When you seek medical attention for an injury or illness, you expect your doctor to be able to diagnose your condition. If your doctor misdiagnoses or is unable to diagnose your condition and you suffer harm as a result, he or she may be held liable for medical malpractice.
However, it can be difficult to determine if a doctor is liable for a patient’s injury or death for misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose his or her condition. You may need help from an experienced attorney to help you build a case that supports your claim. Goldberg Finnegan’s Silver Spring medical malpractice lawyers understand how to represent victims in misdiagnosis claims. We will help you determine if the health care provider should have reasonably been able to diagnose your condition. If we find that you have a case, we will pursue every option available as we attempt to recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
What Is Failure to Diagnose?
Doctors are expected to be able to diagnose a patient when provided reasonable information about the patient’s condition. However, a doctor may misdiagnose a patient’s condition by confusing the patient’s symptoms with another type of medical condition. Likewise, a doctor may fail to diagnose the patient’s condition by being unable to recognize his or her symptoms within a timely manner.
Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient’s condition can be dangerous to the patient’s health. Often, this causes the patient to be neglected the medical treatment he or she needs, resulting in further injury or possibly death.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Misdiagnosis or failing to diagnose a medical condition often occurs when the patient’s symptoms are mistaken for another ailment, illness or injury. This often occurs in patients who suffer from:
- Heart attack: A heart attack may be mistaken for a panic attack, indigestion or other medical condition. Heart attacks are more likely to be misdiagnosed when a patient does not experience common symptoms such as chest pain, sweating, difficulty breathing, or tightening sensations in the left arm.
- Stroke: People who experience a stroke often report suffering vision problems, confusion and severe headaches. In some cases, a stroke may be confused with a migraine, alcohol intoxication or vertigo.
- Cancer: There are various forms of cancer, some of which are misdiagnosed up to 44 percent of the time, according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These conditions may be misdiagnosed due to inadequate time spent evaluating a patient, incomplete medical history or missing information from the patient’s medical report.
- Pulmonary embolism: This medical condition is caused by a blood clot and blocks the pulmonary artery. This condition is commonly mistaken for pneumonia or a heart attack.
Proving Medical Negligence for Failing to Diagnose
When a health care provider makes a mistake, it does not necessarily mean there are grounds for a medical malpractice claim. A health care provider’s actions are considered negligent when he or she fails to provide the standard of care that other reasonably competent medical professionals would have provided under similar circumstances.
However, you will have the burden of establishing what quality of care other reasonably competent medical professionals would have provided in similar circumstances. This is usually accomplished by providing expert witness testimony.
Once the expert details the expected standard of care, the patient must show how the doctor’s treatment deviated from this standard. This may be proven by establishing information such as:
- The doctor interpreted the patient’s test results incorrectly
- The doctor failed to recognize the urgency of the patient’s condition
- The medical team failed to gather necessary information regarding the patient
The patient must also be able to show that the misdiagnosis caused him or her to suffer an injury or worsened condition.
Contact Goldberg Finnegan to Learn More
Medical malpractice claims are often complicated, and victims may benefit from the experience of an attorney who understands how to present this type of case. Your attorney will review the circumstances of your claim and investigate your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering.
To get started, contact Goldberg Finnegan’s Silver Spring personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay us upfront legal fees and we will only charge you if we recover compensation. There is no risk in contacting us to find out if you have a case.