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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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What is Failure to Diagnose — and Why is it Considered Medical Malpractice?

Failure to diagnose illnesses or injuries can have long-term effects on your health. If your medical practitioner’s failure to diagnose an illness goes against the acceptable standard of care and causes physical harm, it is considered medical malpractice. Your lawyer can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

They will use an expert’s testimony, your medical records, and medical bills to help you pursue compensation.

How Failure to Diagnose Can Constitute Medical Malpractice

Various actions and inactions qualify as medical malpractice. Some of them result in missed diagnoses. Usually, failure to diagnose happens when a medical professional fails to conduct necessary tests, exams, or screenings when caring for patients. Failure to diagnose could also happen when the doctor doesn’t interpret data correctly.

If a condition isn’t diagnosed, it could trigger harmful results. Since the condition remains untreated, it will likely worsen or trigger a new injury. Failure to diagnose an illness on time could affect the level of recovery possible.

Hiring an Expert Lawyer to Fight Your Case, e.g. After a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

If you have been a victim of failure to diagnose, you may be eligible for compensation. From delayed cancer diagnosis to misinterpretation of your test results and failure to detect fetal distress, your lawyer should help you file a lawsuit.

Your compensation depends on the specific details of your case. However, it generally includes the following:

  • Lost wages for missing work
  • Medical bills that you may incur from failure to diagnose
  • Funeral and other death-related expenses
  • Punitive damages

The compensation you receive should help you pay for the medical expenses associated with your injury. Working with an experienced and skilled lawyer increases your likelihood of getting maximum compensation.

Proving Failure to Diagnose

When trying to prove that your medical provider failed to diagnose an illness, you must demonstrate various elements of a case. First, you need to prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship. You would not qualify for compensation if you talked to them as a friend.

You also need to prove that the standard of care offered was subpar. If the doctor wasn’t negligent, and they did all they reasonably could to provide treatment, you cannot get compensation.

You qualify for compensation if you prove that the doctor refused to conduct certain tests, ignored your symptoms, or didn’t take action on time. Lastly, you must prove that the doctor’s actions or inactions caused death or further health problems for their patient.

If a patient’s condition causes death or serious injury, regardless of treatment, you may not qualify for compensation. You must be able to prove that the condition worsened only because of the doctor’s negligence.

Commonly Undiagnosed Diseases

Failure to diagnose can happen for just about every medical condition. However, it is most common for the following:


Regular colonoscopies, pap smears, and other screening tests should help you detect the early stages of cancer. If the tests are misread or performed incorrectly, cancer could go unnoticed.


Early diagnosis makes it possible to treat meningitis and control its spread. The condition can be treated with antibiotics to avoid spreading. However, it is usually misdiagnosed because its symptoms are a lot like the flu.

Heart Disease

The inability of a doctor to recognize the risk factors of heart disease makes therapeutic treatment useless. This may cause a fatal heart attack.

The law is on your side if you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice. There are legal options to help you navigate your claim and receive the compensation you deserve.

The secret is working with a lawyer that understands medical malpractice claims. They should explain your options and offer advice to maximize your compensation.

Since there are many medical malpractice lawyers, you must research before settling for one. Having the right lawyer by your side can make the claims process easier.

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