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Diagnosis Failures Are the Primary Reason Patients Sue Their Doctors

GavelPeople tend to know when something is wrong with their bodies. Strange symptoms that have no explanation or are long-standing, changes in weight or energy levels, and odd pains are all indicators. Unfortunately, the body is a highly complex thing, and many symptoms can overlap. For example, diarrhea can be linked to conditions that range in severity, going from irritable bowel syndrome to food poisoning or intestinal parasites to colon cancer and Crohn’s disease.

Doctors are tasked with solving the mysteries of the human body. They must determine if a symptom is the result of a benign condition, a short-term virus, a serious but treatable illness, or an impossible to treat and life-threatening disease. When they fail, either because they miss important signs or fail to perform recommended testing, they may be held liable for a failure to diagnose. Interestingly, this is the most common reason that people sue their doctors.

Examining the Potential Risks of Missed Diagnoses

A missed or delayed diagnosis can result in a wide range of adverse events. Some are minor, such as needing fluids or faster treatment. Others may be more severe. Serious complications can include preventable or avoidable:

  • Invasive treatment,
  • Disability,
  • Disfigurement,
  • Stroke,
  • Heart attack,
  • Blindness,
  • Paralysis,
  • Amputation,
  • Hospitalization,
  • Surgery, or
  • Fatality.

These complications, and the missed conditions that caused them account for anywhere between 26 and 63 percent of all medical malpractice lawsuits (varied, based on geographical location). Death is the most common complication, and cancer (especially breast, melanoma, lung, and colon cancers) are the most commonly missed conditions among adult patients. In children, the most frequently missed disease is meningitis.

When a Malpractice Claim may be an Option

Not every failure to diagnose results in a malpractice claim. In fact, many patients experience almost no adverse effects from a delayed or missed diagnosis. Unfortunately, there are others that do suffer serious adverse effects from a failure to diagnose. Instances that involve death, a need for more intensive treatment, or unnecessary pain and suffering may be eligible for a malpractice claim.

It should be noted that it may be impossible to determine how the patient would have fared under prompt treatment without an in-depth investigation. Further, many victims fail in their pursuit of compensation; this is often because they lack a substantial loss or evidence. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can examine your case and advise you of your options.

Contact Our San Jose Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you or someone you love has experienced an adverse event or condition because of a failed or delayed diagnosis, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Our seasoned San Jose medical malpractice lawyers will protect your rights and best interest, every step of the way. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call (408) 289-1417 and schedule your free consultation with us today.

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Client Reviews
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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.