DC Failure to Diagnose Lawyer

Medical diagnostic equipment has come a long way in pinpointing illnesses and conditions to effectively treat patients. Patients today often have significant confidence in their doctors’ abilities to employ state-of-the-art technology for their benefit. However, if your doctor makes mistakes or acts negligently when trying to identify your illness, your condition may become much more severe than it otherwise would have.

In that case, it is best to consult with a DC failure to diagnose lawyer about your legal options. A local medical malpractice attorney could investigate why your physician did not diagnose you correctly and take legal action to obtain financial compensation for your healthcare provider’s errors.

Neglecting to Diagnose a Patient’s Condition

Not all undiagnosed conditions amount to medical negligence. A plaintiff in a med mal case must prove that their doctor or other healthcare provider did not use reasonable care to detect their condition, and this failure caused them to suffer undue harm.

For instance, if a physician orders a test whose results call for a referral to a specialist but fails to diagnose the problem and refer the patient to the specialist upon receiving the results, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient suffers additional harm as a result. A doctor who fails to detect a medical condition in its early stages may not be liable for negligence if the court finds that no other practitioner would have reasonably caught the problem before it had advanced.

A skilled attorney could discuss a client’s case, review their medical records, and investigate prior malpractice claims to help determine whether a physician’s failure to diagnose constitutes compensable malpractice.

Examples of a Failure to Diagnose

Blood tests and different diagnostic equipment can be used to identify a myriad of health conditions today. If the ordering physician fails to read the results of a test correctly, they could formulate an incorrect diagnosis and a patient could suffer further health problems and even death.

Other examples of a doctor’s failure to identify a condition include:

  • Failure to diagnose diabetes – If left untreated, diabetes can cause heart disease, neuropathy leading to amputations, problems during delivery, skin ulcers, and cognitive issues.
  • Failure to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and diagnose it promptly – Delayed or incorrect stroke diagnoses can lead to brain damage, severe paralysis, loss of speech, and death.
  • Failure to diagnose patients admitted to an emergency room – Patients who are not prioritized according to medical need may suffer further damage or death.
  • Failure to correctly diagnose infections or illnesses, which can result in the wrong medication being prescribed, prolonged suffering, and sometimes death

A lawyer who has experience litigating failure to diagnose cases could determine whether a physician or healthcare provider was negligent by examining the specific facts of a plaintiff’s case.

Notice and Mediation

DC courts have strict rules for injured or sick patients planning to sue healthcare providers for failing to diagnose a condition. According to the Code of the District of Columbia §16–2802, plaintiffs must submit a written statement at least 90 days prior to filing a claim informing the defendants of their intention to sue.

To minimize court costs, all parties to medical malpractice suits must undergo mediation and try to reach a settlement before lengthy court proceedings can begin. The court will appoint a neutral third-party from its roster of medical malpractice mediators. Judges or lawyers with at least 10 years of experience in med mal litigation are eligible to mediate in failure to diagnose cases.

Damages Available in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The District of Columbia has some of the most liberal rules in terms of how much compensation an injured party can recover for a physician’s failure to identify a condition. DC civil law does not cap non-economic damages and allows a jury to award uncapped punitive damages when the evidence clearly and convincingly shows the defendant acted fraudulently, recklessly, with ill will, or wanton disregard of harm to the patient.

A DC Failure to Diagnose Lawyer Could Be of Service

The law allows for human fallibility in the world of medicine. If it is reasonable that your doctor did not diagnose your medical condition right away, negligence cannot be proven. However, if it can be shown that another physician would have been able to discover your condition under similar circumstances, you may have a valid case for medical malpractice.

If your physician or other medical professionals did not determine your medical condition and you believe they were negligent, a DC failure to diagnose lawyer could assess your case and fight for your rights. Call today for your initial consultation.