Failure to Diagnose

Whenever a patient presents himself to a physician, it is important that the doctor work toward an accurate diagnosis. If a doctor misses this critical first step in the process,  the complications for the patient can be horrible. Unfortunately, on occasion, a doctor will fail to properly or thoroughly examine a patient, or neglect to ask the right questions, or conduct the appropriate tests. 

While there may be many factors that contribute to a misdiagnosis, if it results from carelessness, in the eyes of the law, it is inexcusable.

When a particular illness is in the news, H1N1 (otherwise known as the swine flu) for example, doctors may have this disease at the front of their mind. When a patient presents to an emergency room with symptoms that match this disease, a physician may ignore or downplay other significant signs or symptoms.

Unfortunately, some bad habits of patients, such as smoking, or overeating, may lead a physician to assume that the patient’s symptoms are the patient’s fault, rather than a disease or virus or other serious but unrelated condition.

The rule of hammers says that when the only tool you have is a hammer, all of your problems appear to be nails. But what happens when a problem is not a nail, but a screw? This thought process sometimes contributes to a missed diagnosis case. When a doctor is trained in one speciality, he or she may look first to those organs and systems involved in that specialty.  For example, a cardiologist may ignore or downplay the obvious signs and symptoms of a metabolic disorder, like  hyperthyroidism, because those symptoms can also suggest heart disease.

If you have been a victim of a failure to diagnose or a wrong diagnosis, the experienced lawyers at the Waggoner Law Firm can help you investigate. If there has been medical negligence, we will present and pursue the claim through court, if necessary, to ensure you are compensated as the law allows. Call the Waggoner Law Firm today at (843) 972-0426, to speak to our staff regarding your claim.

For more information, please visit our  verdicts-settlements page.