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If your medical condition worsened as your doctor failed to diagnose you, you could have a medical malpractice claim.

Misdiagnosis & Failure to Diagnose

A proper diagnosis is the first step to effective medical treatment. A patient’s entire treatment plan suffers when a doctor fails to get that crucial first step right. In some cases, these delays are unavoidable. If an illness causes unusual symptoms or mimics another illness, diagnostic errors are to be expected.

But when a doctor has all of the information they need in front of them and still makes the wrong call, you may have a failure to diagnose a malpractice suit. Call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW.

What is Failure to Diagnose and Who’s Liable?

Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis issues arise when a doctor either completely misdiagnoses an ailment or waits so long to diagnose an issue that a patient’s condition worsens. Generally, liability lies with the treating doctor when there is a valid misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a claim.

Doctors are expected to utilize everything available to them to secure an accurate diagnosis. This includes patients’ reported symptoms, a variety of diagnostic tests, and reports from other medical professionals.

Examples of Failure to Diagnose

Although any disease or illness can be misdiagnosed, there are some that are commonly missed. Some frequently missed or delayed diagnoses include:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stroke
  • Sepsis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Brain hemorrhage

A missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis may be the result of many types of medical errors, including:

  • Failing to get a patient’s full medical background and consequently missing information that would have led to an accurate diagnosis
  • Dismissing a patient’s reported symptoms or assuming that a patient is exaggerating their symptoms
  • Misreading the results of a diagnostic exam
  • Failing to order appropriate diagnostic exams
  • Assuming a diagnosis and failing to consider any other options
  • Accurately diagnosing one health issue but missing another one

Injuries and Complications

A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness can have severe or fatal consequences. Possible outcomes include:

  • The patient begins treatment for the incorrect diagnosis. This can cause a patient to spend money on unnecessary and unhelpful treatment. This incorrect treatment can also cause unpleasant side effects or cause harm to the patient.
  • The correct diagnosis is eventually reached, but not before the medical condition worsened. As a result, the patient could be forced to endure more pain and unpleasant symptoms as the disease progresses. Furthermore, treatment may take longer or be less effective because of the diagnostic delay.
  • The patient has more limited treatment options because of the delay in diagnosis. Some treatment options are only available at specific stages of a disease. A lag in diagnosis could make these options unavailable to patients. Consider, for example, some types of cancer. Radiation or surgery could be effective at early stages of some types of cancer. These treatments target specific parts of the body and limit side effects to the rest. However, if the cancer is not detected until much later, the patient may be forced to try chemotherapy or immunotherapy, both of which affect the entire body.
  • The patient is left with permanent injuries. Some medical conditions, like stroke and heart attack, rely on immediate detection and treatment. A delayed diagnosis could cause permanent damage to the patient’s health. While the patient may live, they are likely to have permanent deficits in certain areas.
  • The patient passes away before they could be diagnosed or begin treatment. Tragically, some patients pass away as a result of a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
  • In some cases, patients can eventually fully recover from the missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. However, they are likely to spend a substantial amount of money and time getting to that point. In others, their lives are cut short or forever changed.

The Standard of Care

The basis of a medical malpractice claim is the standard of care for a doctor. While some believe that medical malpractice has occurred every time a doctor makes a mistake, that isn’t the case.

Doctors are only human, and they are bound to make errors. However, medical malpractice is a serious possibility when their errors are egregious, or outside the standards, they are expected to uphold.

The standard of care refers to what is expected of a doctor in their area of practice with similar training, experience, and knowledge. Your attorney may take note of what your doctor did to diagnose you, based off your own reports and medical documentation.

They may then find out what other doctors would have done when faced with a similar scenario. In some cases, the patient’s doctor is the outlier. While every other doctor responds fairly similarly, the actions taken by the patient’s doctor were wildly different from what everyone else would have done. This is an issue and it may indicate that the doctor engaged in malpractice.

In other cases, other doctors may report that they would have done the same thing as the patient’s doctor. In these cases, malpractice may not have occurred even though a diagnosis was missed or inaccurate.

How Can a Missed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis Not be Malpractice?

Unfortunately, some diagnoses are incredibly difficult to pinpoint. They may be very similar to other conditions, present with a wide range of symptoms, or be incredibly rare outside of a certain population. In these circumstances, a doctor may not be negligent for failing to catch a diagnosis.

Filing a Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit

If you’re ready to move forward with suing for misdiagnosis, make sure you move quickly. The statute of limitations is very short in Ohio, and connecting with an Ohio failure to diagnose lawyer early can help you save time.


When you seek misdiagnosis compensation via a medical malpractice claim, the state of Ohio wants to ensure that the claim is valid. They require an Affidavit of Merit.

This affidavit is provided by a medical expert who testifies that they have looked at your medical records, have an understanding of the standard of care in your case, believe that the doctor was negligent, and believe that the negligence caused you harm.

Establishing Liability

You must prove several things for a successful failure to diagnose lawsuit, many of which echo the elements of the affidavit described above. You must be able to demonstrate that:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship.
  • The doctor failed to meet the standard of care when treating you.
  • This failure led to the injuries or illnesses you suffered.
  • Your injuries caused you measurable failure to diagnose damages.

Damages and Compensation

The type and amount of compensation you may receive as a result of a medical malpractice claim depends largely on how significant the error was, how much it affected and will affect your life, and how successful you are at proving your claim. In general, you can expect to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental trauma

Of course, you will need to prove that you deserve each type of compensation you request. This is one reason you need to work with an experienced failure-to-diagnose lawyer in Ohio. They understand what it takes to force a care provider’s or hospital’s legal team to step up and approve a fair misdiagnosis settlement.

Why You Need an Ohio Failure to Diagnose Lawyer

A misdiagnosis attorney can be your greatest ally during this time. When a doctor engages in malpractice, there is a lot at stake for them, their employment facility, and their insurance company.

You can expect all of these parties to push back against your claim. Unfortunately, hospitals and insurance companies generally have large legal teams that are ready to spend significant time and money fighting malpractice claims.

Without an attorney to represent you, you’ll likely run out of energy long before the other side does.

We have also handled a large variety of medical malpractice claims. These claims can cause serious damage to patients’ lives, financial stability, and trust in the medical system. We fight for maximum compensation on behalf of every single patient.

Failure to Diagnose FAQs

How long do I have to file my claim?

In general, you have one year from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.

Are there any caps on compensation?

Ohio has no caps on economic damages, but the state does cap non-economic damages. You can receive up to the greater of:

  • $250,000
  • Three times your economic damages with a cap of $350,000
    • How do I know if a doctor has failed to diagnose me?

      Generally, patients realize that they have been incorrectly diagnosed or suffered a missed diagnosis because of a second opinion. Seeing another doctor can provide clarity and help you understand whether or not you are getting the care you deserve.

      What if failure to diagnose resulted in death?

      When this happens, the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party.

      Contact KNR to Start Your Failure to Diagnose Claim

      If a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis has rattled your faith in healthcare and left you with medical problems, it’s time to find out if you are owed compensation. Call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a free consultation.