Holding Medical Professionals Accountable For Missed Diagnoses
A significant portion of medical malpractice cases can be tied to a missed, delayed, or incorrect diagnosis. When the staff of a medical facility cannot correctly and swiftly diagnose a condition, there can be dramatic consequences. If you or a loved one was misdiagnosed, it is crucial that you seek experienced legal guidance.
As a premier Chicago personal injury firm, Clifford Law Offices is prepared to handle even the most complex medical negligence cases. While it is nearly impossible to ascribe concrete statistics to the catastrophic outcomes of a missed diagnosis, it is widely understood to be a serious problem from emergency rooms to intensive care units (ICUs) to outpatient facilities. For a serious condition, reaching a proper diagnosis in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death.
What Could Cause a Misdiagnosis?
Medical crises often create chaos. The fast-reacting staff in an emergency room often does an exemplary job diagnosing and treating serious conditions. It is not uncommon, however, for the situation to overwhelm even veteran medical professionals. Numerous factors can lead to a missed or delayed diagnosis, including:
- Failure to order the correct diagnostic tests
- Failure to collect an accurate patient history
- Failure to acknowledge patient complaints
- Failure to correctly interpret test results
- Failure to start an effective course of treatment
- Waiting too long for a medical consult
An experienced malpractice attorney will carefully review your files, often with the assistance of trusted medical experts, to gain a clear understanding of the progression of your illness and what your doctor could have done to help you. With extensive experience in both personal injury and medical malpractice cases, we understand what it takes to build a strong, effective strategy. Trust our firm to aggressively investigate your case and pursue a beneficial settlement to resolve the case efficiently.
Every case at our firm is prepared as if we are going to trial and your case will be determined by a jury of your peers. Although some 95 percent of all cases ultimately settle, we approach every case as though we will need to see it through to the end of a jury trial. If justice can be achieved through a settlement instead of a trial, we discuss that option with you and give you all the information you need to make a decision.
What Could Your Case Be Worth?
The damages for which you may receive compensation in a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit depend on your losses. If a loved one died because of a doctor’s negligent failure to correctly diagnose a serious condition, your family could be eligible for funeral/burial expenses, loss of consortium, lost inheritance, and other damages. In a standard medical malpractice claim, you may qualify for the following:
- Related medical costs
- Lost income and capacity to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost enjoyment of life
Medical malpractice cases in Illinois do not have damage caps, which means victims may receive compensation to cover medical bills and the loss of a lifetime of wages. Our law firm has years of experience handling medical misdiagnosis cases. Our dedication to each case has enabled us to obtain multi-million-dollar outcomes for clients on numerous occasions. For help determining damages in your case, contact our firm.
How to Prove a Medical Misdiagnosis Case
In Illinois, four elements are necessary to prove medical malpractice.
- A professional relationship existed at the time of misdiagnosis. If you complain about stomach pains to a doctor friend at a cocktail party and he says it could be indigestion, you will not have a malpractice claim against him if you later discover it is an ulcer. You and the party in question must have had an official relationship for you to have a case.
- The medical professional breached his/her duties of care. A physician has a responsibility to properly assess symptoms, order tests, recommend specialists, interpret test results, and narrow down the most likely options through a proven system of elimination. Any action or failure to act that falls short of a doctor’s duties to a patient could be negligence.
- The diagnosis error caused the injuries. If a doctor tells a patient he has ulcers when he actually has chronic indigestion, he wouldn’t suffer from the mistake, so this would not be an option for a medical misdiagnosis case. The mistake must be the cause of the damages in question, not the condition itself or other unrelated factors.
- You suffered in some way because of the misdiagnosis. Finally, you need proof the diagnosis mistake caused you damages. Damages may include physical injury or illness, worsened prognosis, lost quality of life, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.
Schedule a Consultation at Clifford Law Offices
Our law firm can be reached at (312) 899-9090 or by completing our convenient online contact form. Clifford Law Offices offers free consultations in medical malpractice cases.