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Cardiac Misdiagnosis

Cardiac Misdiagnosis Lawyer in San Francisco

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack, Heart Disease & Cardiac Conditions

Health care providers are obligated to care for patients in a manner that conforms to accepted medical standards. For cardiac conditions and medical emergencies such as heart attack, this can include making an accurate and timely diagnosis and providing prompt and appropriate treatment.

Unfortunately, providers do not always meet the standard of care.

If you or your loved one were harm due to a provider’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a cardiac condition, including heart attack or heart disease, you may be entitled to compensation. Bostwick & Peterson, LLP is one of California’s leading medical malpractice firms, and can help review your case and legal options.

Why Choose Bostwick & Peterson, LLP?

  • More than $1 Billion in compensation recovered for clients.
  • Record-setting verdicts and settlements, including the largest medical malpractice recovery in California history ($17M).
  • Award-winning attorneys and an ABPLA Certified Medical Malpractice Specialist (James S. Bostwick).

Bostwick & Peterson is a U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” Tier 1 law firm that has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation for victims of medical malpractice. Our team leverages decades of experience to help clients fight for the compensation they deserve

Speak with a San Francisco attorney about your potential cardiac or heart attack misdiagnosis case during a FREE consultation. Call (888) 831-8448 or contact us online.

Cardiac Misdiagnosis & Failure to Diagnose

An accurate and timely diagnosis is critical to ensuring patients receive prompt treatment – especially in cases involving cardiac conditions. In medical emergencies such as heart attacks, recognizing cardiac symptoms and making a timely diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death.

A failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis of cardiac condition commonly occurs when patients seek medical attention for cardiac symptoms (such as arm, neck or chest pain, dizziness, sweating, fatigue, and shortness of breath) that warrant further evaluation for medical problems such as:

  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis)
  • Cardiac ischemia / myocardial ischemia
  • Atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia
  • Heart infections
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Congenital or valvular heart disease
  • Blood clots

Providers who err in treating patients who present with cardiac symptoms may misdiagnose underlying conditions as vertigo, acid reflux, gastrointestinal issues, muscle strain, or other innocuous ailments. A misdiagnosis or missed diagnose, however, can prevent patients from receiving the care they need to mitigate or avoid serious medical emergencies, adverse health outcomes, or death.

When injuries or death occur after patients failed to receive important care, it is worth investigating whether medical negligence may be involved.

Do I Have a Cardiac Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you believe a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or other medical mistake caused you or your loved one to suffer injury or wrongful death, you may have a claim for compensation.

By law, physicians, ER doctors, specialists, and other providers owe their patients a duty to provide care that falls within the accepted standard of care. Per California’s Civil Jury Instructions (CACI 500), the standard of care for health care providers is generally:

“The level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that other reasonable careful providers would use in the same of similar circumstances.”

When providers fail to meet the standard of care and cause patients harm they would not have otherwise suffered, those providers may be held liable for negligence. Of course, malpractice lawsuits are very fact-specific, and the circumstances surrounding your case – including the cardiac symptoms, underlying condition, and care provided – will ultimately determine if you have a viable claim.

How Will I Know if My Doctor Was Negligent in Misdiagnosing or Failing to Diagnose a Heart Attack or Cardiac Condition?

Medical negligence is not always obvious. Often, identifying substandard care requires in-depth investigations, exhaustive reviews of medical records, and collaboration with medical experts who can provide their opinions about the quality of care provided to a patient, and the accepted standards for treating certain health conditions.

While the best way to determine if your doctor was negligent is to have your case reviewed by a qualified attorney, there are many ways providers may deviate from accepted standards when diagnosing and treating patients with cardiac conditions. Some examples include:

  • Failure to recognize cardiac symptoms and follow accepted protocol.
  • Failure to order and perform necessary testing, including EKG / ECG, echocardiograms, ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and blood / lab tests.
  • Failure to correctly interpret lab or imaging test results, including failure to diagnose sclerotic lesions / narrowing of arteries.
  • Failure to perform an adequate patient examination, including a proper medical history, screening, and differential diagnosis.
  • Failure to adequately assess patient risk factors or complaints, consider cardiac conditions in patients with known risk factors, or assess potential cardiac conditions in patients with atypical patient profiles (i.e. no history of cardiac conditions or comorbidities, age 40 or younger, etc.).
  • Misdiagnosing heart attack, heart disease, or other cardiac conditions as non-serious medical conditions, including panic attacks or acid reflux.
  • Administrative errors involving failures to communicate a patient’s symptoms, medical history, risk factors, or other essential information when referring or transferring patients.
  • Failures to appropriately assess, diagnose, and treat patients who present with cardiac symptoms to Emergency Departments.

Though they are challenging cases, misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose claims are not uncommon. According to studies like one from the medical journal BMJ Open, diagnostic errors are the most common claims alleged in medical malpractice suits, and heart attack and cardiac conditions are most commonly misdiagnosed conditions following cancer.

While every case is different, malpractice lawsuits alleging cardiac misdiagnosis / failure to diagnose heart attack can be brought against many different providers, including:

  • ER physicians or Hospitals
  • Primary Care Providers / General Practitioners
  • Lab technicians or radiologists
  • Cardiologists, including consulting cardiologists
  • Hospitalists or coordinated care leads
  • Nurses, PAs, or NPs

Compensation for Heart Attack / Cardiac Misdiagnosis

When a provider’s negligence results in outcomes that could have been avoided or mitigated with proper care, victims have the right to hold them liable for the resulting damages.

Victims may recover financial compensation for:

  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Disability and loss of quality of life
  • Past and future lost income
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

As cardiac diagnostic errors can have severe if not fatal consequences, it is often the case that victims will need to pursue compensation to cover losses they are likely to incur in the future, such as ongoing medical expenses, the need for assistive care, lost future income, and lost financial support.

Our team works to evaluate all potential future losses with the assistance of medical and financial experts so as to help clients pursue the maximum financial recoveries possible.

Examples of Our Case Results

Our attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for victims who suffered heart attacks, stroke injuries, and other severe injuries, or who lost loved ones due to medical negligence. Examples of our results include:

  • $9.96 Million settlement against UCSF Medical Center over the wrongful death of a 38-year-old man after providers at a UCSF airport clinic failed to recognize cardiac risk factors and misdiagnosed the man’s chest “tightness” as chest muscle strain. He was allowed to fly to Colorado and then Mexico, where he died 7 days after the clinic visit. At the time (2002), this was the largest medical malpractice settlement in California history.
  • $6 Million for failure to diagnose evolving stroke causing severe brain injury.
  • $4 Million recovery over failure to diagnose heart attack resulting in wrongful death.
  • $3.5 Million settlement for failure to diagnose an impending heart attack in a 32-year-old father, runner, and insurance executive.
  • $3.5 Million settlement over providers’ failure to diagnose traumatic vertebral artery dissection and property treat it to prevent propagation of the clot.

To discuss your potential cardiac misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose heart attack lawsuit with a San Francisco attorney from our team, request your FREE consultation today.



What Sets Bostwick & Peterson, LLP Apart?

  • More than $1 billion recovered for our clients
  • Since January 2018, the firm has twice broken the California record for the largest medical malpractice settlement
  • James Bostwick was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® in 2012
  • James Bostwick is a Nationally Certified Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability
  • Included in the list of "Best Lawyers in America" by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® since its inception in 1983
  • James Bostwick received the Trial Lawyers "Presidential Award of Merit"
  • James Bostwick is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, limited to the nation’s top 100 plaintiff lawyers
  • Record-setting verdicts and settlements in five states for medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents
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