Is Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice?

April 28, 2018

A doctor’s failure to diagnose your illness or injury can have serious consequences.  Getting satisfactory and timely treatment is important to protect you from exacerbated symptoms, collateral health issues, and even death.

But is a failure to diagnose a condition actually medical malpractice in Ohio?

Medical Malpractice

First things first: what is medical malpractice?  In general terms, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or institution causes a patient injury during the course of treatment, and the practice, policy, or procedure that caused the injury breached the standard of care.

One of the most important takeaways here is that it is not enough merely that an injury or death occurs.  Injury or death must have occurred because of a breach of the standard of care.  If you or your family suffer as the result of your treatment, it is worth consulting with a medical malpractice attorney whether there may have been a breach in the standard of care in your particular case.

Does a Failure to Diagnose Breach the Standard of Care?

The answer to this question can only be given on a case by case basis.  Sometimes, failing to diagnose a condition may not be a breach of the medical professional’s duty.  For instance, sometimes diseases present with unlikely symptoms or may not present any symptoms at all.  In these cases, it is possible that a doctor could follow all applicable medical standards and miss the presence of a disease or condition.

On the other hand, failing to diagnose is often the result of medical error or negligence.  Doctors failing to follow practice guidelines, ignoring or losing test results, errors in record keeping, and failure to pursue investigatory analyses based on known symptoms are just a few examples of breaches of the standard of care.  When medical professionals perform these and other duties negligently and injury or death results from their failure, medical malpractice has occurred.

Dangerous Consequences

When a medical professional fails to diagnose your condition, your treatment options and outlook diminish, in some cases dramatically.

Risks associated with delayed diagnosis include increased risk of exacerbation of symptoms, increased risk of complications, including infection and metastasis, and long-term and secondary issues that would not occur were prompt treatment provided.

Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries

If you or a loved one suffer due to a medical professional failing to diagnose your condition or injury, you may be entitled to compensation.  Ohio law allows victims of medical malpractice to recover not only for injuries but for exacerbation of injuries.  This means that Ohioans have recourse against hospitals and professionals who fail to properly diagnose medical issues.

Whether medical malpractice has occurred is heavily dependent on the particular facts in your case.  At Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA, attorneys are available now to provide a free consultation regarding your potential claim.  If your case presents potential malpractice issues, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help you pursue all legal actions necessary to obtain for you the compensation you deserve.

Call now for a free consultation about your failure to diagnose claim.

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