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Holding Negligent Medical Practitioners Accountable for Missed Diagnoses

Health care practitioners owe a duty of reasonable care to their patients. They must adhere to professional standards when delivering medical services, including when diagnosing a patient’s disease or health condition. Unfortunately, not all do. Some make treatment choices (or fail to make choices) that fall below the acceptable standard of care. When someone’s condition is not correctly diagnosed, they do not get the treatment they need to relieve or cure the illness, leading to greater injury, or in some cases, death. If you have sustained harm because of your doctor’s failure to correctly diagnose and treat your condition, you can pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover compensation. Money cannot erase the harm you suffered, but it can help you and your family through your hardship, hold the medical practitioner accountable for their negligence, and prevent future harm to others.

The process for seeking fair financial recovery is complex. Thus, if you plan on taking legal action against a health care professional, you should consult a lawyer to help with your case. At Hovde Dassow + Deets, our Indianapolis failure to diagnose attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience. Our team takes care of the legal details at every stage in the case to establish negligence and build arguments against the practitioner. We are passionate about helping those injured pursue the compensation they need.

If you want legal representation from Indianapolis failure to diagnose lawyers who provide personalized attention, schedule a free consultation with our firm by contacting us at (317) 576-3241 today.

Medical Practitioners’ Duty of Care

“Duty of care” refers to the obligations of certain persons when engaged in conduct that could foreseeably lead to harm to others. Medical practitioners must use all their knowledge and skills when treating patients to alleviate or treat medical problems. They are expected to exercise the same diligence a reasonably competent physician would have under the same or similar circumstances. A doctor who fails to fulfill their obligations by acting below the standard is considered negligent and may be held responsible for the resulting harm.

When a doctor is negligent in diagnosing a disease or health condition, their patient’s health can be adversely affected. Often, when a patient’s medical problem is not diagnosed, the issue worsens, causing greater harm. In some situations, the individual can develop a new condition because of a missed diagnosis.

Failure to Diagnose as Medical Malpractice

Some missed diagnoses don’t elevate to the level of medical malpractice. Not all people exhibit similar symptoms for the same disease or condition. It might be the case that a doctor asked detailed questions, performed the necessary tests, and correctly interpreted the results, yet did not accurately identify the problem. When a medical practitioner performs their duties at acceptable levels, but the condition goes undetected, the failure to diagnose may not be considered negligence.

However, if the doctor did not uphold their duty of reasonable care and misdiagnoses a condition, their actions and/or inactions may cause them liable for the harms and losses they cause their patient. The patient may have a right to financial recovery.

Establishing that a doctor’s negligence led to a failed diagnosis requires considering many factors such as:

  • The breadth and depth of the doctor’s questions. The practitioner may not have asked the right questions when assessing the patient’s symptoms. Or, they may have failed to follow up when the patient mentioned a particular pain or discomfort.
  • The tests ordered. Often, for a practitioner to diagnose a health problem, they must recommend the patient for screenings. The tests help identify the condition by ruling out other possibilities. If appropriate examinations aren’t ordered, the correct diagnosis could be missed.
  • The follow-up tests after inconclusive results. Medical tests don’t always lead to firm conclusions. When they do not give a definite answer, the doctor should repeat them or order additional testing to see if they yield different results.
  • The interpretation of results. Perhaps the tests were conclusive. However, the doctor misread them because of lack of training, overconfidence, or other reasons.
  • The doctor’s decision-making. The medical practitioner should be able to articulate their reasons for pursuing a particular path through the process known as differential diagnosis. They might be considered negligent if they provide weak or faulty logic when arriving (or not arriving) at a specific diagnosis.

If you have a medical condition that did not improve, worsened, or caused other health problems even after you received a diagnosis from your doctor, reach out to Hovde Dassow + Deets. Our Indianapolis failure to diagnose attorneys will review your records and other relevant information to determine whether you were a victim of medical malpractice.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Doctors practicing below professional standards of care put their patients’ health and lives at risk. If you or a loved one is the victim of a missed diagnosis, we are ready to help you seek justice.

To speak with one of our failure to diagnose lawyers in Indianapolis, please call us at (317) 576-3241 or submit an online contact form.

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