Getting Ready For Trial The Day You Walk Into The Office

Is a misdiagnosis part of your medical malpractice case?

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2024 | medical malpractice

Even in a country where we pride ourselves on advancements in medical treatment and technology, the fact is that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals sometimes make mistakes. And those mistakes can lead to major harm for patients, or even death.

Failure to diagnose

One aspect of medical malpractice that might occur is known as misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. As opposed to an active, immediate mistake – like amputating the wrong body part, for example – a failure to diagnose is, in essence, a failure to accurately determine the nature of a patient’s medical condition in a timely manner. This issue oftentimes compounds the problem because, with the wrong diagnosis, the wrong treatment might be recommended by healthcare professionals.

There are a few different ways in which a failure to diagnose might become part of a medical malpractice lawsuit. As mentioned, getting the diagnosis wrong is one way, but the healthcare professional might also fail to see the medical issue at an early stage – only detecting it later – commonly referred to as a delayed diagnosis.

Worsened condition

One thing that makes these cases complicated is the measure of the damages. A doctor who fails to give a timely and accurate diagnosis has not caused the disease or condition that is harming the patient, but they may have inadvertently let the condition get worse. Therefore a big question in these cases involves the extent to which the professional’s actions (or failure to act) led to a worsened condition for the patient.

As our readers can probably imagine, a failure to diagnose – in whatever way it occurs – can leave patients suffering or, in the worst-case scenarios, they may end up heading toward a terminal illness. If you believe the healthcare professionals who are treating you have committed this type of error, you may need to evaluate your legal rights.