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What is failure to diagnose and how are victims protected?

Failure to diagnose is serious for any victim of medical malpractice. A medical mistake such as a failure to diagnose can result in the wrong treatment, failed treatment or delayed treatment which can lead to a worsened medical condition or even death in some circumstances. Because of the serious harm that can be caused by a failure to diagnose, medical malpractice claim options may be available in a number of circumstances.

Victims of medical malpractice may suffer a variety of damages as a result of a medical mistake such as a failure to diagnose. Both incorrect treatment and delayed treatment may cause harm to the victim of medical malpractice. Erroneous treatment may lead to harm the victim did not previously suffer from and delayed treatment may lead to a worsened condition. The condition that is actually present may worsen when allowed to continue untreated. Erroneous treatment usually results from misdiagnosis, however, a medical condition can also be correctly diagnosed but not properly treated leading to harm to the victim.

When evaluating medical malpractice claims, it is necessary to determine if the medical professional acted reasonably. To determine if the medical professional acted reasonably it is necessary to determine if a reasonably prudent medical professional in similar circumstances would have acted in the same way. When a medical professional has not acted reasonably, such as in circumstances of a failure to diagnose, and has caused harm to the victim as a result, the victim may be able to seek damages through a medical malpractice claim as a result.

Medical malpractice claims are an option available to protect victims when harmed by a medical mistake but can be complex as well. Because of the importance of safe medical care for individuals and families, it is valuable to understand protections available in circumstances of medical malpractice.

Source:, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment," Accessed Jan. 6, 2016

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