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Holding negligent physicians accountable for failure to diagnose

Last week’s post here on our Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog about a case of failure to diagnose cancer may have spurred some questions among our readers. After all, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can be a challenging claim for victims to prove. As painful as their losses often are — perhaps even fatal — it’s naturally more difficult to prove such claims that it often is in, say, a case of a botched surgery or a medication error.

Fortunately, legal professionals with experience in this field can advise victims and their families on their rights in this situation and what to expect should they proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit. They will speak with you, for example, about how a reasonably prudent physician might have diagnosed symptoms similar to yours. They’ll look at what warning signs were present and discuss the likelihood that the provider was negligent in failing to recognize them in time (or at all).

A misdiagnosis may also involve treatment for the wrong condition entirely, and that can cause additional pain and suffering for the victim. It may even aggravate the actual condition itself. Alternatively, a doctor may correctly diagnose the problem — whether it be cancer, heart attack, stroke or any other number of commonly misdiagnosed issues — and yet fail to treat it correctly. The repercussions of such negligence in those types of cases should be obvious.

For victims of this type of medical malpractice, our page on Diagnosis Errors: Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis has more information. Regardless of what your provider did or did not do, or what should or should not have been done instead, a legal professional will be able to keep the focus on the victim’s losses and legal rights to hold a negligent physician accountable.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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