Misdiagnosis / Failure to Diagnose

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The most common cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States is the failure to diagnose a serious or life threatening condition. The conditions often go on to devastating outcomes because of the failure to diagnose and treat the original condition. These cases arise when the doctor, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner fails to recognize signs and symptoms that should have led to a diagnosis. There are also grounds for action when they misdiagnose the condition resulting in ineffective treatment for the actual disease.

If you or a loved one has suffered complications or injuries as a result of a misdiagnosis, or if there has been a wrongful death in the family because of a failure to make a proper medical diagnosis, the experienced attorneys at the Locks Law Firm may be able to help. Our Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York medical malpractice and medical negligence lawyers have extensive experience with cases of cancer misdiagnosis, as well as the failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of life threatening conditions such as stroke or heart attack. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a result of medical malpractice, contact our personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. We can review your case and determine whether you are eligible for monetary damages.

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

When a person comes to a hospital or physician, whether in the emergency room or in the office, he or she has the right to expect medical treatment within the standard of care. A doctor or other medical professional has a DUTY to his or her patients to use his or her education and training as well as the medical tools like MRIs, CT Scans, blood tests, EKGs and other tests to make a diagnosis and to initiate appropriate treatment.  

Diagnostic negligence can occur when a serious condition is not properly diagnosed or when an alternative condition is diagnosed. In either situation the person may not receive the necessary treatment to cure a disease or prevent a life threatening or disabling result from his or her condition.  Not every misdiagnosis merits a medical negligence claim.  Sometimes, the mistake does not lead to a serious outcome and sometimes the disease may have been too advanced for available treatment to have made a difference.

When a patient presents with symptoms that could represent a serious or life-threatening condition, such as cancer, stroke, heart attack, toxic poisoning or other serious conditions, the doctor should make what is known as a differential diagnosis. A differential diagnosis is the GOLD STANDARD for diagnosis among medical professionals. Under this gold standard procedure, the doctor lists all of the diseases that could cause the signs and symptoms that have caused the patient to seek treatment, and then it is his or her duty to rule out those conditions that could be most serious or life threatening. To do this may require the use of studies like mammograms, MRIs, EKGs, biopsies or other tests.  

Too often a patient presents, often on multiple occasions, with serious head, neck or chest pain and is sent home with a relatively benign diagnosis like migraine, neck strain or pinched nerve. In fact, if the doctor had fulfilled his duty to use differential diagnosis and proper tools, a serious condition would have been revealed. In many cases, the window of possible treatment slips away, and what was a treatable condition becomes untreatable as in many cases of cancer, brain damage, heart attacks, disability, paralysis or death. In these situations the patient may well have a valid negligence claim because he or she did not receive the diagnosis and treatment that would have prevented a terrible outcome when the opportunity to make the diagnosis first presented.

Other cases arise from a misdiagnosis of a common ailment or condition that has conspicuous or recognizable signs or symptoms but are not credited by the doctor because he discounts the history given by the patient or misreads an x-ray, EKG or other medical study. If the patient suffers an adverse outcome from such a failure, this may be grounds for filing a misdiagnosis claim.

Contact the Locks Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York misdiagnosis lawyers regarding your cancer misdiagnosis or any other misdiagnosis from which you may have suffered.

Delayed Diagnosis

If a diagnosis is made correctly but in an untimely manner, the patient can still suffer injuries or complications stemming from a lack of treatment. At the Locks Law Firm, our experienced staff can help you obtain compensation for your injuries, hospital bills, and emotional distress in such a case.

Many medical conditions become exponentially worse as time goes on if they are not treated. For increased odds of patient survival, it is extremely important that a cancer diagnosis be made at the earliest possible stage, for example. If one of your loved ones has died because he or she was diagnosed too late for proper treatment, even though the treating physician could and should have made the diagnosis at an earlier time when treatment could have been effective, you can file a claim against the negligent practitioners.

If you or a loved one has been significantly harmed by a delayed diagnosis, contact our Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York medical malpractice and medical negligence attorneys today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Contact a Locks Law Firm Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional inaccurately evaluates and diagnoses a patient's condition. If you live in or near Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York and have been the victim of cancer misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose a stroke, a heart attack, a spinal abscess, a toxic insult, a serious infection or other dangerous condition you may have rights to seek compensation for the injuries or disability that you have sustained. Attorneys at the Locks Law Firm have the experience needed to help misdiagnosed patients hold negligent medical professionals responsible for their mistakes.

To schedule a free, confidential consultation, contact the Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York misdiagnosis lawyers today for a review of your cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis case.

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