When we’re ill, we expect things to be pretty simple. We go to the doctor, our doctors examine our symptoms, correctly diagnose us and treat us. However, when a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosing a medical condition, they put their patient’s life in danger.
Failure to diagnose a medical condition is considered medical malpractice because not only is a possibly serious condition left untreated, other treatment plans can actually exacerbate the condition. Doctors often make mistakes in diagnosing patients due to the following reasons:
- Failure to address patient complaints
- Failure to review patient history and the patient’s family history
- Failure to order the appropriate tests
- Failure to review test results
- Failure to order repeat tests when the patient’s symptoms persist
- Failure to correctly interpret the test results
- Failure to prescribe the correct medications to the patient
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
These can cause several types of diagnosis errors to occur. A misdiagnosis is also considered a failure to diagnose as well as an incorrect diagnosis altogether. These often result in painful and unnecessary procedures that yield no progress in treating the actual condition.
A delayed diagnosis occurs when doctors fail to make the connection between the symptom and condition in a timely manner and the patient deteriorates during that time. If too much time passes, the patient misses their window for treatment. This is often the case with cancer.
My Doctor Failed to Diagnose My Condition. Do I have a Case?
In order to pursue a medical malpractice case against a doctor for failing to diagnose a condition, you must be able to prove the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed when the diagnosis error occurred
- The doctor was negligent in his diagnosis (or lack thereof)
- You were directly harmed because of that negligence
If you have received a diagnosis that seems off, it is always a good idea to seek a second opinion. If you have been harmed due to a diagnosis error, consult with a medical malpractice attorney right away to review your case.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a personal injury law firm that fights for those who were harmed by medical negligence.