Getting a correct diagnosis is obviously critical for the successful treatment of a patient, and yet it isn’t always the case that physicians make the correct diagnosis on their patients. In fact, misdiagnosis is the most common basis for medical malpractice litigation.
This is somewhat understandable given the fact that medicine is not an exact science. Mistakes can be made in determining the underlying cause of various symptoms and in some cases it is a matter of trial and error before a correct diagnosis can be made. That being said, doctors are still responsible for abiding by established standards of care in making diagnoses, and when they fail to do so, they can and should be held accountable.
Failure to correctly diagnose a condition can, of course, have serious consequences, particularly if the underlying condition is cancer. Because the effectiveness of cancer treatment is time-sensitive, doctors have the duty to act reasonably in making a timely diagnosis. In some cases, a failure to diagnose cancer is based on failure to take routine precautions such as ordering a biopsy or to order other appropriate tests. These are mistakes that can be avoided.
When failure to diagnose is the result of negligence, it is important for the patient to consult with an experienced attorney to have their case evaluated and to determine their legal options. An experienced attorney will understand not only the legal issues involved in these cases, but also take a personal interest in helping the patient recover damages to which they are entitled.
Our firm is committed to providing quality advocacy for patients who have been harmed as a result of a failure to diagnose, and we do everything we can to give our clients the best shot at recovery.