Failure To Diagnose As A Basis For An Alabama Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice comes in many forms, one of which is the failure to diagnose a disease or condition. When a healthcare professional fails to diagnose in a timely manner, the patient could suffer. A missed diagnosis means a delay in getting the treatment the patient needs (if he or she gets it at all). In some cases, the patient could even die as a result.

If you or a loved one are a victim of a failure to diagnose, making a claim won’t be easy. You can expect to have to take on insurance companies and lawyers who will put up a fight. But at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, we fight back. We’re ready to go to work for you today.

What is a failure to diagnose?

A failed or missed diagnosis is categorized with similar medical mistakes as a diagnostic error. A medical professional who fails to diagnose a disease or injury could cause unnecessary harm to the patient. Left undetected, the condition could gradually worsen and severely jeopardize the health and life of the patient. This may lead to further complications, disability, and perhaps even death.

A failure to diagnose can happen for a number of different reasons. Understanding these various explanations is essential to pursuing an Alabama medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are some common causes of missed diagnoses:

  • Not ordering the appropriate tests
  • A delay in ordering the correct tests
  • Incorrect reading or mishandling of the test results
  • Failure to keep accurate patient records
  • Clerical errors such as mixed up patient records
  • Delays in communicating test results and other vital information to the patient
  • Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
  • Failure to follow up with the patient
  • Inexperience or lack of subject matter knowledge concerning the condition

How do I prove malpractice due to failure to diagnose?

A failed diagnosis is just one of many types of medical mistakes. However, not every mistake rises to the level of malpractice. In order to successfully maintain a malpractice case based on a failure to diagnose, the injured patient must prove:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship, giving rise to a duty of care
  • Some act of omission on the medical professional’s part that breaches the duty of care
  • That the breach caused injury to the patient
  • That, as a result of the above, the patient suffered damages

What damages stem from failure to diagnose?

Damages refer to the portion of the lawsuit for which monetary compensation is sought. Your Alabama medical malpractice attorney will demand an amount that fairly compensates you for your losses. The nature and amount of damages will vary from one lawsuit to another. But in most such lawsuits, plaintiffs can demand the following:

  • Payment of medical bills, including for hospitalization, prescription medication, and more
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical disability and impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

If the patient dies because of the failure to diagnose, eligible surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims are similar to medical malpractice but provide different damages related to the patient’s death.

Ready To Get Started? We’re Ready To Help

If you have questions or concerns about a failure to diagnose, our team has the answers. The Alabama medical malpractice lawyers of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton have helped numerous injured patients demand justice. We’re ready to serve you and your family. Give us a call to get started today.


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