can happen. If your paternity test turns out to be inaccurate, you may be able to sue the testing company for their negligence.
If you’re navigating the paternity testing process, the attorneys at McMichen, Cinami, & Demps want to help. Our lawyers will bring the utmost care and compassion to your case and will help you find the best possible outcome for your situation. Schedule a free consultation with us today to start building a brighter future for you and your family.