Failure to Diagnose Lawyers Answer Your Top Five Questions About Misdiagnosis


Diagnosis problems are among the most common types of medical malpractice, which refers to medical negligence committed by medical professionals. It is often a complex matter, frequently leading to many questions from clients.

Five of the top questions on this matter are answered below. Please contact us if you have further questions.

What Is a Failure to Diagnose, and Why Is It a Legal Concern?

Failure to diagnose is a type of medical malpractice (or negligence) that involves an unacceptable failure to recognize a condition in a patient. The operative word is “unacceptable” because it is impossible to diagnose everything. Some conditions simply escape reasonable efforts at diagnosis.

Medical misdiagnosis also covers cases where a physician diagnoses a disease that simply is not there. This type of error can occur in an otherwise healthy patient or one suffering from a disease or condition the physician is unaware of.

However, many other conditions should be detected by a reasonable physician or medical professional.

For example, labor and delivery medical professionals have the duty to monitor for serious conditions during birth. If they fail to diagnose a condition, such as preeclampsia, they can be held liable for damages that result.

Ultimately, medical professionals have a duty of care toward their patients that requires them to identify reasonably diagnosable conditions and take action. Failure to do so is a serious and dangerous breach of a legal obligation.

Can you sue a doctor for failure to diagnose? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

How Common Are Misdiagnoses?

Misdiagnoses are, unfortunately, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Various studies have been carried out that show differing numbers of deaths. However, the studies with the lowest numbers of deaths attributable to misdiagnosis put the number in the low hundreds of thousands.

The number of misdiagnoses that result in injury is even larger. Some studies report that misdiagnosis may be responsible for over 400,000 cases of avoidable harm.

These numbers indicate that misdiagnosis is a significant problem in this country. Fortunately, victims can seek justice, which does not erase the past but does help provide for the future.

What Are the Possible Consequences of a Failure to Diagnose?

The consequences of failure to diagnose are impactful and destructive. Patients suffer physically and emotionally on what often turns out to be a rollercoaster of a journey. Physically, a misdiagnosed patient can suffer from:

  • Developing an injurious or fatal disease
  • Undergoing treatment for the wrong disease
  • Undergoing treatment when no disease is present

Emotionally, patients may suffer from the psychological impact of wondering whether they may have recovered more quickly or completely had they been diagnosed sooner.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit?

The damages available in a failure to diagnose case are based on the injuries and harm suffered by the victim. If you have a failure to diagnose case, your attorney will carefully investigate the injury to properly calculate your compensation total.

Damages available in a failure to diagnose lawsuit include compensation for:

  • Medical and hospital care and treatment
  • Income and wages lost due to time off work
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • In-home medical and household services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship and society

You may also be entitled to punitive damages if the misdiagnosis involved egregious fraudulent behavior or malice.

What Should I Expect During an Initial Consultation With My Failure to Diagnose Lawyer?

During your initial consultation, your attorney will seek to provide you with a basic review of your case. They will first determine whether your case has merit. If they believe it does, they will then discuss potential damages with you. 

In order to receive as thorough a review as possible, you should gather various documents and paperwork related to your case and have them ready for your attorney to review. These documents should include:

  • Medical records
  • Diagnostic test results and images
  • Intake records
  • Medical account records and balances
  • Treatment paperwork, such as consent forms
  • Pay stubs or employee direct deposit records
  • Receipts and bills related to expenses associated with your losses

Your lawyer will also eventually want to discuss how the consequences of the misdiagnosis have negatively impacted your life.

How Long Do Failure to Diagnose Cases Take to Resolve?

Failure to diagnose cases vary widely in their resolution times. A review of your case by one of our failure to diagnose lawyers will give you a better picture of how long your case may take.

Is There a Time Limit for Failure to Diagnose Cases?

Yes. Ohio law puts a one-year statute of limitations on misdiagnosis claims. However, there are exceptions for wrongful death cases (two years), minors, and those who discover their resultant injuries or conditions sometime after the failure to diagnose.

In cases involving adults of sound mind, there is a four-year statute of repose that requires all lawsuits to be filed within four years of the act of negligence.

How Much Do Failure to Diagnose Lawyers Charge?

Failure to diagnose lawyers bill clients on a contingency basis. There are no upfront payments required in this type of billing, and you do not pay unless your attorney is successful in getting compensation for you.

Additionally, you only pay at the end, which allows clients to seek quality representation without worrying about the out-of-pocket costs.

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer About Misdiagnosis Today!

Get the representation you deserve and need to get justice in your misdiagnosis medical malpractice case. The Moore Law Firm fights hard for victims of medical malpractice and can potentially recover significant compensation for your pain and losses. Contact our office for a free case review to learn what we can do for you.

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If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.