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Failure to Diagnose

Many medical mistakes and malpractice lawsuits involve a diagnosis error, and one of the most common diagnostic errors is a failure to diagnose.

Failure to diagnose a disease, illness, or injury is not always cause for a medical malpractice claim, but if patients are harmed or suffer financial losses due to that failure, they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries.

If you have experienced a diagnosis error or if your doctor failed to correctly diagnose your condition, you may be unsure of how to pay for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with your injuries. You deserve to get compensated for your damages, but getting payment from doctors, hospitals, or insurance companies is overwhelming, difficult, and time-consuming.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this process alone. We recommend finding an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you build a strong case, negotiate a fair settlement, and—if necessary—advocate for you in the courtroom. And remember: With over 30 years of experience in representing our injured clients, the lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here for you.

How Doctors Diagnose Patients

When doctors try to diagnose patients, they make a list of the diseases, illnesses, and injuries patients might have in order of what condition is most likely. Then, doctors speak with patients, run diagnostic tests, and observe symptoms in an effort to cross possibilities off the list. Then, when only one diagnosis remains, doctors can move on to treatment.

This process is, of course, a generalization. Doctors can learn new information at any time that changes their diagnosis or adds potential conditions to the list. However, if doctors end up not correctly diagnosing a patient, they have committed a diagnosis error.

Failure to Diagnose

A failure to diagnose is a type of diagnosis error that occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose a patient’s medical problem.

How Failure to Diagnose Occurs

Diagnosis errors like failure to diagnose are usually caused by human error or faulty equipment. Errors caused by doctors, technicians, radiologists, or other medical professionals can take many forms:

  • The doctor did not consider the correct diagnosis
  • The doctor considered the correct diagnosis but did not follow the proper diagnostic procedure to arrive at that diagnosis
  • The lab technician mixed up or contaminated the samples
  • The lab technician improperly administered the test
  • The specialist or secondary doctor misread test results
  • The specialist or secondary doctor missed something in the test results

On the other hand, flawed or broken equipment could create inaccurate test results regardless of the actions of the doctor or hospital staff, leading to a failure to diagnose.

Examples of Failure to Diagnose Malpractice

Some medical conditions are more likely for healthcare professionals to fail to diagnose:

  • Lyme disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attacks (especially in emergency situations)
  • Appendicitis (especially in emergency situations)
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Infections
  • Cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Multiple sclerosis

While these conditions are commonly associated with diagnosis errors, doctors could fail to diagnose essentially any medical problem.

Medical Malpractice: How to Prove Failure to Diagnose

A diagnosis error, on its own, is not necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Patients must suffer from a worsening medical condition, delayed treatment, improper medical care, or other injuries from a doctor’s failure to diagnose to qualify for malpractice.

Medical malpractice lawsuits require patients to prove the following:

  • There was an established doctor-patient relationship
  • The doctor failed to meet the standard of care in diagnosing the patient’s condition
  • The patient suffered harm from the doctor’s failure to diagnose the patient’s condition

Causation and negligence can be challenging to prove. That’s why you need the experience of a failure to diagnose attorney on your side.

Why You Need a Failure to Diagnose Lawyer

Medical malpractice cases, including those involving a failure to diagnose, are notoriously complicated. Proving that your harm was caused by a doctor’s negligence or an equipment malfunction requires a lot of time and experience. These cases often need the assistance of an expert medical witness, several different types of evidence, and long, demanding negotiations with insurance companies.

It’s in your best interests to find a qualified medical malpractice attorney to help you build a strong failure to diagnose malpractice case. An experienced lawyer will be with you every step of the way—from collecting evidence and interviewing expert witnesses to handling communications with insurance companies and representing you at trial.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a failure to diagnose lawyer. We’re ready to help you and your family pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit so that you focus on recovery instead of worrying about your financial losses.

Contact a Failure to Diagnose Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been harmed because a doctor failed to diagnose an illness or disease, contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

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