Failure to Diagnose
Doctors have many responsibilities when it comes to patient care. Chief among those is the responsibility to accurately and timely diagnose illnesses and injuries. This aspect of patient care is so important because an accurate and timely diagnosis can quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Even in less dire cases, the failure to diagnose a condition can limit a patient’s treatment options and result in further injury to the patient. If you suffer from a serious illness or injury that has worsened because of a doctor’s failure to accurately and timely diagnose your condition, you may be able to obtain compensation through a medical malpractice claim. To receive a free consultation on your case, contact the Memphis medical malpractice lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today. As the largest personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, we have the resources and experience necessary to aggressively pursue your claims against the responsible parties.Bringing a Failure to Diagnose Claim
When a doctor fails to accurately and timely diagnose a condition and that failure to diagnose represents a breach of the applicable standard of care, a person injured by that failure to diagnose will likely be able to recover damages against the doctor and possibly the hospital. This description might make these cases sound simple, but failure to diagnose cases, like all medical malpractice cases, are almost always highly technical and complex. For this reason, it is important for a plaintiff injured by a physician’s failure to diagnose to consult with an attorney experienced in pursuing medical malpractice claims, as each state has specific standards regarding pre-suit notice and wrongful death.Establishing Liability in a Failure to Diagnose Case
One of the most difficult aspects of a failure to diagnose case is proving that the treating physician breached the applicable standard of care. First, the applicable standard of care needs to be established. In Tennessee, for instance, the standard of care applicable to a doctor’s conduct in a particular case is determined by the generally accepted practices and procedures of the medical community in the same geographic area as they apply to patients with the same condition, age, medical history, and other factors. As one can guess, this is an extremely fact-specific determination that will vary from case-to-case.
Once the applicable standard of care has been established, an injured plaintiff must prove that their doctor breached that standard of care by failing to diagnose their condition. In failure to diagnose cases, a physician’s breach may come in a variety of forms, such as the failure to correctly interpret diagnostic tests, the failure to perform tests correctly, and the failure to properly evaluate a patient due to being fatigued or in a hurry. Signs could be external or show up on a blood test, mammogram, or other examination. Many failure to diagnose cases concern conditions like cancer. Regardless, actual and proximate causation will need to be established in terms of linking the failed or delayed diagnosis to the victim’s ultimate condition.
Expert testimony will be required both to establish the applicable standard of care and to prove the physician’s breach. Tennessee law also requires expert review of the medical reports relevant to the case before suit may be filed. Further, the law provides specific requirements for who does and does not qualify as an expert, but an experienced medical malpractice attorney in the Memphis area will be able to assist an injured plaintiff in finding an expert to testify in their case.Retain the Services of Our Skilled Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Holding a doctor liable for injuries suffered as a result of a failure to diagnose is a complex and difficult process that requires the skills of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Many of these injuries end up being catastrophic in nature. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our Memphis attorneys have over 25 years of experience pursuing compensation for victims of medical malpractice. Our firm assists injured victims throughout the South, including in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville, and other cities across Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, and Kentucky. If you have a personal injury case that you would like to discuss, contact us toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 or by using our online form.