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The catastrophic consequences of misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and failure to treat

According to a study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 deaths occur every year as a result of medical malpractice. This figure makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. This is an extraordinary statistic given the per capita costs of health care in the United States are the highest among nations in the world. Health expenditures per person in the U.S. were $12,555 in 2022, which was over $4,000 more than any other high-income nation.

Among the most common types of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and failure to treat. Misdiagnoses often happen when doctors dismiss a patient’s constellation of symptoms as a minor illness when a careful examination and investigation of a patient’s condition could have and should have yielded a correct diagnosis and prompt treatment.

When we go to our doctors, we trust them to give us the time and attention to find out what is wrong with us using their experience, training, and the many diagnostic tools readily available to them. Detecting a patient’s illness in a timely manner is crucial as we know late or inaccurate detection can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering or even death. A physician who fails in his duty to use due care when diagnosing a patient often causes conditions to grow worse which in turn causes needless suffering.

The emotional pain of losing a loved one can be overwhelming, but it is particularly painful and traumatizing when a loved one dies of a preventable illness.

Many of our clients who have suffered harm through no fault of their own pursue medical malpractice claims not only so they can be made whole, but because they know how important it is to hold medical professionals to account, and thereby help to prevent similar mistakes from happening to others in the future.

At Charnoff Simpson PLLC, our Vienna, Virginia, medical malpractice attorneys can help you get justice after you were negligently misdiagnosed.

Negligent Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose FAQ

Do you have questions about misdiagnosis and medical malpractice? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions about Virginia malpractice law.

What are the most common diseases and conditions that are misdiagnosed?

Among the serious illnesses that doctors often miss are:

  • Colorectal cancer;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Breast cancer;
  • Heart attack;
  • Prostate cancer;
  • Stroke; and
  • Sepsis

While some diseases are challenging to diagnose, many are not, and a missed diagnosis of one of these life-threatening conditions can be the result of simple negligence and a breach of the standard of medical care.

What legal action can I take in Virginia if I was misdiagnosed?

If your misdiagnosis was the result of negligence from a healthcare provider and you suffered harm as a result, you could be entitled to compensation for things like the cost of subsequent medical care, lost wages, and your unnecessary pain and suffering. One of our misdiagnosis attorneys can review what happened to you and advise you on your rights and how you may seek to hold the careless healthcare provider accountable for his negligence.

When should I seek a second medical opinion?

If you disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis and especially if you suspect their examination was careless, dismissive, or substandard, a second opinion from another physician can be invaluable. Most importantly, getting a second opinion could mean getting the right diagnosis and beginning necessary treatment promptly. It can also help you establish that your original doctor’s conduct fell below the standard of care.

Do You Have a Virginia, Maryland or D.C. Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you or someone you know has been misdiagnosed, resulting in a serious or permanent injury, it is important to act quickly because the statute of limitations is limited. It is crucial to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 703-291-6650 or contacting us online to speak with the lawyers at Charnoff Simpson PLLC as soon as possible so we can review the details of your situation and help you determine the best course of action.