If your healthcare provider failed to properly diagnose you, it can be frustrating, painful, and/or lead to serious complications.
The failure to properly diagnose a patient’s illness can potentially lead to exacerbated injuries or illnesses, result in potentially harmful and unnecessary medical treatment, and delayed medical treatment.
We realize how difficult this can be for you and your family.
A failure to diagnose medical malpractice lawsuit can be difficult to go through alone.
If you want to know how to file suit for a failure to diagnose medical malpractice claim, our attorneys can help.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses
The following are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses:
- Lung cancer,
- Prostate cancer,
- Bladder cancer,
- Breast cancer,
- Colorectal cancer,
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack),
- Brain hemorrhage, and
- Pulmonary embolism.
Aside from these most commonly missed conditions, there are a number of others that are also frequently misdiagnosed.
These include heart failure, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and pneumonia.
File Within the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is essentially the deadline for the filing of a lawsuit and refers to how much time you have to do so.
Generally, for a medical malpractice claim in Missouri, you have two years from the date of your injury to file suit.
In other words, the date that your physician committed an error starts the clock. Thus, it is better to file your claim quickly.
However, there exist exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims under specific circumstances.
Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your particular set of circumstances and determine whether any of those exceptions may apply to your case.
Proving Medical Malpractice in a Failure to Diagnose Case
When it comes to proving a failure to diagnose case, the injured party must show that medical malpractice/medical negligence has taken place.
Under Missouri law, there are several elements a patient must prove to show that a healthcare provider has committed medical malpractice/medical negligence.
These elements include a duty owed to the patient, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages (a compensable injury).
Healthcare Provider’s Duty
First an injured party must show that the offending healthcare provider owed them a duty.
The existence of any such duty can typically be established by showing the existence of a healthcare provider-patient relationship.
More specifically, a healthcare provider’s specific duty (obligation to the patient) is based on the particular facts surrounding an injured party’s medical treatment and what another reasonable healthcare provider would do in the same or similar circumstance.
For example, if you scheduled an appointment with your physician for chest pain, a physician-patient relationship would be created and your physician would owe you a duty to properly provide medical care.
Breach of the Healthcare Provider’s Duty – Negligence
Next, you must show that the healthcare provider breached the duty they owed you.
A physician is expected to provide the same care that another competent professional in the same community with a similar background would have provided.
Failure to do so is a breach of duty and medical malpractice/medical negligence.
Following the example above, if it is routine practice to take X-rays when a patient complains of having chest pain, but your doctor did not order X-rays, this could be considered a breach.
Negligence of the Healthcare Provider Caused Your Injury – Causation
Once you have established a breach of duty, you must prove causation.
This means you must show that but for the healthcare provider’s medical malpractice/medical negligence, you would not have suffered the same injury.
Continuing to follow the above example, there would be causation if it was discovered that you had a serious heart condition that would have been diagnosed if your doctor had ordered an X-ray.
You Have a Compensable Injury – Damages
Finally, you must prove damages or a compensable injury. “Injury” here does not necessarily refer to a physical injury, although it typically does.
Following the above, a physical injury may result if your doctor said you were healthy and your heart condition was not diagnosed for several more months.
If your condition had then gotten worse and needed more serious treatment, and your prognosis was worse than it would have been if the condition was noticed sooner, this is considered an “injury.”
Compensable also injuries include things like mental anguish, lost earnings, and medical expenses.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
If you are dealing with a healthcare provider’s failure to diagnose your illness or injury, we understand how much anguish this can cause you.