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Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose Lawsuits

When a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, it can lead to significant injury or even death. There are two basic ways this can happen:

  • A missed diagnosis, also called failure to diagnose, occurs when a doctor pronounces a patient healthy when, in fact, the patient has a disease or medical condition.
  • A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor provides a patient with a diagnosis, but it is the wrong diagnosis.

If the patient suffers due to a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, they may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and expenses caused by the error. But misdiagnosis alone is not sufficient to bring a lawsuit. It is also necessary to prove that the doctor was negligent or worse, and that the patient has been injured as a result of the misdiagnosis, just as with any medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, so if you or a loved one have been the victim of misdiagnosis, it is important to choose a firm with experienced attorneys who will interview medical experts, study medical records, and consult witnesses to investigate and prove the case.

At Trustwell Law, our experienced attorneys take a personalized, compassionate approach. We cut through the legalese and partner with our clients. We also have access to the expertise, resources, and manpower to fully investigate each case and fight for and with our clients to get the justice they deserve.

If you were misdiagnosed and are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, call us at 202-914-1454 or submit your case details online, and someone will contact you shortly. You pay nothing unless we win your case.

Medical Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis

Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis can lead to the patient’s condition worsening, undue stress and anxiety, wasted time and money, incorrect or unnecessary therapies or medicines that cause unnecessary and unpleasant side effects, and, in the worst case scenario, death.

Some studies estimate that one in 20 patients in the U.S. each year are misdiagnosed, which is 12 million people annually. Another study estimates that 100,000 people in the U.S. are permanently disabled or die due to missed or delayed diagnoses each year.

Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis cases often involve:

  • Failing to properly consult with the patient about their symptoms
  • Failing to screen for an indicated medical condition
  • Failure to properly evaluate the patient’s symptoms
  • Failing to order a diagnostic test
  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • Misinterpretation of lab test results
  • Diagnosing the correct condition but not the underlying cause
  • Failure to properly follow up and investigate potential causes of symptoms that are reported
  • Mistaking medication side effects for illness

Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

Research has shown three main categories of disease associated with the most serious diagnostic errors. These account for about 75 percent of misdiagnosis-related injuries:

  • Cancers (37 percent)
  • Vascular events (22 percent)
  • Infections (13 percent)

The same study identified conditions that account for about half the most-severe misdiagnosis-related injuries. They are, in order of relative commonality:

  • Lung cancer
  • Sepsis (a blood infection)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Severe blood clots
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer

Including all the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses and conditions, the list becomes:

  • Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Appendicitis
  • Asthma
  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Encephalitis
  • Heart attack
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymph node inflammation
  • Lyme disease
  • Meningitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sepsis (a blood infection)
  • Skin cancer
  • Staph infection
  • Stroke
  • Testicular cancer
  • Tuberculosis

Have You Been Injured Because of a Misdiagnosis?

If you or a loved one have been misdiagnosed, you may be entitled to compensation.

If we take your case, you will pay us nothing unless we win. We will work with you and use all our resources and expertise to fully investigate your circumstances. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost work, and other measurable consequences from the misdiagnosis.

Hospitals and doctors have teams of experienced dedicated lawyers on their side. Shouldn’t you have a team of dedicated, experienced lawyers standing with you?

 

Sources

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