What Is Failure To Diagnose?

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Young afraid doctor meeting with lawyer at his office

Failure to diagnose (also known as misdiagnosis) is a type of medical malpractice where a doctor or medical provider fails to take the proper steps to determine the nature of the patient’s condition. Medical malpractice is defined as the negligence of a healthcare professional, which leads to the injury of a patient to whom they owe a duty of care. In failure to diagnose cases, the doctor does not diagnose or detect an existing condition. An example of failure to diagnose is if the patient is suffering from symptoms, but the physician misses the connection between the symptoms and the condition.

If you need a failure to diagnose attorney, look to someone who has experience with these complicated medical malpractice cases. The experienced New York failure to diagnose attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. have plenty of experience with these types of cases. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call Finz & Finz, P.C., today at 855-TOP-FIRM. During your free initial consultation, our New York medical malpractice lawyers will answer all your questions and explain your legal options.

Common Failure To Diagnose Cases

Not every failure to diagnose case has grounds for a lawsuit. Some situations that do include:

  • The doctor conducts a test incorrectly
  • Fails to realize the seriousness or urgency of the condition
  • Fails to test for a possible medical condition
  • Misinterprets test results
  • Misses an opportunity to screen for a particular condition
  • Fails to investigate potential causes of reported symptoms
  • Fails to consult with the patient about their symptoms
  • Fails to follow up with the patient
  • Not referring the patient to a specialist who could help them

Conditions Commonly Misdiagnosed

Some conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed and may warrant legal action include:

  • Asthma
  • Birth defects
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Cauda equina
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Fetal distress
  • Fractures
  • Heart attacks
  • Infection and sepsis
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymph node inflammation
  • Melanoma
  • Meningitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Staph infection
  • Stroke

Proving a Failure to Diagnose Claim

Failure to diagnose claims deal with negligence. Therefore, to win your failure to diagnose claim, you will have to demonstrate duty, breach, causation, and damages. An experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer can help prove the following:

Duty: Doctors in New York and throughout the United States have a duty to provide their patients with the level of care that any reasonable health care provider in their field would provide. Known as the “standard of care,” this applies to not just doctors but all health care professionals.

Breach: You have to show that your doctor’s actions did not meet this standard of care. A breach could be established by showing that you exhibited all the symptoms of a certain disease or condition, but the doctor missed these and erroneously diagnosed your symptoms as another different condition.

Causation: You must demonstrate that your doctor’s breach was the direct cause of your injuries. You have to prove that you wouldn’t have been harmed were it not for the breach.

Damages: These are the injuries that you suffer. In failure to diagnosis case, the primary damages are the medical bills that resulted from your doctor’s negligence.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to an incorrect or missed diagnosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that have a set dollar amount. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and rehabilitation. Non-economic damages, which are more difficult to quantify, include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, reputational damage, and loss of enjoyment in life.

What to Do If You Have Been Affected by Failure to Diagnose

Misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose can cause serious injuries, disabilities, and even death. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a doctor’s or health care provider’s negligence in failing to diagnose, you may have legal recourse.

We recommend you take the following steps:

  • Gather medical records from the health care providers who administered medical treatment. This may include records from doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, physical therapy centers, rehabilitation centers, and home nursing services. You have a right to request and receive your medical records, according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Gather any X-rays and radiology studies that may apply to the misdiagnosis, the eventual right diagnosis, and any medical treatment you received. Most hospitals are capable of providing X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. If your case involves a radiologist misreading your test results, for example, you are encouraged to gather radiology studies from hospitals, doctor’s offices, or other facilities.
  • Contact an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer. Medical malpractice cases, including failure to diagnose cases, can be extremely complicated and challenging to pursue. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our goal is to secure the compensation you deserve. We’re proud to have a track record of success, with more than $1 billion recovered for our clients.

Contact Us

When doctors and health care providers fail to diagnose a condition in a timely fashion, serious consequences – including severe illness or death – can result. Have you or a loved one suffered from a failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis? If so, the knowledgeable and experienced legal team of Finz & Finz, P.C. are ready to help. For more than three decades, our attorneys have helped patients whose conditions were ignored, causing them serious long-term harm.

Contact Finz & Finz, P.C. today at 855-TOP-FIRM to set up a free and confidential consultation with our highly skilled and compassionate New York medical practice attorneys. Our lawyers can answer all your questions, address your concerns, and discuss your potential legal options.