Is Failing to Diagnose Common in the Realm of Medical Malpractice?

 Posted on July 10, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

shutterstock_2154471629-1.jpgIn the realm of medical malpractice, one troubling issue that frequently arises is the failure to diagnose. It refers to cases in which healthcare professionals overlook or fail to identify a patient’s medical condition in a timely manner. Failing to diagnose is a grave matter as it can have severe implications on a person’s health, reducing their chances of receiving appropriate treatment. Today, we will examine why failing to diagnose is common in medical malpractice cases, the legal implications of such negligence, and how a medical malpractice attorney can help.

Understanding the Complexity of Diagnosis

Diagnosing medical conditions is a multifaceted and intricate process. It involves assessing symptoms, conducting tests, interpreting results, and correctly identifying the exact medical condition. Amidst the complexity, medical malpractice professionals encounter several challenges contributing to the prevalence of failing to diagnose. These include:

  • Limited time and resources – Healthcare professionals often face time constraints and limited resources, making it difficult for thorough diagnostic evaluations. In this rushed environment, crucial diagnostic clues may be inadvertently overlooked.

  • Misinterpretation or incomplete testing – Errors in interpreting test results or omitting specific diagnostic tests can lead to an inaccurate assessment of a patient’s health. Flawed testing practices contribute significantly to diagnostic errors.

  • Rare and atypical presentations – Detecting uncommon or rare medical conditions can be arduous, as symptoms may be atypical or easily confused with more prevalent illnesses. This challenge exacerbates the likelihood of failing to diagnose certain conditions.

  • Communication and collaboration gaps – Inadequate information sharing and communication among healthcare professionals impede the timely exchange of critical patient data, potentially leading to misdiagnosis or missed diagnoses. 

Legal Implications of Failing to Diagnose

When a healthcare professional fails to diagnose a medical condition promptly and accurately, it can result in severe consequences for the patient. Understanding the legal implications is vital for patients seeking justice and compensation:

  • Negligence and breach of duty – Failing to diagnose may be considered a breach of a healthcare professional’s duty of care, constituting medical negligence. Negligence occurs when a professional fails to meet the standard expected in their field, leading to harm. 

  • Causation and damages – To establish a medical malpractice claim, it is essential to prove that the failure to diagnose directly caused harm or aggravated the patient’s condition. The harm can include physical pain, emotional distress, prolonged treatment, disability, or death

  • Testimony and proof – Medical malpractice cases involving the failure to diagnose often require professional testimony. Such professionals can provide insights into the reasonable medical practice that should have been followed and evaluate whether the healthcare professional deviated from that standard in the specific case.

Contact a Chicago, IL Medical Malpractice Attorney

For aggressive representation in your medical malpractice matter, contact the experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyers with Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC. Call 312-236-6324 for a free consultation. 


Source -

Share this post:
American Association of Justice American Board of Trial Advocates Illinois State Bar Association Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top