Skip to Content

Failure to properly diagnose a medical condition in a timely manner is a significant area of medical malpractice legal claims. Diagnostic errors affect an estimated 12 million Americans a year. As these errors result in delay of treatment, they often prove fatal.

Elements Of A Failure To Diagnose Claim

In order to prevail in a lawsuit for failure to diagnose, it is necessary to prove the following key elements.

  • Existence of a doctor/patient relationship: A victim must be able to prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed at the time the misdiagnosis occurred.
  • Negligent treatment: It is necessary to show that the doctor or medical professional was negligent in their failure to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis.
  • Actual harm: The victim of the diagnostic error must be able to show an actual injury that resulted from the doctor or medical professional’s negligence.

Types Of Failure To Diagnose Claims

Our firm has the skill and knowledge to successfully represent victims in a multitude of failure to diagnose cases, including:


Errors in diagnosing infections can lead to permanent injury and death. Two of the most misdiagnosed infections are meningitis and sepsis. Meningitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes caused by an infection, is commonly misdiagnosed as the flu. Sepsis occurs when the body’s immune system releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. It can lead to multiple organ failure and may prove fatal.

Many people who are in a hospital setting for another reason end up developing a healthcare-associated infection (HAI). HAI’s are oftentimes overlooked as they are not the primary reason the patient is seeking medical care.


Time is of the essence when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer as many types of cancer can be eliminated or significantly slowed with swift and accurate treatment. One recent study found that errors in properly diagnosing cancer constitute 37% of all serious diagnostic errors in the United States. A cause of action for failure to diagnose cancer can arise from the following:

  • Neglecting to order diagnostic tests or bloodwork
  • Negligent interpretation of test results
  • Mishandling of samples by lab personnel
  • Diagnosis of a different disease instead of the existing cancer

Surgical Complications

All surgeries carry with them an inherent risk of complications. While most of us understand what these risks are, we have confidence that should any such problem arise our doctor and other medical professionals will respond and provide appropriate treatment. What we don’t expect is that post-surgery complications may arise that our medical professionals fail to diagnose or diagnose incorrectly. Examples include

  • Post-surgery infections
  • Internal bleeding due to nicked arteries or organs
  • Failure to monitor a patient adequately after surgery, or in the correct location, such as an ICU, or for a sufficient time, discharging a patient too soon.
  • Failure to provide patient with complete and accurate instructions upon discharge

Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney

If your doctor or health care professional failed to properly diagnose your illness or injury in a timely manner, contact Pat at 937-901-4394 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Pat has the experience and skill needed to provide you with the legal representation you deserve.


Free Consultation

This slideout can include a call-to-action or a quick scroll back to the top.

Scroll to Top