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Medical Malpractice—Failure to Diagnose

When a Medical Professional Fails to Diagnose an Illness or Injury

When there’s something wrong with you, you count on medically trained professionals to take the right steps to accurately diagnose your problem, so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Unfortunately, far too often, doctors and nurses neglect the telltale signs of a disease or fail to order routine tests that could provide the answers you need. If your condition has gone untreated or you have suffered in any way because of the failure of a medical caregiver to properly diagnose a condition, you have a right to pursue damages for negligence.

Most claims involving medical injury are based on a legal theory of negligence. Under the law, everyone, including doctors and nurses, has a duty to act reasonably in the performance of their job. With doctors, the standard is actually a little higher. Doctors are held to a standard of care equal to that of someone with equal training and experience, practicing in the same area.

With respect to diagnosis of an injury or illness, your doctor would be expected to use the same level of care in diagnosing your malady as would another doctor with similar training and experience in the same geographic location. That may include:

  • Conducting a detailed examination to identify all potential causes
  • Ordering necessary tests
  • Referring you to specialists, if necessary
  • Bringing in experts to ensure proper evaluation of test results, if necessary
  • Seeking a second opinion, if appropriate

Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose often arises with respect to illnesses, such as cancer, blood afflictions or heart disease. It can, however, also involve a failure to diagnose bone, connective tissue or muscle damage.

Contact Attorney Michael J. Hood

For a private meeting with a medical malpractice attorney, please contact us online or call our office at (302) 777-1000. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no cost for your first consultation.