Our Blogs

Proving Medical Malpractice Based on Diagnostic Errors

Written by Berkowitz

Doctor Discussing ImagesAs a patient, you sought medical care from your physician in order to have your problem diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. When you receive a diagnostic error – such as a delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis – there are significant negative impacts from that physician’s error. Medical malpractice is a growing concern in the United States, and one of the most common reasons why physicians are sued in civil court is because of a diagnostic issue.

What is a Diagnostic Error?

Diagnostic errors are delays or misdiagnoses when an accurate diagnosis could have been reached. When a physician fails to diagnose properly (or on time), the patient is put at risk for inaccurate or inadequate treatments for the condition that he or she may actually have. In fact, several studies have been published (including one by Johns Hopkins researchers), which showed that medical negligence and diagnostic errors cost more in damages than surgical errors and improper medication dosages. Also, there may even be more incidents of misdiagnosis or medical errors that have yet to be reported – because a misdiagnosis is not always easily detected.

Proving Your Diagnostic Error

If you feel you are the victim of a diagnostic error, there are several ways in which you can prove your claim to the courts. Most diagnostic errors happen because a physician fails to order tests, or the physician orders tests that come back with inaccurate results. Sometimes, these inaccurate results are due to human error or equipment failure, but it is the physician’s duty to follow up on all test results and communicate them with the patient.

As the injured party, you have the obligation to prove that medical negligence occurred. You can do this by first establishing why the wrong diagnosis was chosen or how the diagnosis was delayed. For example, the test results were contaminated and not repeated. Another option would be showing that the physician ignored abnormal test results that indicated a different issue than what was diagnosed.

Diagnostic errors indicative of malpractice that create a worsened condition or have a negative impact on your overall health are serious. By receiving the wrong treatment or no treatment at all, you may miss out on critical treatments that could have saved your life – such as cancer treatments. Early detection is often key in some of the more serious conditions, and when diagnosis is delayed or inaccurate, it could affect the rest of your life or even shorten your lifespan.

Get Legal Help

If you suspect that your physician failed to diagnose or gave you the wrong diagnosis, you will need the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney from Berkowitz and Hanna LLC can help you with your case. We have years of experience with missed and delayed diagnosis cases and we can help you receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.