Knoxville Failure to Diagnose Attorney
Proper diagnosis is the foundation of successful medical treatment. Without a correct diagnosis, a patient cannot receive life-saving treatment. Their condition could worsen or lead to chronic impairment. Some patients will die.
If you lost a loved one, or if you’ve become sick yourself, you might have been harmed by a failure to diagnose. This is a difficult area of law which often pits competing doctors against each other. To navigate the legal process, speak with a Knoxville failure to diagnose attorney today at Atkins Brezina, PLLC.
Examples of Failure to Diagnose
We have heard many stories of failed diagnosis:
- A doctor dismisses a patient as not really being sick. “It’s all in your head” and other excuses. The doctor sends the patient home or recommends therapy. The patient’s condition continues to deteriorate.
- A patient keeps getting sicker even after receiving treatment. For example, a doctor might offer one diagnosis and begin treatment. Only much later does the patient realize that they have been suffering from a different medical condition.
- A patient meets with a new doctor who offers a different diagnosis. When patients don’t improve, they often get a second diagnosis. Many are shocked to hear the new doctor offer a diagnosis that is different from the first one.
What Causes Failure to Diagnose?
Most examples of failure to diagnose stem from medical malpractice. A doctor or hospital has failed to follow the correct standard of care and neglected to properly identify a patient’s condition.
This type of medical negligence takes many forms:
- Refusing to meet with a patient
- Dismissing a patient’s symptoms
- Lacking required medical knowledge to make a correct diagnosis
- Ordering the wrong tests
- Misinterpreting test information
Other doctors are negligent due to personal problems, such as burnout, overwork, alcohol dependency, divorce, or depression. Some doctors take on too many patients to pay the bills and end up providing competent care to none of them. Being a doctor is a grueling profession. But part of being a professional is knowing when to step away from a practice because you cannot provide competent care.
How to Establish a Failure to Diagnose
Typically, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney works closely with doctors to correctly identify our client’s true medical condition. Sometimes experts disagree, however. For this reason, we only work with experts who have sterling credentials and credibility.
We also need to establish what a doctor knew when he or she met with you. It’s not a failure to diagnose if you hid symptoms or failed to report them. For example, you might have colon cancer. But when you met with a doctor, you didn’t report feeling abdominal pain or blood in your stool—all you reported was fatigue. A doctor probably wasn’t negligent for failing to guess you had colon cancer based on fatigue.
The key is whether a doctor with the necessary skill and education would have made a correct diagnosis in the same situation. For this reason, we often need to speak with the doctor and nurses, while examining medical records.
Knoxville Failure to Diagnose Lawyer
Michael Brezina, III is an experienced medical malpractice attorney helping those injured in Knoxville. Contact the firm today to schedule a free consultation.