While most doctors do their best to ensure their patients are well taken care of and diagnosed and treated properly, there are also many cases every year where doctors either misdiagnose patients or fail to diagnose the condition at all. Failing to diagnose a condition in a timely manner can mean that the treatment process is complicated once the diagnosis is finally made, and the prognosis for the patient may also be worse.
One of the biggest legal issues in these types of medical malpractice cases in Kentucky is proving that the doctor made a mistake by not recognizing the diagnosis sooner. When diagnosing an illness or other conditions, doctors look at all of the symptoms the patient is presenting, as well as the patient's medical history, to start determining a list of possible diagnoses.
In some situations, important symptoms can mask themselves and make it harder to accurately diagnosis a condition. Heartburn, for example, can be a normal occurrence after eating too much too quickly or consuming spicy foods. It can also be a sign of several more severe conditions, however, so it is crucial that doctors take time talking with the patient and adequately assess all symptoms no matter how insignificant or unrelated they seem.
If a patient believes that the doctor made an error by not including a symptom in the diagnostic procedure or ruling out a condition prematurely, a medical malpractice suit may be a possibility. Because these lawsuits often involve the doctor as well as the health care facility, they can be especially complex and challenging. A medical malpractice attorney who sees these types of cases on a regular basis is the best choice for learning more about your options.
Source: FindLaw, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment" Dec. 08, 2014