COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.
Failure to Diagnose

San Francisco Failure to Diagnose Attorneys

Call Us Today for Your Free Consultation

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.


  • Inner Circle of Advocates
    Inner Circle of Advocates

    Invitation-only organization of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the U.S.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Former President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, limited to the top 500 trial lawyers in the U.S.

  • Super Lawyers 2023
    Super Lawyers 2023

    James S. Bostwick and Erik L. Peterson have been named top-rated medical malpractice attorneys in Northern California.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    Invitation-only group of the nation’s top civil lawyers and judges.

  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
    American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

    James Bostwick is a nationally certified medical malpractice specialist and founding member.

  • The Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America

    Recognized since its inception in 1983 by this peer-reviewed publication, comprised of the best legal talent in the world.

  • Best Law Firms 2024
    Best Law Firms 2024

    Recognized for professional excellence with impressive ratings from clients and peers.

  • The National Trial Lawyers
    The National Trial Lawyers

    James Bostwick & Erik Peterson are listed in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates

    An exclusive group limited to less than 1% of U.S. attorneys who have won multi-million dollar results.

  • Lawdragon

    James Bostwick inducted into the Hall of Fame and featured among the Top 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America.

  • America's Top 100 Med Mal Litigators
    America's Top 100 Med Mal Litigators

    James Bostwick's exceptional talents have been recognized by America’s Top 100 Medical Malpractice Litigators®, where he remains among some of the most esteemed medical malpractice litigators throughout the country.


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
Experienced Trial Lawyers

Put our highly recognized and award-winning attorneys on your side. We will make the difference in your case. 

Get The Help You Need

Start With a Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.