Failure to Diagnose

Last updated on: September 9, 2013

Misdiagnosos and Failure to Diagnose

Medical malpractice is an term that encompasses a wide array of negligent acts by a medical provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist or surgeon. Examples of medical malpractice include a medical professional’s improper administration of treatment, administration of the wrong treatment, misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose an accurate affliction or illness. One of the largest causes of a malpractice case is a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose.

This happens often in emergency rooms with pressure to take immediate action. However, there are numerous other ways in which malpractice cases appear. This can include when lab technicians or radiologists misread studies, when doctors fail to order appropriate testing, or when nurses fail to relay symptoms. The most common malpractices that come up are a failure to diagnose cancer, multiple sclerosis, treating infections, or heart conditions. When people aren’t accurately or promptly diagnosed, they are at risk of having some sort of detrimental impact. That can range from a worst chance of recovery, a longer recovery period, or permanent damage that may result in some sort of paralysis or even death.

There are many ways a doctor or medical staff might not adequately diagnose a patient.  These include:

  • misreading test results
  • failing to consider the patient’s history
  • failing to order the necessary tests
  • failing to listen to the patient
  • failing to refer a patient to the proper surgeon
  • failing to prescribe the correct medication
  • failing to elavulate correct treatment options


Just because your medical provider failed to diagnose a condition accurately does not mean you immediately have a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice can be very difficult and costly to prove. If you believe you may have a malpractice claim, you should consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to ensure you have a strong case. Depending on the particular cause of a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital, doctor, nurse or perhaps your medical insurance company for their actions.