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Failure to Diagnose

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Maine

When you are sick or injured, you have to rely on the expertise of doctors and other medical practitioners to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Unfortunately, doctors do not always live up to the standards required of their profession. This failure can result in serious health consequences for the patient. The medical malpractice lawyers at Briggs & Wholey are dedicated advocates for Maine residents in this difficult situation. We are experienced in helping malpractice victims seek the compensation they deserve.

Harm Caused by Failure to Diagnose

A recent international study examined medical malpractice claims involving primary care in several countries. The study found that diagnostic errors accounted for the majority of malpractice claims in a primary care setting. The most common conditions with an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis in adults were cancer and myocardial infarction, while for children it was meningitis. The analysis described many ways in which diagnoses were incorrect or delayed, such as failure to order diagnostic tests, failure to create proper follow-up plans, failure to obtain an adequate history, failure to perform a physical examination, and interpreting test results incorrectly.

An inaccurate or delayed diagnosis results in delayed treatment of the illness or condition. The results of this delay can be devastating to the patient. Depending on the condition, the lack of treatment can lead to organ damage, amputation, or even death. Many conditions, including many cancers, are more easily treated with a better prognosis when detected early. A failure to identify such conditions can result in unnecessary pain, additional surgeries, or even a deterioration so great that the condition can no longer be successfully treated.

Holding Doctors Accountable for Professional Negligence

In Maine, professional negligence by a healthcare provider may occur when the acts or omissions of the provider fell below the applicable standard of care in the relevant specialty. The patient also must show that those acts or omissions caused the patient harm.

There are special procedural requirements for Maine medical malpractice claims. Victims of medical malpractice must file a complaint with a pre-litigation screening panel before filing a lawsuit. The parties can agree to waive this requirement or to instead submit the claim to the panel for a binding decision. If the parties do not agree to a procedure, however, the claim must go through the pre-screening process.

A person injured by a healthcare provider’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the professional negligence results in the tragic death of someone you love, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit can result in compensation for medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering before death, loss of companionship, and other damages.

Contact an Experienced Maine Injury Lawyer

If you have been hurt by an inaccurate or delayed medical diagnosis, you need the representation of a dedicated attorney. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law with special procedural requirements. The Maine injury attorneys at Briggs and Wholey have nearly 30 years of combined legal experience and have achieved multi-million dollar recoveries for some of our clients. We have a thorough knowledge of malpractice law and the skills to advocate for you. Call us at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Donald Briggs C. Donald Briggs, III Feb. 7, 1954 - Sept. 7, 2014 Your dedication and hard work continue...