Boston Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose Attorney

Medical misdiagnosis is a prevalent problem that contributes to thousands of unnecessary deaths each year. Although the law doesn’t expect doctors to make the correct diagnosis every time, it does require physicians to use reasonable care and prudence in evaluating patients and diagnosing the injury or illness. Failure to do so, resulting in patient injury or death, is a form of medical malpractice.

If you or someone you love is suffering because of medical misdiagnosis, contact the Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Law for assistance. Our firm helps clients in Boston recover compensation after medical negligence, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and failure to diagnose. We use proven best practices and aggressive legal strategies to secure top results for clients. Let us help you in the face of medical malpractice. Call (617) 391-9001 today for a free consultation.

Why Should I Hire a Boston Failure-to-Diagnose Lawyer?

Recent studies indicate that about 12 million American adults seeking outpatient care receive incorrect diagnoses, and misdiagnosis represents the vast majority of medical malpractice claims in the United States. The overall rate of misdiagnoses in the U.S. is about 5%, and while this may seem relatively low, it is still an unacceptably high rate for the most developed country in the world.

Failure to diagnose and other diagnosis-related medical errors are serious torts, or civil wrongdoings. They can injure, maim, even kill patients. Since hospitals and physicians usually have strong insurance policies and attorneys to combat liability, it’s important to hire a Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose lawyer of your own to level the playing field. Retaining a Boston failure-to-diagnose lawyer can be the best move you make after suffering damages from a doctor’s mistake. It can bring you up to speed on your rights as a patient in Massachusetts, as well as your legal options.

A Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose attorney can make sure you don’t lose your right to file with common mistakes, such as missing the statute of limitations or forgetting a filing requirement. You generally have three years from the date of injury (or the date you discover your injuries) to file your claim. After you file your lawsuit, you must submit an Offer of Proof to a three-person tribunal. The tribunal, which consists of an attorney, a doctor, and a superior court judge, will review the evidence and decide whether you have enough evidence to proceed with a lawsuit.

A lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Law can considerably help your Boston medical malpractice claim. Instead of dealing with the red tape of filing a lawsuit and preparing your case on your own, have an experienced attorney do so for you. Help from the right group of attorneys can make all the difference in your case. Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to collect evidence, build a case, file a claim, and prove your right to compensation. Hire one of our failure-to-diagnose attorneys for the best chance of winning your case.

Understanding Misdiagnosis and How It Happens

Physicians use a process of elimination to diagnose their patients. First, the physician observes the patient’s symptoms and checks for the most obvious possible causes. Once the physician narrows down the list of possible diagnoses, he or she must use good judgment and approved methods from the medical community to reach a conclusive diagnosis.

Some conditions are very difficult to diagnose, and some medical conditions affect patients in different ways. The determining factor in whether a misdiagnosis was an honest mistake or an act of medical negligence is how another reasonable person with similar skills in the same situation would have done the same thing. This is where expert witnesses are the most important. For example, a misdiagnosis claim against an oncologist for a botched cancer diagnosis may require a former oncologist to testify as an expert witness. If the expert witness determines that the defendant did not meet the standard of care for the patient’s condition, it’s likely the plaintiff will succeed in the lawsuit.

Different Types of Misdiagnoses

A correct diagnosis leads to prompt, proper treatment for the patient’s condition. A misdiagnosis, on the other hand, can delay treatment and negatively impact the patient’s prognosis. “Medical misdiagnosis” can refer to several different circumstances. Contact our attorneys after any type of diagnosis delay or error in Boston.

The following, however, are the most common types of misdiagnoses that generate the right to a lawsuit:

  • False positive. A false positive diagnosis means the physician incorrectly tells a patient that he or she has a condition, when in fact he or she does not. The most common false positive situation describes a doctor mistakes the symptoms of one condition for another. A rarer misdiagnosis situation is a doctor diagnosing a healthy patient with a disease he/she does not have.
  • False negative. A false negative diagnosis means the patient does have a condition or disease, but the physician failed to diagnose the condition and told the patient he/she is healthy. This mistake can lead to a patient failing to receive life-saving treatments in time to make a difference to the prognosis.
  • Diagnosing a symptom, not the underlying condition. Sometimes physicians fail to delve deep enough into a health complaint to uncover the underlying condition causing a patient’s symptoms. This can lead to treatment recommendations for the symptoms and not the actual disease.
  • Failure to diagnose a subtype. Many diseases and conditions have subtypes, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s important for a doctor to diagnose a subtype and not just a broad condition. Heart problems, diabetes, and other conditions can be fatal with an undiagnosed subtype.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of one of these types of misdiagnoses, contact a Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose lawyer in Boston. Describe your damages and why you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. A Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose lawyer will listen to your story, help you confirm misdiagnosis, and take the steps toward filing an official claim in your county. Talking to an attorney can open your eyes to all the legal opportunities you may have.

What Are Some Commonly Misdiagnosed Diseases?

