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Failure to Diagnose

San Francisco Failure to Diagnose Attorneys

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Your doctor is responsible for recognizing potential medical problems early on. This means that he or she must perform tests that another medical professional with the same knowledge would perform. After all, a physician cannot properly treat a medical condition without first diagnosing the problem.

Several factors go into making the correct diagnosis. And, making a proper and timely diagnosis is the first step in ensuring a patient receives the necessary treatment to improve. The failure to obtain that proper diagnosis may result in significant patient harm by allowing a disease to worsen, closing the optimal treatment window and reducing the chance for a full recovery.

When the physician fails to act in accordance with the standards set in his or her field, he or she may be found liable for medical malpractice. Our San Francisco failure to diagnose lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson have a wide range of experience litigating failure to diagnose and delayed diagnosis cases.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a result of your doctor's failure to diagnose a serious medical condition, call Bostwick & Peterson today for a free consultation.

The Effects of Delayed or Missed Diagnoses

Commonly, doctors fail to properly diagnose patients who have suffered a stroke or other cardiac problems, as the symptoms of these ailments can vary greatly. Even so, a physician is required to know potential symptoms and recognize them in patients. Similarly, physicians are required to perform routine tests and diagnostic procedures on patients who have symptoms of any type of cancer.

Medical providers commonly fail to diagnose:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack/heart conditions
  • Stroke/brain aneurysm
  • Sepsis/Infection

Missed-diagnoses, delays in diagnoses and erroneous diagnoses comprise the most common medical malpractice allegations. While malpractice can occur in a variety of forms and actions, diagnostic errors occur at an alarming rate.

When a medical professional falls below the requisite standard of care by acting negligently, he or she may be held accountable for any resulting damages.

Factors That Contribute to Delayed Diagnoses

Among the many factors that go into making a proper diagnosis are using the appropriate clinical judgment, maintaining open and clear communication between doctor and patient, and having proper documentation of symptoms.

However, studies have found that the biggest contributor to missed diagnoses was the failure to address abnormal findings. Issues also include the failure to order proper diagnostic tests, the failure to make accurate differential diagnoses, taking inadequate patient history, and physical examinations.

Another issue is poor communication between medical providers – including not properly relating the patient’s condition and failing to read the chart.

Making a Case for a Delayed or Missed Diagnosis

Many times, patients visit their doctors complaining of vague symptoms such as fatigue or “just not feeling quite right.” In some situations, these symptoms may indicate an underlying, potentially serious or life-threatening condition. But when is a doctor’s failure to diagnose a health condition considered medical negligence or malpractice?

While each situation is different, some general guidelines exist concerning what constitutes medical negligence. First, it’s important that you actually have a doctor/patient relationship. For a viable claim of medical malpractice to exist, your relationship with the doctor must be more than, for example, casually asking an acquaintance who is a doctor - "What do you think about this?"

Additionally, the failure to diagnose a condition must be unreasonable, and fall below the standard of conduct expected from a typical doctor in that type of practice. This is generally established via medical experts.

Finally, it must be shown that the failure to diagnose and treat a condition led to the patient's harm. Diagnosing and prescribing treatment for a dangerous medical condition in a timely fashion is important to reduce or eliminate its effects on a patient’s health. However, in some instances, the delay may not have changed the outcome, such as a short delay in diagnosing advanced stage cancer.

To determine whether you have a claim for medical malpractice, it is important to speak with a San Francisco failure to diagnose attorney who can begin an investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding your claim.

Powerful Advocacy for Victims of Malpractice

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a physician's failure to diagnose, you may have grounds to pursue financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you believe you were improperly diagnosed, do not hesitate to call our firm and discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable attorney.

We have served our community for over 60 years and hold national records for many of our verdicts. We are committed to each case we receive and represent our clients with tenacity throughout the litigation process. The negligent medical professionals responsible for your harm must be held accountable.

Our firm does extensive research and obtains documentation and other evidence necessary to support malpractice claims. Call us today at (888) 831-8448 to discuss your options with our delayed diagnosis lawyers in San Francisco, CA.



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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