Medical Malpractice Involving Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Attorneys protecting patients in Richmond and throughout Virginia who are injured when doctors misdiagnose them
Failures in diagnosis lead to delays in treatment, progression of illnesses, and aggravation of injuries. If you or a loved one have been victimized by an error in diagnosis, the Richmond medical malpractice attorneys at Phelan Petty will work to hold the negligent parties responsible. Contact us today to discuss how we can guide you toward a positive outcome.
Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose – the facts
According to the medical professionals at DocPanel, more than 12 million adults seeking outpatient health care every year are misdiagnosed. That translates to about one out of every 20 patients. DocPanel breaks down the numbers further:
- 10 to 20% of misdiagnoses are adults with serious conditions
- 44% of some types of cancers are misdiagnosed
- 51% of breast imaging second opinions result in change of interpretation
- 88% of patients who seek a second opinion receive a changed/refined diagnosis
What conditions are most commonly misdiagnosed?
The three most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are prostate cancer, breast cancer and thyroid cancer. Other commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Cancer, including:
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- Heart attack
- Lyme disease
- Pulmonary embolism
- Depression and suicide risks
How does misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose occur?
Mistakes in diagnosis can occur in a variety of different settings. Among the more common scenarios our firm has encountered are:
- Radiology errors where an x-ray or other study showing a clinically significant abnormality that is not detected or reported;
- Communication failures where health care providers do not adequately inform other involved doctors and treaters about important facts, leading to incorrect diagnoses;
- Failure of a doctor to order the appropriate diagnostic tests;
- Failure of a doctor to take a complete and accurate medical history from a patient or their family members.
If I was misdiagnosed, do I have a legal claim against my doctor?
You may. Some medical conditions are so rare and difficult to identify that a delay in diagnosis is inevitable even if your doctor does everything right. However, if a harmful misdiagnosis occurs because a doctor or team of doctors failed to take the appropriate steps to make the correct diagnosis, then you may have a right to assert a medical malpractice claim. Our Richmond attorneys will investigate the details of your particular situation and, where appropriate, consult with leading medical experts to assess the strength of your claim.
Compensation for Virginia misdiagnosis injuries
The lawyers at Phelan Petty are prepared to seek financial compensation for the damages caused by a missed diagnosis. These can include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Our legal team has extensive experience in medical malpractice cases and a long history of successful settlements for our clients. Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations on these types of actions, so it is crucial you contact us as soon as you discover your injuries.