Saturday, January 2, 2010

Failure to Diagnose

Doctors are obligated to provide their patients with the best treatment they can administer. Unfortunately, a variety of circumstances can inhibit physicians' ability to perform up to standards, which can, in turn, affect their patients. Victims of medical malpractice are often unaware of the rights, and many cases remain unreported.

One of the most common causes for a medical malpractice suit is considered a "failure to diagnose." If a doctor is unable to determine the cause for symptoms, or interprets the cause incorrectly, patients can suffer prolonged pain and suffering, unnecessary medical expenses, and in extreme cases, wrongful death.

If a doctor is unable to reach a diagnosis based on symptoms, they should refer their patient to a more qualified and specialized MD. Failure to refer a patient is also considered medical malpractice.

Life threatening diseases, such as cancer, can worsen if left undiagnosed, which enables cancerous cells to spread. Patients who are victims of delayed cancer treatment are often unable to rid themselves of the condition because it has had time to multiply. Additionally, even if a patient successfully fights off the cancer, they must undergo much more extensive treatment, which can be mentally and physically exhausting, extremely expensive, and emotionally traumatic.

If you suspect negligence on your doctor's behalf, you can sue them for malpractice and request compensation; however, in order to file a suit, you must first consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss the details of yoru claim.

After your initial consultation, you will need to recover all of your medical records. Your records will be reviewed by an expert who will determine if the doctor is guilty of negligence. If so, this expert will serve as a witness.

Following this investigation, you and your lawyer will file a suit against your doctor. After he or she has been notified, you and your lawyer will discuss a settlement amount. Taking into consideration your pain and suffering, medical expenses, emotional distress, and the duration of your illness, you will create a figure for compensation.

Once your doctor is notified of your settlement amount, he or she will accept or decline and present a counter offer. Regardless, this process will continue until both parties reach an agreement. If no agreement can be met, the case will be presented before a judge who will determine a monetary figure for compensation.

For more information regarding medical malpractice suits, or failure to diagnose claims, contact the Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams.

Joseph Devine

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