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When Is Failure To Diagnose Considered Medical Malpractice?

Doctors typically use a differential diagnosis method to identify the condition of the patient.

Doctors are human and will make mistakes just like the rest of us. In the medical field, however, mistakes come at a much higher cost because you are essentially responsible for peoples lives and health. If your doctor fails to diagnose you or a loved one with the right diagnosis, they can end up receiving the wrong treatment or none at all, which could worsen their condition. This is not automatically deemed medical malpractice. Here is how to know when failure to diagnose is considered medical malpractice.


In a failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis case, there must have been some sort of negligence involved that directly resulted in harm to the patient. Doctors use a differential diagnosis method to identify the condition of a patient. This is when the doctor makes a list of possible diagnoses in order of probability that the specific patient has it and follow by testing each possibility until they figure out which one it is. To prove negligence in this type of case, you must prove that, under the same circumstances, another doctor would have made the correct diagnosis.  This means that the doctor either didn’t include the right diagnosis on the list when they should have or that they included it but didn’t perform the appropriate tests to investigate.

Diagnostic Tests

Some situations result in a wrong or failed diagnosis because the tests that came back from the lab produced inaccurate results. In the event that the equipment was just faulty, then there is no specific person at fault for it. If it because of human error, then it could possibly be considered medical malpractice. The fault in this situation will likely be the technician that misread the results or used the wrong procedure rather than the doctor. You must still prove negligence in this case as well.

Harm To The Patient

There is only a possible lawsuit if the patient was harmed as a result of the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis. This means that their condition needs to be worsened more than what it would have been if the doctor had caught it sooner. For example, if there is a delayed cancer diagnosis that directly results in harsher treatment or death because it was caught later, that is means for a lawsuit. However, if the cancer remains the same between the time of the failed diagnosis and there is no change in your health condition, then you don’t have a case.

Are You A Victim Of Medical Malpractice? Consider The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Give us a call at (410)-843-3476 for a free case evaluation. You can also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn for more information.

Call 410-THE-FIRM. Don't just sue them. SNYDER THEM

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 at 4:10 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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