When a doctor fails to properly diagnose an injury or health condition, the issue can escalate and begin affecting other areas of the body. If left untreated for long enough, a misdiagnosed condition can cause permanent damage, including physical and mental disabilities, developmental delays, paralysis, and death.
When patients ask, “What happens if my doctor fails to diagnose a problem properly?” the answer may lie in a medical malpractice claim. If your doctor misdiagnosed your condition or failed to diagnose your condition altogether, they may be liable for your physical, mental, and financial suffering.
To prove this liability, you will need to establish a definitive link between the missed diagnosis and the escalation of your health condition. The root causes of missed diagnosis lawsuits can include:
- Failing to test for a condition despite relevant warning signs.
- Overlooking the risk factors of serious health conditions.
- Failing to diagnose a condition in a timely manner.
- Failing to realize that certain medications or procedures may exacerbate a pre-existing condition.
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Types of Birth Injuries That Can Occur from Missed Diagnosis
When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition in a mother, a fetus, or a newborn child, their negligence can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), nerve damage, heart conditions, life-long diseases, and more. Common birth injuries that can result from misdiagnosis include:
- Long-term damage to the infant’s skeletal system, immune system, cardiovascular system, and brain function.
- Physical and cognitive delays that alter a child’s self-esteem, aspirations, and overall function.
- Nerve damage, which can cause conditions like Erb’s palsy.
- Heart attacks and strokes.
- A lack of oxygen and blood flow to the newborn’s brain, potentially leading to brain damage or cerebral palsy.
- Wrongful death.
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The Frequency of Misdiagnosis
Alarmingly, research has shown that cases of missed diagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, are extremely common. According to one study from the Patient Safety Network (PSNet), 21% of patients with serious conditions received an incorrect diagnosis from their physicians before receiving their correct diagnosis.
Further, when patients were referred to additional doctors, their new doctors found that they were able to improve on the original diagnosis in 66% of cases. The problem is so widespread that the final diagnosis only matched the original diagnosis in 12% of cases.
How the Four D’s of Medical Negligence Can Affect Your Missed Diagnosis Lawsuit
As the four D’s of medical negligence serve as the standard determining factor in medical malpractice claims, they have a direct correlation to the outcome of missed diagnosis lawsuits. The four D’s of medical negligence are as follows:
- Duty: Explaining how the medical professional owed a duty of care to the victim
- Deviation: Proving that this duty of care was breached
- Direct cause of injury: Establishing a link between the deviation of duty and the victim’s newfound injuries
- Damages: Providing evidence that the offense caused the victim to suffer losses
As these terms have loose definitions that may be up for interpretation, identifying the duty of care in the context of your injuries can be difficult. When attempting to prove breach of duty, you may want to call upon a third-party medical expert. These industry professionals can often provide insight into a diagnosis and a physician or specialist’s duty to patients.
An attorney may rely on testimony from these experts to find flaws in the doctor’s argument. After examining your case, these experts can attempt to pinpoint exactly where the offender breached their duties.
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Birth Injury Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Negligent Doctors
If you decide to take action to recover your losses in a medical malpractice case, you do not have to go through the legal process alone. Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys can be there to handle your legal proceedings while you focus on what truly matters in a time like this: your future, your child, and your loved ones.
If you are asking yourself, “What happens if my doctor fails to diagnose a problem properly?” you may already be experiencing the effects of such a mistake. Our attorneys may be able to fight for your right to compensation so you can move past this injustice.
Tell our team about your case today. To get started with your free consultation and case review, contact a representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.