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Virginia Failure to Diagnose Attorneys

We care about patients who have been hurt and seek justice for them

The first step to healing is a correct diagnosis.

Without knowing exactly what illness or injury you have, doctors won’t be able to prescribe the right treatment that will ultimately cure you. Even worse, an incorrect diagnosis can delay your treatment and allow you to get worse, not better.

Here’s a scary number: 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed each year, according to CBS News. Kaiser reports even scarier numbers: an estimated 10 to 20 percent of ALL cases are misdiagnosed, and one study reported that fatal diagnostic errors in intensive care cause 40,500 deaths every year.

If your doctor made a diagnostic error because of negligence, you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. These cases are tricky to handle, but extremely necessary for people who have suffered the kind of harm medical mistakes can cause.

For example, missing an early stage of cancer and allowing the disease to spread can mean the patient will need more extreme, expensive treatments just to survive.

If you or a member of your family is in trouble now because of a misdiagnosis, please talk to us at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. We’re sorry that you’re suffering, and we want to help. Whether we simply give you helpful advice or take your case to court, we have the experience in medical malpractice to make a difference to you.

To find out about your legal rights and options as a patient, call our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys. You won’t be charged anything upfront, and we only get paid if we win your case for you. For a free consultation, call (804) 413-6777 today.

How could my disease or injury be missed?

Three basic types of medical diagnostic errors happen: failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, and delayed diagnosis. Let’s look at each one:

1. Failure to diagnose

If a physician does not figure out what’s wrong with you, then he or she will also fail to treat what ails you.

For instance, if your doctor gives you a physical, but fails to notice you have cancer, then you have a disease that you aren’t being treated for. When the disease finally is discovered, it may be too late to treat it successfully.

Doctors and other medical professionals are trained to be observant and to order diagnostic tests if needed, so they can make a correct diagnosis. Doctors can also get the opinion of other doctors in their quest for a correct diagnosis. Serious injuries and illnesses should not be overlooked by trained professionals.

2. Misdiagnosis

If a physician misdiagnoses your ailment, he or she thinks something is wrong with you…but not what’s actually wrong with you. You’re not only NOT being treated for the condition you have, but you are also being treated, needlessly, for a condition you don’t have.

Suppose your doctor tells you your stomach pain is just indigestion when it’s actually appendicitis. He gives you some antacids, and you go home. Hours later, your appendix ruptures, forcing you to undergo emergency surgery. Your doctor didn’t catch what you had earlier, and that was a misdiagnosis.

3. Delayed diagnosis

Many illnesses are aggressive, and the sooner treatment is started, the more effective it will be. If diagnosis is delayed, treatment is delayed. If a treatment is delayed, the disease may advance and do serious organ damage before treatment can begin.

In the case of an injury like a broken bone, the bone may have started to heal incorrectly, and will now need to be re-broken.

An untreated condition doesn’t heal on its own: it needs competent medical care in a timely manner. Delay can be painful - or worse, deadly.

What kinds of things are commonly misdiagnosed?

Here are 10 medical conditions that are commonly missed by doctors or hospitals:

  • Cancer (up to 28 percent of the time)
  • Heart attack (women are more likely to suffer a missed diagnosis)
  • Depression (needs both physical and psychological exams)
  • Celiac disease (83 percent are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed)
  • Stroke (often misdiagnosed as vertigo, migraine, or alcohol!)
  • Lyme disease (people usually have this for more than a year before it’s diagnosed)
  • Fibromyalgia (mistaken for arthritis or Lupus)
  • Thyroid conditions (mistaken for depression)
  • Aortic dissection (nearly one-third of patients were first misdiagnosed)
  • Pulmonary embolism (33 percent of patients were sent home or misdiagnosed)

Many of these can be fatal if not treated, so it’s very important that doctors and hospitals make every effort to check every patient thoroughly.

If my diagnosis was mishandled, should I call an attorney?

Unfortunate things happen in life; what’s important is how we recover and move on. Some medical errors are minor and understandable. Others are not, and these must be dealt with.

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, our mission is to give you the tools you need to heal and move forward with your life. We want to make sure that your current and long-term medical costs are taken care of, and that you won’t be left in debt. Our experienced and compassionate legal team will do everything in our power to make you and your family whole again. There’s no cost to begin your path to recovery. Just dial (804) 413-6777 for a free case evaluation.

Additional Information

Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.

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It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more

Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    John speaks at Gloucester’s Senior Safety Fair, reviewing key legal documents.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.
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