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What is considered a diagnostic error?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Doctors rely on medical tests and a patient’s symptoms to diagnose an illness. However, they do not always get it right. Consequently, the patient may receive treatment for the wrong condition, putting their health at risk.

Diagnostic errors happen for various reasons. A doctor may make a wrong diagnosis due to a lack of time with the patient, inexperience, failure to follow up on a patient’s condition or even carelessness.

Types of medical diagnostic errors

There are three main categories of diagnostic errors. The most prevalent is misdiagnosis, which affects millions of Americans every year. A misdiagnosis occurs when your doctor identifies you as having a condition you don’t have.

Similarly, it is also a form of medical negligence when your doctor delays your diagnosis, even if they get it right. Some illnesses, such as certain cancers, can only be managed or treated when caught early, and it may be hard to get effective treatment if you get a late diagnosis.

Lastly, a missed diagnosis happens when the doctor fails to identify your condition or illness despite running medical tests and analyzing your symptoms.

What are your legal options?

Doctors owe their patients a duty of care. Therefore, you ought to hold the doctor or health care provider responsible when negligence leads to diagnostic errors.

You can file a medical malpractice claim and seek compensation for the damages you suffered, because of diagnostic errors that can have far-reaching consequences on your health and overall well-being. It is advisable to get help on what you need to do for a successful claim. Medical malpractice cases can get complex due to the nature of the field, and it helps to have proper guidance during the claims process.


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