A physician can misdiagnose virtually any type of disease, but some mistakes result in lawsuits more often than others. The nature of the disease is a major factor in whether the patient will have grounds to file a claim. Cancers, for example, require prompt treatment for the best possible patient health outcome. Misdiagnosing or failure to diagnose cancer could be fatal. If a physician in Boston misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose one of the following conditions, talk to an attorney as soon as you can:

  • A few different cancer types are commonly involved in misdiagnosis claims; namely: breast, lung, testicular, cervical, and ovarian cancers, as well as melanoma and lymphoma. Unfortunately, these are also cancers that rely on timely diagnoses for proper treatment and positive prognoses. Delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose could destroy a patient’s chances of recovery.
  • Heart attack. Physicians – especially in emergency room settings – may misdiagnose or fail to diagnose a heart attack if they don’t order the right tests, misread test results, or fail to notice warning signs. Misdiagnosing a heart attack can lead to a fatal failure to provide the proper treatment.
  • Bacterial meningitis. This condition can cause serious health complications such as organ failure, brain injury, seizure, sepsis, hearing loss, blindness, and amputation without proper treatment. A doctor may misdiagnose meningitis by failing to recognize symptoms. Delaying treatment for this illness, even by a day, could harm the patient.
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot blocking the main artery in the lung. PE can cause chest pain, fainting, and shortness of breath. It is possible for a physician to mistake the symptoms of PE for similar conditions such as pneumonia or heart attack, leading to a lack of life-saving measures. Failure to diagnose a PE could lead to the clot traveling through the body and killing the patient.

Other commonly misdiagnosed conditions include diabetes, appendicitis, and stroke. Whether your situation involves one of these commonly misdiagnosed conditions or something else, contact an attorney. A conversation with a medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand your rights and options against a negligent physician in Boston. If a disease, injury, or other condition misdiagnosis resulted in any type of damages to you or a loved one, see an attorney for advice.

Why Cancers Are Commonly Misdiagnosed

Cancer at the top of the list of commonly misdiagnosed diseases. Because many types of cancer have the same symptoms as other conditions, it can be easy for physicians to overlook the signs. Lymphoma, for example, has many of the same symptoms as a common cold. It is up to the doctor to fully evaluate a patient and follow the accepted practices for a timely and correct diagnosis. A physician may fail to properly diagnose a cancer case for many reasons, including:

  • Ignoring patient complaints or symptoms
  • Failing to follow up with patients after an initial diagnosis
  • Failing to order the correct cancer-assessing tests or biopsies
  • Failing to ask for important family medical information
  • Failing to refer patients to cancer specialists
  • Misinterpreting or mixing up patient test results

Time is extremely sensitive in cancer cases. Misdiagnosing cancer is a serious and often deadly mistake. Every day matters when it comes to fighting an aggressive form of cancer. If a physician negligently fails to diagnose a cancer case, he or she may be liable for damages. It is up to the injured patient or his/her surviving family members to pursue financial compensation through the Massachusetts civil justice system – starting with a phone call at (617) 391-9001 to a local Boston medical misdiagnosis attorney from Sweeney Merrigan Law.

A Statute of Limitations for a Misdiagnosis Claim

Diagnostic errors occur in about 10-30% of all medical cases. It’s essential for patients who receive medical treatment to keep close track of their symptoms and treatment and report any new symptoms or changes in symptoms to their doctors as soon as possible. If a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose results in patient harm, then the injured patient will need to work quickly to secure compensation for the resulting damages.

A plaintiff must file a medical malpractice claim within the statute of limitations for his or her state. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is three years. This time limit starts on the date a doctor delivers an inaccurate diagnosis or fails to deliver a diagnosis at all. However, some patients may not feel the effects of a misdiagnosis for some time after visiting a doctor. For example, a patient receives a false negative diagnosis from his or her doctor and goes about normal life. A few months later, his symptoms dramatically worsen and he finally receives an accurate diagnosis. In this situation, the statute of limitations would likely begin on the date his symptoms reemerged and not the date of the original incorrect diagnosis.

Massachusetts also places a statute of repose on medical malpractice claims, meaning that a plaintiff cannot file a claim more than seven years after the date the alleged malpractice occurred, regardless of discovery or other factors. The only exception to this would be a case involving a foreign object left in a patient’s body during surgery.

Meeting the statute of limitations is one of the most important reasons to hire an attorney to represent your case. Any medical malpractice claim will entail extensive litigation, discovery, and trial proceedings. The right Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose attorney can help a victim of a misdiagnosis to fully assess his or her damages and potential compensation. An attorney can also help manage correspondence with insurance companies and help a plaintiff manage other affairs during the course of a medical malpractice case.

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Contact a Boston Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyer Today!

It’s incredibly important to get in touch with an attorney if you suspect misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose. You may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim if you can prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed at the time, the doctor breached a duty of care to you during diagnosis, and that the breach of duty caused your damages. Proving your case may require input from medical experts, testimony from witnesses, medical records, and more. One of our Boston personal injury attorneys can help you every step of the way.

An attorney from Sweeney Merrigan Law has the power to investigate your case, gather evidence, and take your lawsuit to court if necessary for full compensation. We offer award-winning representation, insurance company negotiation, and strong client relationships based on trust. We have everything you need and more for a strong case against a Boston doctor and/or hospital on the grounds of medical misdiagnosis. Our case results speak for themselves: We know how to secure top results for patients who have suffered due to medical malpractice.

If you want to maximize your odds of financial recovery after a misdiagnosis experience, trust Sweeney Merrigan Law to handle your case. We take medical errors seriously. We know how much a single physician mistake can affect a family. It’s our job to seek justice and restitution for injured, unnecessarily wronged patients in Boston. Contact the Boston misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose injury lawyers today to request a free medical misdiagnosis consultation today. One of our attorneys will be happy to answer your questions during a confidential case evaluation. Call (617) 391-9001 to schedule a meeting.