In the United States, we often take for granted that we have access to the best healthcare the world has to offer. As with any profession, mistakes can happen, but the reality is that a mistake in the medical profession can have severe consequences.
While some mistakes are accidental, a large percentage of mistakes are due to a provider failing to use the proper diligence that he or she should be using given the high standard of care expected in such an important position.
Providers should be valued as the important members of society that they are, but providers should also be held accountable if their negligence leads to the suffering and pain of others. Call Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation from our Dallas Failure To Diagnose Lawyers.
What is Failure to Diagnose?
The action of a provider’s failure to diagnose is a specific type of medical malpractice in which a physician fails to take the necessary steps to determine the nature of a patient’s medical problem. The lack of proper care leads to the physician failing to detect an illness or disease that a professional in the same circumstance would have found.
Medical malpractice is defined as a healthcare professional’s negligence that causes harm to a patient to whom they owe a duty of care. The standard of care that medical professionals must exhibit is higher than those of ordinary people. While physician’s are typically the first providers that come to mind, medical malpractice can apply to nurses, dentists, and other types of providers. A physician’s inability or delay in properly diagnosing a patient is usually referred to as medical misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnoses can take many forms, including:
A wrong diagnosis
A failure to diagnosis at all
A delay in diagnosis
A failure to link an underlying illness to common symptoms associated with the diagnosis
A failure to notice complications that change or intensify an existing ailment
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical Malpractice is the area of law referring to the negligence of a medical provider. The failure to diagnosis by a provider is one type of claim for medical malpractice.
To prove a medical malpractice claim, the following elements must be proven:
The health care provider had a professional relationship with the patient that created a duty of care
During the provider’s care, the provider failed to meet the standard of care that a health professional would have been expected to provide
The provider’s neglect led to the patient being harmed.
The patient suffered demonstrable damages because of the injury, which may include disability, bodily discomfort, mental anguish, suffering, and/or lost income.
A special consideration in the case of medical malpractice cases is whether the hospital can be responsible under a theory of “vicarious liability”. Vicarious liability is a theory in which an employer for the liability of their employees who are negligent in the scope of their work. Many factors go into whether a claim of vicarious liability can be brought but if applicable, these claims offer victims another avenue of potential financial compensation.
What Evidence is Used in Failure To Diagnose Claims?
The burden of proof falls with the victim to prove to the court that the doctor was negligent during the course of care. The following pieces of evidence are seen in failure to diagnosis cases:
Documentation of Second Opinions
Text Messages, Emails, Phone Calls
Failure to Ask Questions
Timing Errors (Delays in Reasonable Care)
Considerations for Settlement
Due to the complexity of the science in medical malpractice claims, both parties typically have a mutual interest to minimize the amount of both time and money necessary to litigate a claim. In fact, approximately 93 percent of all medical malpractice lawsuits are settled without going to court.
Considerations that are taken into account in settlement offers include:
Severity of the damage
Medical treatment costs
Future medical expenses
Extent of negligence of the provider’s action
Victim’s ability to work in the future
Current lost wages
Future pain and suffering
Cap on medical malpractice damages – $250,000 in Texas for only non-economic damages)
Contact Our Dallas Failure To Diagnose Lawyers Today
A serious medical condition is a highly emotional event. The last thing a patient wants to deal with is a provider who exacerbates those emotions by failing to properly take the care a professional should take. A surprise diagnosis or a misdiagnosis due to a negligent provider can lead to severe consequences. Our skilled Dallas failure to diagnose attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve.
Contact Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation.