When Doctors Fail to Diagnose a Serious Condition, the Results Can be Devastating

May 3, 2018 | David Abels
When Doctors Fail to Diagnose a Serious Condition, the Results Can be Devastating

Failed or Misdiagnosis Can Have Devastating Consequences

When Doctors Fail to Diagnose a Serious Condition, the Results Can be DevastatingPeople visit their primary care doctors and medical specialists to help them feel better and to help them find out what is wrong with them. However, when doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition, the results can be devastating, and in some cases, deadly. Unfortunately, certain illnesses have a better chance of going undetected than others. Usually, this is because the symptoms of these illnesses can be easily confused with symptoms of much less serious conditions. Commonly misdiagnosed – or undiagnosed – illnesses include cancer, lupus, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Failing or Missing a Diagnosis Can Have Serious Consequences

Illnesses like cancer and heart disease have the potential to go undetected or undiagnosed—sometimes until it is too late. Misdiagnosis and failed diagnosis are especially common with breast, lung, ovarian, prostate, testicular, colon, and skin cancers. A delayed onset of cancer diagnosis or treatment, for example, allows cancer cells to multiply rapidly. This can potentially wreak havoc on a person’s body and ultimately result in an untimely death. Generally speaking, the earlier a serious illness is detected, the greater the chance of being able to treat it successfully. In the case of cancer, for example, early detection will allow a patient to timely undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy. As a result, the ultimate effects of the disease can be significantly eliminated or lessened. When doctors and other healthcare providers fail to diagnose or give a wrong diagnosis for a serious medical condition, they can be held accountable under the law. The Chicago lawyers at Abels & Annes help patients and their families who suffered from a missed or wrong diagnosis can review the facts and circumstances of your case and may be able to help you pursue monetary recovery. Healthcare providers have powerful insurance companies and experienced lawyers on their side representing them, so you should do everything you can to level the playing field –which starts by retaining an experienced attorney.

What is a “standard of care” in a medical malpractice case?

In an Illinois medical malpractice case, a medical expert must be able to testify that your treating doctor violated the established medical standard of care. Very generally speaking, the standard of a care is that of a “reasonable doctor,” in the same geographical area, acting under the same or similar circumstances. Specialists, such as orthopedists, cardiologists, and obstetricians, are normally held to a national standard of care. In failure to diagnose cases – or medical misdiagnosis cases – the doctor’s failure must fall outside the standard of care for a similarly situated health care provider.

Filing a Wrongful Death after a Misdiagnosis

If a family member dies as a result of a medical misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, that person’s survivors may be able to open an estate. The personal representative of the estate may then be able to file a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate. A successful wrongful death action will allow a decedent’s surviving family members to recover monetary compensation for the loss of the decedent and the damages stemming from that loss. Damages that might stem from a misdiagnosis wrongful death include lost income from the deceased loved one, or loss of companionship when a loved one can no longer provide the same affection, parenting, or sexual relationship.

Illinois Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Cases which involve medical misdiagnoses or failures to diagnose typically fall within the ambit of the Illinois Medical Malpractice Statute. Illinois, along with every other state in the country, provides deadlines – or statutes of limitation – by which a claim or lawsuit must be filed. Medical malpractice cases like these require a significant amount of investigation and research prior to filing a claim or lawsuit. Consequently, you should not wait until the last minute to obtain legal representation in your case. As soon as you suspect that a doctor misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose you or a loved one’s medical condition, you should contact an Illinois medical malpractice attorney. In the State of Illinois, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases – including those involving a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose – is usually two years. This means that in most cases, absent some fairly rare exceptions, a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date on which the accident victim discovered or should have discovered his or her injury, the misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose. As with any case, your circumstances may be different, and our lawyers will review the facts of your case and let you know whether we believe you can file a claim. Generally speaking, if a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit is not filed within the applicable statute of limitations time period, the accident victim will be forever barred from seeking monetary compensation for the injuries and damages sustained. The same holds true in wrongful death cases where the personal representative of the decedent’s estate files the claim. A Chicago failure to diagnose lawyer will be aware of these notice deadlines and can take the necessary legal action to safeguard your rights, as well as your potential recovery.

Common Causes of Medical Misdiagnoses and Failures to Diagnose

Medical misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose usually result from health care providers failing to notice o>r take action on patient complaints, warning signs, and symptoms. They also occur when health care providers fail to follow proper medical protocols and testing procedures. Some of the most common causes of medical misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose include:
  • Misreading lab or biopsy results
  • Failing to follow up on questionable test results or mammograms
  • Failing to perform the correct screenings and tests which fit the patient’s medical condition or illness
  • Misdiagnosing a tumor as benign
  • Failing to observe or appreciate a patient’s physical symptoms upon examination
  • Failing to order proper tests or bloodwork
  • Failing to provide proper follow-up care or testing
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient’s medical condition or lab test results
  • Doctor inexperience or fatigue
In medical misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose cases, injured patients may be able to recover damages for future corrective surgeries or other medical procedures which are necessary to correct the first doctor’s mistake. Injured patients may also be able to recover compensation for other medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and noneconomic damages. In wrongful death cases, the decedent’s estate may be able to recover damages for loss of companionship or support from the decedent.

Call the Chicago Failure to Diagnose Lawyers at Abels & Annes Today

Medical misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose cases are sometimes difficult to prove. This is because many times, healthcare providers are given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to medical diagnoses and treatment issues. The Chicago failure to diagnose lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. can help you retain the necessary experts to prove medical malpractice in your case. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Chicago, Illinois medical misdiagnosis> lawyer, please call us today at (312) 924-7575 or >contact us online. Medical Malpractice
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David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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