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Not every failed diagnosis is malpractice. But sometimes …

We do not know everything. That's a reality. But we do know a whole lot more than we used to, especially where medicine is concerned. And what we know is so easily communicated these days that it becomes easy to think that there should be no gaps in our care.

No matter where we access the system, whether it's in the biggest city or smallest hamlet in Ohio, the ability to share information is such that we may rightly feel that any known condition should be diagnosable and properly treated. But technology can't make up for errors due to negligence or lack of competence.

When you or a loved one suffers as a result of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose at all, you need to know that you have a right to determine if you are entitled to due compensation for the pain and suffering you endure. In addition to the emotional toll that a failure to diagnose can exact, there can be physical harm. And unexpected complications can mean expensive extra treatments, time away from work and more.

Not every medical error constitutes malpractice. Sometimes a mistake is just an honest mistake. But as part of their diagnostic training, doctors are taught to draw up a list of all the different diagnoses that might be possible with a certain set of symptoms. If that list doesn't include all the possibilities that experts agree would be reasonable, or if the doctor lists the true problem and fails to rule it out as a possible diagnosis, liability may attach.

And then there is the issue of failing to deliver proper treatment. It is possible that a diagnostic error could result in a patient getting either no treatment or a treatment that actually does more harm. It shouldn't happen.

The average person is not in the best position to know whether a medical professional has acted negligently. An experienced medical malpractice attorney is better situated. If you have questions regarding your care and whether you have a claim, consulting a skilled lawyer is recommended.

Source: FindLaw, "Failed/Erroneo0us Diagnosis and Treatment," accessed Jan. 28, 2016

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