New Jersey Diagnosis Malpractice Attorney
Diagnosing a condition or disease is a critical aspect of medical care. Doctors are among the most trusted members of the community and relied upon to identify health conditions and treat to the best of their abilities. In most cases, the trust is well-founded, but in some cases, a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose leads to tragedy. When a critical health condition remains untreated, or the medical treatment delivered does not match the illness or condition, it worsens, and in the most devastating cases, results in death.
On This Page
- Failure to Diagnose vs. Misdiagnosis
- Most Common Types of Misdiagnoses or Failures to Diagnose
- Proving Malpractice
- Damages in Diagnostic Error Cases
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Failure to Diagnose vs. Misdiagnosis
Doctors have a responsibility to their patients. Medical malpractice takes place when a physician does not deliver the appropriate treatment, or fails to deliver the expected standard of care, harming the patient, or causing advanced illness or death. Two common types of medical malpractice are a “failure to diagnose,” and a “misdiagnosis,” which are two different medical errors.
Failure to Diagnose
A failure to diagnose is a situation in which a patient presents themselves with a set of symptoms, and the medical professional fails to diagnose the condition. The delay in identifying a serious health condition can be extremely dangerous for the patient who may be suffering the symptoms of a heart attack, cancer, stroke, or other serious and potentially fatal condition. When a patient presents with a specific set of symptoms and the doctor fails to diagnose an illness or condition, it could be an act of medical negligence.
Many conditions and diseases present a similar set of symptoms. A trained physician must make a determination regarding the patient’s health, based on physical examinations, and a series of tests. As an example, a person may arrive at the emergency room complaining of chest pains and be sent home diagnosed with a panic attack or heartburn, and subsequently suffering a heart attack. Cancers, when identified early, are usually treatable.
Most Common Types of Misdiagnoses or Failures to Diagnose
The National Law Review reports the commonly misdiagnosed cancers. The symptoms of these potentially deadly cancers are often similar to the symptoms of other health conditions, leading to a misdiagnosis, wrong treatment, or a failure to diagnose and a worsening condition:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
Several eye conditions, if not treated, will lead to permanent blindness. Some eye conditions that may have not been diagnosed, or misdiagnosed include:
- Macular hole
- Central vein occlusion
- Age-related macular degeneration
A patient who is suffering a heart attack must be treated immediately or face the risk of permanent impairments or death. A patient that presents with chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or pain in the upper body, nausea, dizziness, should undergo testing such as ECG or EKG, blood tests, along with a comprehensive physical examination, rather than jumping to the conclusion that the person has heartburn, an anxiety attack, or other condition. When they fail to perform the necessary tests, they may be violated the accepted standard of care.
For a medical malpractice case to be successful, it must be proven that:
- The medical professional failed to administer the “accepted standard of care.”
- The failure was a substantial factor in the worsened health or subsequent death of the patient.
- The patient suffered permanent disability, death, or the health condition advanced and became impossible to successfully treat.
Who is Liable?
At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, our legal team represents the patient, or the family of a person who passed away due to a failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis. The first step is to establish the liable parties, which may be a doctor, surgeon, hospital, medical clinic, or other party. A full evaluation of the facts is an urgent matter, due to the New Jersey statute of limitations, supporting evidence being lost or misplaced, and memories fading. Contact our New Jersey failure to diagnose & misdiagnosis lawyers to discuss your case.
Damages in Diagnostic Error Cases
The damages pursued include actual financial losses, such as costs of medical care, lost wages, estimated future losses of income, and other actual costs. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, emotional anguish, and other very personal losses. If the individual died due to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, the close family has the right to seek justice and full compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Contact Simonson Goodman Platzer PC today at (800) 817-5029 to discuss what happened to you or your family member.
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