A failure to diagnose your medical condition is a form of malpractice on the part of the doctor, clinic, or hospital. The delay in care these failures cause can be costly, harmful, and even life-threatening. A failure to diagnose lawsuit can help you recover vital funds and hold healthcare professionals accountable to proper standards.
In the United States, failure to diagnose cases are roughly 26% of all medical malpractice claims. With how time-consuming and costly it is for Americans to visit their doctors, one physician’s failure to diagnose can cause cascading harm: the delay in prevention or care, the potential for misdiagnosis because the real condition was overlooked, and worsening health that could turn a treatable illness into a fatal one (as with cancer).
At Hodes Milman, we tirelessly pursue medical malpractice claims for the sake of our clients, and for every other patient who may come into contact with that doctor or medical establishment. By seeking justice for yourself and your family, you can also help save lives by pursuing a failure to diagnose lawsuit.
Contact Hodes Milman at (949) 640-8222 for a free, confidential consultation right away. The sooner you secure representation, the sooner we can leap into action to secure the best possible result for you and your loved ones.
What Is Failure to Diagnose?
Failure to diagnose refers to a situation where a healthcare professional fails to accurately identify or recognize a patient’s medical condition. It means that the healthcare provider does not make the correct diagnosis. Failure to diagnose can lead to a delay or absence of appropriate treatment for the patient’s condition.
The failure to diagnose can occur due to various reasons, such as misinterpretation of symptoms, errors in diagnostic testing, inadequate medical history, lack of knowledge or experience, time constraints, or communication issues. Failure to diagnose the actual condition sometimes causes a misdiagnosis that sidelines patients into ineffective treatments that may carry their own harmful side effects.
When a failure to diagnose occurs, it can have serious consequences for the patient, including delayed treatment, progression of the illness, and potential harm. It is an important issue in healthcare, as timely and accurate diagnosis is crucial for providing appropriate care and improving patient outcomes.
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Can You Sue A Doctor for Failure to Diagnose?
Yes, you can potentially sue a doctor or other types of medical practitioners for failure to diagnose, including:
- Primary healthcare providers: This typically refers to the doctor or healthcare professional who initially evaluates and treats the patient. It could be a general practitioner, family physician, internist, or other healthcare professionals who play a primary role in diagnosing the patient’s condition.
- Specialist doctors: If the patient was referred to a specialist for further evaluation or consultation, the specialist may also be held liable if they failed to diagnose the condition within their area of expertise.
- Radiologists: Radiologists interpret imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. If a radiologist fails to identify a significant abnormality or misinterprets the results, they may be liable for a failure to diagnose.
- Pathologists: Pathologists examine tissue samples or perform laboratory tests. If a pathologist fails to identify or correctly interpret test results that could have led to a diagnosis, they may be subject to a failure to diagnose claim.
- Hospitals or healthcare institutions: In some cases, hospitals or healthcare institutions may be held liable for the actions or negligence of their employees, such as doctors, nurses, or technicians, if the failure to diagnose occurred within the scope of their employment.
It is important to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who is knowledgeable about the laws in your jurisdiction. Attorneys from Hodes Milman will work to identify all relevant parties in your case — from the doctor or nurse who examined you, to the lab tech you never met, to the hospital administrator who may be cutting standards to cut costs. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads in order to fully understand your situation and maximum your claim.
One recent study estimates that more than 250,000 people die every year from medical errors, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, states that “diagnostic errors, medical mistakes, and the absence of safety nets could result in someone’s death.”
What Is Covered in Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit Settlements?
Settlement amounts for failure to diagnose medical malpractice lawsuits can cover damages like:
- Medical expenses: This can include past and future medical costs related to the failure to diagnose, including treatments, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, therapy, and any other necessary healthcare expenses.
- Lost wages: If the failure to diagnose resulted in the patient being unable to work or caused a loss of earning capacity, the settlement may cover past and future lost wages or reduced earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation may be awarded for physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and the overall impact the failure to diagnose had on the patient’s quality of life.
- Disability or impairment: If the failure to diagnose led to a long-term or permanent disability or impairment, the settlement may include compensation for the resulting limitations, loss of enjoyment of life, and reduced functionality.
- Additional damages: Other potential damages that may be considered in a settlement include loss of consortium (damages to the patient’s spouse or the marital relationship), loss of life enjoyment, and any other losses directly attributable to the failure to diagnose.
It is also possible for parents, spouses, children, and other dependents to sue for wrongful death after the loss of a loved one due to a missed or delayed medical diagnosis. Reach out to our attorneys at (949) 640-8222 to discuss your options.
- $17,250,000 Kaiser arbitration settlement for a man who suffered a large posterior circulation stroke after kidney function misdiagnosis
- $3,850,000 settlement for failure to diagnose a bacterial infection leading to a woman needing to undergo multiple limb amputations
$2,225,000 settlement for a 44-year-old woman who suffered permanent paralysis from an undiagnosed middle cerebral artery stroke
Undiagnosed and misdiagnosed claims regularly settle for multi-million dollar amounts. Your settlement or verdict award from a judge depends on the severity of your injury, the quality of the evidence, and the ability of your attorney to thoroughly prepare and argue your case during negotiations.
Contact a Failure to Diagnose Attorney
When caught early, many medical conditions are preventable, treatable, or have a variety of outpatient treatments that are far less invasive than emergency procedures necessary for advanced conditions. If a doctor, lab, or other healthcare entity failed to diagnose your condition at the earliest opportunity, they may have robbed you of those preferable options, or taken years off your life.
The attorneys at Hodes Milman have extensive experience dealing with medical malpractice and diagnosis errors. For more than 30 years, we have helped victims of negligence receive the healing and attention they deserve.
Contact us right away at (949) 640-8222 if you know or suspect you have been injured by a failure to diagnose. We will handle the work of gathering and interpreting your medical records, securing expert testimony from medical and economic specialists, and participating in vigorous negotiations to settle your case in a timely manner.
Should negotiations stall due to the other side being unwilling to deal fairly, we will take your case before a judge to secure the resolution you deserve. From beginning to end, Hodes Milman will be by your side, representing your best interests.