Can You Sue A Doctor For Failure To Diagnose?

Going to see a doctor requires a great deal of trust on the part of the patient. In most cases, doctors and other medical professionals do their jobs well and within the accepted standard of care. Most medical professionals, however, do not always provide their patients with accurate diagnoses. Many medical malpractice claims arise due to a physician’s failure to diagnose a serious medical condition. When this occurs, patients can be seriously harmed.

If you have suffered medical problems due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose a serious medical condition, call us right away. Hiring expert witnesses and proving that your treating physician was negligent requires many hours of work and dedication. At Hopkins Law Firm, we are here to offer legal representation for medical malpractice cases. We can provide you with the resources needed to present a strong case and demand the financial compensation you deserve.

What Is Failure To Diagnose?

Failure to diagnose is a medical malpractice claim in which a physician, nurse, or other medical professional misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a major disease or illness such as cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

Serious medical conditions can become worse in short periods. If a physician does not begin treating a serious medical condition, then the patient may suffer symptoms that could have been avoided.

A patient may receive only a partial recovery if the patient later receives medical treatment after being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

What Causes Errors In Diagnosis?

Like everyone, physicians make mistakes – even though they have received the required education, training, and residencies. A failed, missed, or delayed diagnosis can arise due to a simple mistake or outright carelessness. The question for patients is whether the failure to diagnose was the kind of mistake a reasonable physician of similar training and experience would make. If it wasn’t, the failure to diagnose likely constitutes medical malpractice.

Below are some of the most frequently cited causes of diagnostic errors in the medical profession:

  • Failure to follow up on a diagnostic test promptly
  • Not ordering the proper diagnostic tools and tests
  • Clerical errors
  • Misplaced paperwork
  • Not referring a patient to a more acute level of care
  • Not referring a patient to a medical specialist
  • Improper or inaccurate readings of medical charts and test results
  • Inadequate communication between clinicians, nurses, and physicians
  • Negligence in recognizing symptoms of a serious medical condition

Diagnostic Errors

Cancer is often the subject of failure to diagnose cases. Many forms of cancer are not fatal if they are recognized and treated early. If the cancer is misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, then it may metastasize and spread throughout the body, causing more severe illness.

Heart attacks and strokes are other sources of failure to diagnose cases. Sometimes patients enter emergency rooms or a doctor’s office complaining of chest pains. Doctors may diagnose the patient with a simple case of heartburn when the patient is suffering a mild heart attack. Tests need to be ordered, and patients need to receive the correct diagnosis. Ultimately, the doctor may be sued for medical malpractice if the patient later has a heart attack after a doctor has diagnosed him or her with heartburn.

Spinal disease and infections are two other sources of doctors’ failure to diagnose cases. A Spinal disease such as an abscess is treatable, and failure to diagnose this can lead to severe health complications such as paralysis.

Contact Hopkins Law Firm if you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional. You do not have to accept a physician’s diagnosis if you have evidence that the doctors failed to diagnose you and this failure caused you to suffer personal injury. Our attorneys can help you receive medical treatment from qualified practitioners who can help determine if you were misdiagnosed. Call Hopkins Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case.

What Compensatory Damages Are Available To Injured Patients?

  • Medical bills
  • Prescription fees
  • Nursing costs
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

Non-economic damages for non-monetary losses such as emotional trauma as well as pain and suffering are also available to injured victims.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter the defendant from committing the same type of conduct in the future.

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation with a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney

Contact Hopkins Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation during which we can review your past medical history and the facts related to your medical malpractice case. Our attorneys have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims and can get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

FAQ

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Failure To Diagnose Case?

In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of your injury to file your claim. That said, the statute of limitations may be extended in some cases if you didn’t discover your injury until later.

Are There Infectious Diseases That Do Not Get Properly Diagnosed?

Infectious diseases such as Lyme disease, pneumonia, and bronchial infections are some of the most common diseases that are misdiagnosed. It is important to receive a second opinion if you think you have one of these infectious diseases and have not received a diagnosis.

What About Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries include preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cerebral palsy, and shoulder dystocia. Doctors must be able to identify these injuries and conditions quickly so they can be treated and cause as little harm as possible to mothers and children. The failure to diagnose any of these conditions and diseases will profoundly affect patients and their families.