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Legal options for victims of a failure to diagnose

When a medical professional fails to properly diagnose, or fails to timely diagnose, a medical condition, it can result in serious harm and damages to victims and their family members. The lack of treatment or incorrect treatment as a result of a failure to diagnose may result in liability for a medical professional that has committed medical malpractice.

When a disease or injury has worsened beyond what it would have if the disease or injury had been timely and properly diagnosed, the victim or surviving family members of the victim may have a medical malpractice claim for damages. Damages arising from medical malpractice can include any one of a variety of physical, financial and emotional damages.

To determine if the medical professional is responsible to the victim for damages, the court will consider what a reasonably prudent medical professional would have done in the circumstances. If the medical professional failed to exercise due care in treatment of the victim, they may be liable to compensate the victim for medical expenses and other damages or to compensate surviving family members for wrongful death damages. A failure to diagnose or an incorrect diagnosis can result in erroneous treatment which can lead to additional harm.

Victims of medical malpractice are in an already vulnerable position when seeking medical care and treatment which is why the legal process provides legal resources if they have been harmed in the delivery of that care. It is important for victims of medical malpractice and their families to be familiar with their legal rights and remedies.

Source:, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment," Accessed March 5, 2018

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