Although everybody makes mistakes, even professionally, when you place your life in the hands of a doctor, then a mistake can be very costly. Failing to provide a diagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment or delayed treatment, which could worsen your condition. Here are examples of how the failure to diagnose is considered medical malpractice.
In the case of a failure to diagnose, there must be negligence involved that directly caused harm to the patient. Usually, doctors identify a patient’s condition thought the differential diagnosis method; which involves creating a list of possible conditions, arrange in order of likelihood that the patient would have each condition. Through this process, the doctor should be able to know which tests to perform in order to arrive at the right diagnosis. For all medical malpractice cases, you must be able to prove negligence by showing how a competent doctor in the same set of circumstances would not have made the same mistakes during the diagnostic process that your doctor made.
Another situation that can create an incorrect diagnosis is if something went wrong during testing. This could mean that some of the testing equipment produced inaccurate results, for example. In this case, you might not be able to sue for medical malpractice because it was not an error on the part of your doctor directly. However, there is still a chance that you could make a case against the technician who was responsible for these test results, such as a radiologist who might not have handled the machine properly.
Harming the Patient
Most importantly, you could make a case for medical malpractice if you can prove that a poor diagnosis caused you harm. You will need to be able to show how your condition worsened because of the doctor’s failure to diagnose. If you had cancer, but it did not worsen or progress at any point during or directly after the diagnostic process, then it will be more difficult to have a legitimate case.
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