Seeking Compensation For Injuries Caused By A Physician’s Failure To Diagnose
When you go to your physician, visit an immediate care clinic or head straight to the emergency room, you expect to be told what is wrong and how to fix it. At the very least, you hope you will be heading toward an accurate diagnosis and something to ease your pain or discomfort. However, the doctor you see may not take enough time with you or look closely enough at your symptoms to accurately diagnose your injury or condition.
A doctor may fail to diagnose what is really going on, which could lead your condition to worsen or for you to develop a secondary injury. In either case, you may wish to hold that physician responsible for not helping you when they should have.
At Menzer Law, we are highly experienced in failure to diagnose and delayed diagnosis cases. We will work with you to gather evidence of the physician’s medical negligence and pursue full and fair compensation for the harm you suffered.
Examples Of Failure To Diagnose
Not all medical malpractice cases involving a failure to diagnose look the same. At Menzer Law, we have handled claims involving the following scenarios:
- A physician failed to order appropriate diagnostic tests: Your doctor may have failed to discover what was wrong with you because they failed to order the right tests. If another doctor would reasonably have ordered certain diagnostic tests that your physician failed to order, this may be medical negligence.
- A physician misread test results: Your doctor should know how to read or evaluate the results of tests they order, whether you underwent certain blood tests, X-rays, an MRI or other laboratory tests. If your physician is careless and misreads the results of the test, you may not receive the proper diagnosis or the necessary treatment.
- A physician failed to refer you to a specialist: If you went to your general practitioner or an immediate care clinic, you may have run up against a doctor’s limited knowledge and experience with specialized injuries and conditions. When this happens, the physician is expected to recommend you to an appropriate specialist who can offer a more precise diagnosis. If your doctor failed to do this, you were likely unable to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment.
- A physician delayed informing you of a diagnosis: Your physician may have come to the right conclusion regarding your injury or condition. However, that doctor may have delayed informing you or your primary care physician of the condition, allowing it to get worse or for you to suffer a secondary injury.
- A physician did not follow protocol: For many potential injuries and diseases, doctors are meant to follow certain diagnostic protocols. These protocols are often established by trusted medical organizations or by hospitals and facilities themselves. If there is evidence that your physician failed to adhere to the appropriate protocol, which resulted in a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, this may be evidence of negligence.
When A Failure To Diagnose Is Medical Malpractice
Diagnosing and prescribing treatment plans for illnesses and injuries can be difficult. How a disease or injury presents itself can differ from patient to patient. For instance, how a 65-year-old man experiences a heart attack can differ dramatically from how a 30-year-old woman experiences the same medical event.
Also, certain sets of symptoms can lead to several diagnostic conclusions. Severe and persistent headaches may be due to stressors in life or a sign of something more serious.
The point is that doctors can fail to diagnose the correct medical condition the first time around. A misdiagnosis does not by itself constitute medical malpractice. However, if a doctor failed to diagnose your condition despite having all the information and knowledge to do so, then this may be medical negligence.
Additionally, whether you have a medical malpractice claim related to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis depends on whether you suffered an injury. It may be that the incorrect or delayed diagnosis did not cause you an injury or any damages.
You must be able to prove that you suffered serious harm that you otherwise would not have suffered had you been correctly diagnosed. This can be difficult to establish, which is why it is essential that you work with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation.
Call Menzer Law Today
If your medical condition was not properly diagnosed and this allowed your condition to get much worse before you received the help you needed, call us at 206.903.1818 right away. Our attorneys will carefully evaluate your records and advise you of whether you have a valid claim against the physician and medical facility. If you have a medical negligence claim, we can represent you to recover the compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.