Failure to Diagnose: Are You Eligible for Medical Malpractice Compensation?

There are a number of different types of lawsuits possible in the area of medical negligence or malpractice. Most people think of malpractice as major mistakes, such as performing a surgery badly or giving the wrong medication, but even simple mistakes can result in disastrous consequences, which is why failure to diagnose is a legally acceptable reason to pursue damages. 

Failure to diagnose is one area where patients may not realize they have a legitimate legal case against a care provider. If you had a serious illness and were not diagnosed properly within a reasonable time frame, despite your efforts to find answers, you might be able to get compensation for your expenses. However, time is critical. Contact a lawyer immediately.

Here’s what you need to know about medical malpractice compensation in cases where a doctor fails to properly diagnose your illness. 

When Do You Have a Case?

Missed diagnoses can have far-reaching and even deadly effects. For example, if you are pregnant and have preeclampsia that is not treated or caught by your doctor, your life and your baby’s life are both at risk. The same goes for catching heart disease, cancers, or hormone problems. 

If your medical condition worsens because you were not able to seek intervention, you may have a case. Failure-to-diagnose cases rest on three major contributing factors:

  • The doctor in question must have actually been your doctor. This means you couldn’t just be speaking to a friend or relative who happens to be a doctor for informal advice. You also can’t take advice from internet consultations or similar advisory situations. 
  • The doctor was negligent in the standard of care provided. This means, for example, that the doctor may not have run the tests that your symptoms warranted, that your symptoms were brushed off, or that no follow-up care was recommended. Would another reasonably competent doctor have seen the correct problem?
  • The actions (or inactions) of the doctor must have directly caused your overall injury. This is where the case gets the most difficult. Some conditions would cause injury regardless of when the diagnosis occurred. Sometimes, even though you did not get the answer you needed, your injury cannot be connected to that incident alone. A quality lawyer can make a huge difference.

 If you feel like you have a case, it’s worth meeting with a lawyer to discuss your diagnosis and your current situation. Your attorney can work with you even if you are unsure whether or not your case is strong.  Do not delay; call a lawyer today.

What Does It Take to Prove Negligence?

Even if your doctor did not catch your diagnosis, they still might not be guilty of negligent care.

You will often need to get the opinions of other doctors on what reasonably could have been expected from a doctor presented with your symptoms. Some illnesses can be very tricky to peg down, and when many doctors miss the diagnosis, this indicates that the level of care may have been adequate.

To prove negligence, you have to show that the doctor did not act within the expected standard of care. Missing a diagnosis is very serious, and it may mean the doctor did not do their job properly. 

You also can look into the doctor’s work history and performance. For example, if the missed diagnosis was caused because the doctor had been working too many hours or because patient files were mixed up, the hospital or medical clinic might be more just as liable as the doctor. Call a lawyer to determine this.

What Compensation Is Possible?

For missed diagnosis injuries, you can ask for compensation to cover your now higher cost of care. You can also ask for coverage for loss of income as a result of not being able to seek treatment. If the injury leaves you with disabilities, you can also sue for the costs associated with that disability.

Finally, if you experience significantly reduced quality of life, you can ask for financial compensation to make up for the negative changes you have to live with. 

For more information, contact us at The Jaklitsch Law Group.


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