Did Your Doctor Fail to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis Your Illness?

 

You’re not feeling well. You go to the doctor and explain your symptoms. The doctor appears distracted. The doctor doesn’t refer you to a specialist. They don’t even run any tests. Six months later, things haven’t improved. You see a different doctor who refers you for a test. The test reveals a serious diagnosis. Because there’s a six-month delay in your diagnosis, your illness has progressed without treatment for several months. You’re feeling lost and frustrated. You’re wondering if you have rights.

Failure to Diagnose Lawsuits in Florida

If you’re hurt because your medical care provider misses a diagnosis, the medical care provider may have legal liability for the error. The legal liability isn’t meant to punish the medical care provider necessarily, but it’s intended to provide you with the compensation that you deserve when you’re the victim of medical negligence. Failure to diagnose properly is a type of medical malpractice. The basis for the lawsuit is that the medical care provider doesn’t take the steps that they should take to reveal your diagnosis.

Can I Sue for Failure to Diagnose in Florida?

Yes, you can sue for failure to diagnose in Florida. If the medical care professional in your case acts negligently in a way that prevents them from making the right diagnosis when they should have, you may bring a claim for financial compensation. Health care providers aren’t expected to have crystal balls. But they must make the observations, order the tests, and reach the conclusions that a reasonable medical provider would have given under the same circumstances.

Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice in Florida

There are a number of ways that a doctor or other health care provider can commit medical negligence when it comes to a failure to diagnose. A doctor can lack the training or skill that it takes to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition. They might make a judgment error that isn’t reasonable based on someone with the same training and experience. Alternatively, they might make critical mistakes because their work is careless. They might assign work to others and fail to invest the time they should invest in your case to avoid mistakes.

Not all diagnosis errors amount to medical malpractice. Sometimes, even a skilled, diligent doctor couldn’t have made an accurate diagnosis under the circumstances involved at the time. A doctor must provide competent care based on what’s reasonable. If their actions fall below what’s reasonable in any way, you may have a medical malpractice claim for failure to diagnose.

Rights After Incorrect Diagnosis in Florida

A legal claim based on an incorrect medical diagnosis in Florida is a medical malpractice claim. The same standards and rules that apply to all Florida medical malpractice claims apply to cases about an incorrect medical diagnosis or a failure to accurately diagnose. Here are the steps involved in bringing your claim:

Failure to Diagnose Liability Investigation

You begin your claim by investigating how the failure to diagnose happened. You have a right to request medical records to help you under Florida law 766.204. You must have a qualified medical expert review all of the relevant material to see if they agree that medical malpractice has occurred. They must agree that the facts of the case amount to medical malpractice.

Notice of Claim

After you investigate and a medical expert determines that you have a valid claim, you must notify the responsible medical care provider that you intend to bring a medical malpractice claim. Florida law 766.106 requires you to give this pre-lawsuit notice. You must include the information that your medical expert relies on when they make the determination that you have a valid claim.

Wait for the Medical Provider’s Investigation

Once you give notice that you have a medical malpractice claim, the other side must conduct an investigation in good faith. They must look at the circumstances to determine if they agree that you have a valid claim. You must wait for up to 90 days for the medical care provider or their insurance company to investigate your claim.

Respond to the Medical Provider’s Offer

The insurance company has several options to respond to your claim under Florida law 766.106. They can accept your medical malpractice claim and make you a settlement offer. They can reject your claim altogether. They can accept that medical malpractice occurred but contest the amount of damages and ask for an arbitration proceeding on just the issue of damages. If you don’t like what the medical care provider offers, you can reject it. Then, you’re ready to bring a traditional lawsuit for damages.

File a Legal Claim

Once you’ve gotten through all these preliminary steps, you can file a legal claim for failure to diagnose. In your claim, you state that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the medical care provider. You explain how the care provider’s errors result in a failure to diagnose your medical condition. You explain how their actions fall below-accepted standards for medical care.

What Can I Win in a Lawsuit for Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice in Florida?

Since the Florida Supreme Court ruled that damage caps are unconstitutional in Florida medical malpractice cases, you can recover a full range of damages anytime that you’re hurt by a failure to diagnose. Your damages include your economic damages like your financial losses including extra medical care, physical therapy, time away from work, and even the cost of hiring someone to help you do things that you used to do for yourself around the house. Your damages can also include your non-economic damages like the mental anguish that you suffer because of the error.

Our Attorneys for Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice in Tampa

Did your medical care provider fail to diagnose your medical condition accurately? Did you suffer harm because your doctor made an error diagnosing your condition? You have rights. We know that a doctor’s failure to diagnose can be devastating to you and your family.

At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, we have an entire legal team dedicated to helping victims just like you. Contact us today for a personal, confidential consultation about your claim.

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 36 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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