What is a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose claim?

People suffering from symptoms associated with heart attacks, strokes, or other serious illnesses need attentive physicians who order the appropriate diagnostic treatment. If doctors fail take the time necessary to properly diagnosis symptoms or order the needed tests, serious complications can result, including death.  A misdiagnosis case may arise when a serious condition is not identified and symptoms are attributed to a different health problem.

This occurs frequently when appropriate diagnostic tests are not ordered, particularly in emergency rooms, due to time or cost considerations.  A failure to diagnose claim is similar, but typically involves a care provider who fails to properly recognize the results of diagnostic testing such as misreading a biopsy slide or x-ray image.

What makes the misdiagnosis case unique?

Many medical conditions may be missed by an untrained or impatient treating physician, or misdiagnosed for lack of proper testing.  Frequently the condition which is not identified is life-threatening, such as a serious head injury, pulmonary embolism or an aneurysm.  The double - vulnerability of the victim makes these cases particularly serious – the underlying untreated condition is worsening while unnecessary treatment is possibly given for the wrong diagnosis.

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

One of the most common conditions for which there is a failure to diagnose is cancer. The life threatening nature of cancer simply does not allow for mistakes on the part of physicians responsible for detecting and diagnosing its presence. Our lawyers understand the complicated nature of these kinds of cases and are prepared with the medical and legal resources necessary to establish physician, radiologist, or pathologist negligence. The following kinds of cancer are often undetected until too late:

  • breast cancer
  • lung cancer
  • colon cancer
  • melanoma
  • rectal cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • uterine cancer
  • cervical cancer

Failure to Diagnose Stroke

Stroke remains the third leading cause of death nationally, behind heart disease and cancer, and is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Each year, about 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, making a stroke the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability. Every four minutes, an American dies from stroke. For a stroke patient, a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can have devastating effects. Since strokes can be difficult to diagnose, it is important that a doctor or medical team take extensive stock of a patient's symptoms and run as many tests as necessary to obtain the correct diagnosis. It's critical to diagnose a stroke in progress because the treatment for stroke depends on the type, source, and in some cases, the location of the injury to the brain.

Also, a correct and timely diagnosis can help your doctor take the steps necessary to prevent further injury. Many emergency rooms are not equipped to deal with a stroke victim and have not received Primary Stroke Center Certification from the American Stroke Association. Unfortunately, these non-certified facilities often fail to diagnose the stroke, or they offer negligent care, resulting in serious permanent impairments for the stroke victim.

What to expect from a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose lawsuit

The nature of the injuries suffered in many misdiagnosis cases often means expensive treatment and rehabilitation are needed over a long-term period. Failure to diagnosis and treat a condition result in impairments which may affect one’s physical and communication abilities, as well as causing emotional changes and differences in behaviors. Our lawyers understand the wide-reaching effects of misdiagnosis during medical care and what can be done to maximize recovery and independence. Frequently the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose will ultimately lead to longer hospital stays and extended medical care, all adding up to significant medical costs.

Other expenses which arise include future medical expenses, often coupled with a loss of income if the victim was previously employed. Frequently other family members lose time away from work as well.  The injured victim may seek compensation from the negligent doctor or nurse for all of these expenses.  Read more about Damages.

For answers about your misdiagnosis claim, call for a free consultation

We understand that each misdiagnosis injury is as unique as each client. We approach each misdiagnose case from a fresh perspective and learn the detailed facts. Our ability to give the highest level of personal attention to each client is essential to our success. Chalat Hatten & Banker has cultivated knowledge and experience in determining the financial impact of a missed or negligent diagnosis. Consulting with economic impact analysts, cancer specialists, and other healthcare professionals, we calculate what your negligent diagnosis means in terms of medical bills, lost wages, adverse living conditions, and psychological trauma.  We make it a point to answer all the questions of our clients, and we address each concern in a professional and compassionate manner. Contact a lawyer at our office today to discuss your options.

How We Helped a Family Win a Misdiagnosis Case

$10.1 Million Med Mal Verdict for Failure to Treat Claim

A nine-year-old boy presented to his primary care pediatrician in October, 2004 with symptoms of frequent urination and neck “stretching.” The doctor attributed the symptoms to anxiety and/or stress, brought about by the family’s recent move from Israel to the United States.

Read more