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When we visit a doctor, we put unconditional trust in them and, often, our lives in their hands. It goes without saying that we never expect a doctor or healthcare worker, with all of their training, knowledge and experience, to make a mistake.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death according to a Johns Hopkins study, and failure to appropriately diagnose is the most common type of medical malpractice. These missed diagnoses can have dangerous consequences, including improper treatment, serious complications and escalation of the original conditions to a fatal level.
If you have been a victim of a healthcare expert’s failure to diagnose and it has led to serious complications, you may want to investigate whether the error was preventable — in which case you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence.
What to Know About Failure to Diagnose Cases
A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor gives a patient a clean bill of health when, in fact, the patient is suffering from a disease or other medical condition. This is not to be confused with a misdiagnosis, which occurs when a doctor provides a patient with an incorrect diagnosis.
The earlier an illness is correctly diagnosed and treated, the better chance the patient has of recovery. That’s why a delay in diagnosis can directly impact a patient’s chance of rehabilitation and, in some cases, survival. If you have suffered as the direct result of a missed diagnosis, you may have grounds for a medical negligence case — but you’ll need to prove negligence. Here’s what you need to know about failure to diagnose cases.
How do I prove that a doctor’s failure to diagnose caused my injury?
To recover damages for a doctor’s failure to diagnose, you must be able to prove that you were injured as a result of the missed or delayed diagnosis. An injury can be many different things, including the lost chance to treat a serious condition before it became incurable. In medical malpractice lawsuits, patients must prove two things to demonstrate negligence:
- Standard of care. This legal term applies to the generally accepted level of competence that most healthcare physicians would have achieved in similar circumstances. In the case of a missed diagnosis, the relevant question is how long it would have taken a competent physician to have properly diagnosed the illness. In order to prove negligence, the patient will need to establish the standard of care by providing an answer — which often includes testimony from a physician unrelated to the case.
- Violation of the standard of care. The second step in proving negligence by way of a missed diagnosis is to prove that the responsible doctor breached the accepted standard of care. In a failure to diagnose case, a breach is a bit easier to confirm. For example, if the patient can establish that the standard of care required the doctor to diagnose a condition within 24 hours, but it took the physician 72 hours to confirm a diagnosis, a breach of the standard of care can be proven.
What kinds of damages can I claim?
As the victim of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the costs associated with your injuries. An experienced failure to diagnose lawyer will be able to help recover your losses and hold negligent parties responsible for their actions. Making informed decisions can save you tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars for damages including:
- Medical bills. This includes all expenses related to the damages that the missed diagnosis caused, including emergency room visits, treatments and surgeries, and ongoing care.
- Loss of earning capacity. If the failure to diagnose affected your ability to work, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. Some losses are difficult to calculate. This reflects the non-economic damages you suffered as a result of the missed diagnosis, including emotional distress and the loss of enjoyment of life.
How a Failure to Diagnose Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
When you’re already dealing with the physical, emotional and financial burden of a serious injury or illness, filing a legal claim can feel insurmountable. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been hurt by a medical professional’s failure to diagnose a disease or injury, you have a right to take legal action against the responsible party.
A failure to diagnose attorney will be the advocate on your side who represents the case on your behalf and fights for your recovery. From financial guidance to legal counsel, you’ll get the support you need to recover the best possible compensation, every step of the way.
Locations We Serve
The attorneys at Janet, Janet & Suggs have decades of experience helping victims of failure to diagnose cases all over the country, including in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Why Choose Janet, Janet & Suggs to Help with Your Failure to Diagnose Case?
Here at JJS, we understand that you and your loved ones are going through an incredibly difficult time — and we want to help ease your burden. Our failure to diagnose attorneys are here to guide you through the legal process, helping you make the best decisions along the way. When you choose us to represent your case, you can count on compassionate support and aggressive representation — and we’re always here to talk when you need us. Here’s how we will help with your case:
- Explain your rights. After a medical negligence accident, understanding your rights and options can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. Our supportive legal counsel ensures that each decision and outcome is carefully weighed, positioning you for the best possible recovery.
- Develop a strategic plan. We believe that no two cases are alike. We’ll create an action plan tailored to the specifics of your case, giving you the best possible chance of a fair settlement or trial.
- Take your case to court. Most cases are resolved by settlement. However, if fair negotiation cannot be reached, we’re prepared to take your case to court in order to hold the negligent party accountable.
- Maximize your recovery. No matter how complex the case, our team will fight tirelessly to ensure the compensation you are entitled to by law.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a healthcare worker’s failure to diagnose, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case, and we’ll help you decide the best steps to take next.