Patients who experience a failure to diagnose need a reliable Kansas City failure to diagnose lawyer to determine whether medical malpractice occurred. Medicine is a very uncertain field by nature, and medical professionals typically must rely on the consensus of the medical community in many situations. This includes diagnosing patients. A doctor must use a process of elimination to determine a patient’s condition by assessing all the possible diagnoses and assigning the one most likely to be correct.
Honest mistakes happen and many medical conditions and diseases have similar symptoms of others, but a failure to diagnose is medical malpractice under certain conditions. A failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis can worsen a patient’s condition, cause the patient to undergo needless treatments, incur extra medical expenses, and cause tremendous physical pain and emotional distress.
How to Determine Malpractice for Failure to Diagnose
In failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis cases, the question of liability depends on the nature of the care provided by the defendant. If the defendant’s actions fall outside the realm of what another similarly skilled doctor would have done in the same situation, and the patient suffers harm as a result, the doctor will likely face malpractice charges. In these cases, proving malpractice hinges on four elements:
- The doctor-patient relationship. The plaintiff must be able to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant. A plaintiff cannot sue for unofficial medical advice or off-the-cuff remarks made in public. The plaintiff must have agreed to the doctor’s treatment, and the doctor must have agreed to treat the patient in an official capacity.
- The doctor’s duty of care. Next, the plaintiff and his or her Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer will have to show how the defendant’s failure to diagnose fell outside the scope of an acceptable standard of care. This usually involves testimony from medical experts who can explain to the court why a competent doctor in the same situation could have diagnosed the patient correctly.
- Causation. The plaintiff can only sue for the direct results of the defendant’s negligence, so the plaintiff must show that his or her damages were “more likely than not” the direct results of the defendant’s negligence.
- Actual harm. The plaintiff can only sue if he or she suffered harm from the defendant’s negligence. If a patient experiences a diagnostic error but suffers no harm, he or she has no claim.
It’s crucial for patients who experience diagnostic errors to reach out for legal representation. In most cases, a diagnostic error or failed diagnosis will lead to additional medical expenses for the victim, corrective or rehabilitative procedures, ongoing care, and unnecessary physical pain and emotional distress. A delayed diagnosis may also mean more time missed from work. Patients in the Kansas City, MO, area can rely on a Kansas City failure to diagnose lawyer at Dickerson Oxton, LLC for legal counsel in diagnostic error cases.
Free Consultation with a Kansas City Failure to Diagnose Attorney
Our lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t take legal fees unless we win. Reach out to our firm today for more information about failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis cases in Missouri. You can also schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We will review the details of your situation and let you know your options for legal recourse.