Close

Philadelphia Failure to Diagnose Attorney

Table of Contents

    Physicians and health care providers have a duty to provide reasonable care to patients and a moral obligation to do everything they can to treat patients. Medical malpractice may arise when a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s condition. Failure to diagnose also includes cases where a physician delivers a delayed diagnosis, which can be just as harmful as no diagnosis at all. Certain medical conditions and diseases can quickly spread, progress rapidly, and become more difficult to treat as time goes by. People put their full faith in doctors to make correct diagnoses and develop proper treatment plans, and as a result, may not seek second opinions from other doctors. When a doctor does not have expertise in a certain area, he or she should refer you to a specialist.

    If a doctor’s negligence leads to a delayed diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose, the patient may suffer preventable injury, permanent disability, or death. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm have decades of experience fighting for those who have been hurt by an incorrect diagnosis. Our skilled advocates are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve and holding negligent third parties accountable for their actions. If you have suffered an injury, call us at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

    Common Diagnosis Errors

    The first step in treating a patient is discovering and understanding any ailments that may be troubling the patient. After a patient is diagnosed, a physician will then make a plan to treat the patient effectively. However, if a patient is not properly diagnosed, a doctor could create a treatment plan that harms the patient, or that does help control their illness. The following is a list of common types of diagnosis errors that can cause serious issues for a patient.

    Failure to Diagnose

    Failure to diagnose occurs when a medical practitioner completely fails to discover any issues with the patient’s health. Alternatively, a doctor may believe that some type of illness is affecting the patient, but they cannot pinpoint what the illness is.

    A failure to diagnose can affect a patient in several ways. For example, if a patient had breast cancer and their doctor failed to detect this illness, by the time it is actually discovered the treatment plan may be ineffective. This could lead to a patient dealing with a terminal illness that may have been prevented if it was noticed sooner.

    With all the advances in medical technology, it can be hard to imagine that an illness like cancer can go undiagnosed. However, failure to diagnose issues are more common than you might believe.

    Misdiagnosis

    A misdiagnosis is when a physician mistakes one health condition for another type of health condition. For example, if a doctor mistakes the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease for the flu, this can make it difficult to properly treat a patient.

    Similar to the flu, Lyme disease can cause a person to experience chills, fevers, fatigue, muscle aches, and other symptoms that are reminiscent of the flu. However, Lyme disease will eventually develop more serious symptoms if it is not treated properly. For example, a person can suffer from inflammation of their brain and spinal cord if Lyme disease is not properly diagnosed. As you can guess, the treatment for the flu and Lyme disease are not the same, which can lead to a patient dealing with an illness that could have been easier to handle if it was noticed sooner.

    It is estimated that about 40% of illnesses are initially misdiagnosed. However, with few ways to report these problems, some patients and their families only option for justice are to file suit against a negligent hospital or practitioner.

    Delay in Diagnosis

    A delay in diagnosis means that a doctor eventually discovered the sickness affecting their patient, but only after a significant amount of time passed. Delays in diagnosis can prove fatal for some patients if they are contending with a life-threatening illness. With every day that passes, a person’s symptoms may continue to worsen until their physician discovers an adequate treatment method.

    One of the common causes of diagnosis issues is a medical practitioner that fails to ask the medical opinion of other doctors that may be familiar with a certain illness. It is always better to have a team of doctors that can work together to determine what is wrong with a patient.

    If you feel that your sickness is worsening and that your doctor has not consulted other practitioners, it would be wise to pursue a second opinion. Receiving a second opinion may reinforce the medical opinion of another doctor or may reveal that the other doctors did not correctly diagnose you.

    If you received an incorrect diagnosis from one or more medical practitioners, you should also consider filing a lawsuit for your injuries. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit can secure the compensation you need to handle your medical bills and will send a message to doctors who may act negligently when treating a patient.

    Statute of Limitations for Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis Claims

    Some medical conditions and diseases progress and cause damage very rapidly, and quick diagnosis and treatment can increase the patient’s chances for survival and complete recovery. A failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis of breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, other metastatic cancers, a heart attack, appendicitis, infections, stroke, and head injuries can have devastating effects because these conditions cause serious and irreparable harm very quickly. These diseases can progress to the point of being no longer treatable, many times leading to untimely death. Chances of survival can decrease rapidly the longer a doctor takes to diagnose a disease and begin treatment, which is why failing to diagnose can be so harmful. For example, those diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer have an 88% survival rate after five years, but those diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, which is more advanced cancer, have only a 15% five year survival rate.

    How Would a Doctor Misdiagnose a Medical Condition?

    Doctors and other medical professionals may fail to make a diagnosis or make a delayed diagnosis for several different reasons. Failing to order diagnostic tests, misreading x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, and lab results, rushing through an examination, failing to take into account a patient’s medical history and potential risk factors, and failing to consult specialists can all cause a medical condition to be overlooked. Sometimes, a patient may be suffering from multiple conditions, making it more difficult for a doctor to make a correct diagnosis.

    In other instances, symptoms a patient is experiencing may be vague or broad, or there may be a lack of diagnostic tests to make a definitive diagnosis. Failure to diagnose may also be the result of a very rare or unusual medical condition. Although these factors can make prompt and correct diagnoses more difficult, doctors are under an obligation to provide reasonable care under the circumstances, according to accepted standards in the medical community.

    Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit Challenges

    Bringing lawsuits involving medical practice, particularly those involving a doctor’s negligence in failing to diagnose a condition, can be extremely difficult. These types of cases often involve litigating against wealthy insurance companies, medical providers and hospitals who use their corporate power to deny claims and dodge responsibility. Those who have been injured due to the failure of a doctor to properly diagnose their condition should seek advice from an experienced personal injury or medical malpractice attorney to maximize their chances of recovery.

    Experienced Philadelphia Failure to Diagnose Attorneys

    If a physician or other medical professional failed to diagnose your condition or made a delayed diagnosis, you may be able to file a claim for medical malpractice if the misdiagnosis caused catastrophic injury or death, and the doctor did not meet the standard of due care. The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers of The Reiff Law Firm understand this highly complex area of the law, and together with a team of on staff doctors and nurses, will be able to fully investigate your claim. Delayed diagnoses or failing to diagnose may cause you or someone you love to undergo longer or more extensive medical treatment, endure more pain, or leave you with permanent conditions that require lifelong care.

    For over 34 years, our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers have litigated numerous claims of medical negligence, and have won hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of generations of catastrophically injured victims and their families. If a medical mistake or failure to diagnose led to a catastrophic injury or wrongful death, contact one of our attorneys at (215) 709-6940 for a no-obligation, confidential consultation.

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    ...I want to say that the Reiff Law Firm changed my entire life with handling of my legal case.

    As a former client, I want to say that the Reiff Law Firm changed my entire life with handling of my legal case. I was in a very serious automobile accident with severe injuries to neck and back areas. I contacted the law firm and asked what to do with the medical bills and how do I get the correct representation against the individual who rear-ended my car. In short, the firm took complete control of the case contacting my insurance company and asking for all the medical bills and legal matters be sent directly to them. I was able to get treatment from my doctor without worrying about the legal stuff. Furthermore, two years later the case was settled for a substantial amount of money. My life was much better due to the firm handling of my case. My attorneys at Reiff Law Firm are absolutely the best and I have recommended to my family friends. Thanks Reiff Law Firm.

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    I’m very comfortable to say there’s no better in the city.

    Before meeting with Jeffrey Reiff and Bob Szostak from the Reiff law firm I’ve consulted with a few other injury attorneys in the Philadelphia region. Difference was, these guys know their stuff! I was absolutely blown away by how compassionate and welcome this law firm makes you feel. Once signed with them I never went a single week without staying in the loop with the progress and updates these guys have on your case. Working with them for some time turned what was an injury case, into a family! From calls and meetings, to just calling in to say “hi how’s everything going” I’ve never felt like a beat was skipped. I’d recommended the Reiff law firm 100%! I’m very comfortable to say there’s no better in the city. The awards they’ve earned over the years speaks for itself! I can never thank the Reiff law firm and Bob Szostak enough for everything they’ve done, their professionalism, compassion and all of their knowledge and experience! Highly rated! Best in the city! I look forward continuing our relationship in the future. Thanks again My Reiff family!

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    What started out as a time for me that included a lot of doubt, questions and hopelessness has turned into one of a hopeful future.

    I highly recommend the team at the Reiff Law Firm. Both Jeff and Robert were there to guide me through a very difficult time. What started out as a time for me that included a lot of doubt, questions and hopelessness has turned into one of a hopeful future. The team at the Reiff Law Firm made me feel at ease and I had no doubts trusting them with various concerns. They kept me informed every step of the way without making me feel overwhelmed or anxious. Don't hesitate to contact them for your legal needs - especially if you want a team that has the utmost concern and compassion for their clients.

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    ...without them I would have been lost.

    I can’t say enough great things about the Attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm. They made me feel at ease when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. Never being in a situation like this I was so unsure of where to start and how to go about the process. Justin gave me options where I thought I had none and explained everything in a way that I could understand. Justin and the team helped me arrange all of the treatment and therapy that I needed, without them I would have been lost. My attorney John went to bat for me like no one else could have, his knowledge and professionalism is unmatched. If anyone is ever in need of a team of attorneys the Reiff Law Firm is my ONLY recommendation.

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    THE REIFF FIRM IS AN OUTSTANDING LAW FIRM!

    I was referred to the Reiff Law Firm by a friend who had previously been a client of the firm. My friend told me that the Reiff Firm had done an incredible job handling his case and treated him like family. My friend's recommendation was spot on. I am going to miss them now that my case is over. Attorney Reiff and Attorney Toczydlowski are excellent attorneys. They really care. They got me an INCREDIBLE RESULT. Most importantly they were there for me during some extremely dark and difficult times in my life. I highly recommend the Reiff Law Firm to anyone seeking the very best legal representation for injuries they suffered in an accident.

    5.0/5.0
    personal injury lawyer

    ...what started as a small settlement ended $100, 000 more than expected.

    I greatly appreciate the care and compassion the Reiff Law Firm has given to my family at a very difficult time. They left no stone unturned in their investigation and what started as a small settlement ended $100, 000 more than expected. They did not give up and treated us like family.

    Verdicts & Settlements

    $13 Million

    Auto Defect/Product Liability

    Read More
    $8 Million

    Auto Defect/Product Liability

    Read More

    Our Offices

    1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd #501
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    Get Directions

    Get a Free Case Review

    "*" indicates required fields

    Name
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.