When an illness or disease is not properly diagnosed, it cannot be properly treated. An erroneous diagnosis can result in a worsened medical condition and even death. Fortunately, legal protections are available to help victims through the challenges they face because of a medical misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose. Victims may suffer physical, financial and emotional damages because of a failure to properly diagnose a medical condition the victim is already suffering from.
In general, if the failure to diagnose results in disease progression or harm beyond what would have occurred had the medical condition been properly and timely diagnosed, the medical professional may be liable to the victim for damages. When a medical condition is not timely or properly diagnosed, it can result in the disease or illness not being properly treated or the victim may receive treatment for a condition they do not have and did not need.
When determining if the medical professional was medically negligent when failing to diagnose the victim's condition, the court seeks to determine what potential causes a reasonably prudent medical professional in similar circumstances would have considered. It is important that doctors listen to their patients and thoroughly consider all possible causes of the patient's illnesses which is commonly referred to as a differential diagnosis.
If a medical professional fails to properly diagnose a patient, and harm results, the victim may be able to recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages they may suffer as a result. Victims of medical malpractice are legally protected when they have been harmed by medical negligence and it is important for them to be familiar with their legal rights and protections.
Source: Injury.findlaw.com, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment," Accessed Oct. 2, 2017