Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose

Was your medical condition incorrectly diagnosed?

Failure to diagnose, as it is known in the medical and legal communities, can be a form of medical malpractice. It occurs when a doctor fails to take the proper steps to correctly diagnose a medical condition. An estimated 126,000 Americans die every year as result of doctors incorrectly diagnosing common medical conditions. When you feel ill and visit your doctor, you go expecting the correct answers. When you undergo tests, you do so anticipating a correct diagnosis. However, if your doctor failed to make the correct diagnosis, then your health could worsen and the outcome could be devastating resulting in large medical bills, loss of income, and even death.

Failure to diagnose any medical condition is a common form of medical malpractice that occurs when a doctor does not take the proper steps to promptly and correctly diagnose your medical condition. An incorrect or delayed diagnosis can result in preventable, serious, life-altering injury and, in some instances, death.

How are medical conditions misdiagnosed?

When a patient sees a doctor with a specific set of symptoms, the doctor is required to take the appropriate steps, including ordering the necessary tests, to correctly diagnose the cause of the symptoms. If the doctor fails to order the appropriate tests to make a correct diagnosis, or arrives at an incorrect diagnosis, then that may be medical malpractice. An incorrect diagnosis delays the treatment of the real condition which could result in serious life-altering injury.

Medical Conditions often misdiagnosed:

Heart Attack:

  • Was an EKG performed to evaluate the heart rhythm?
  • Were blood tests performed to measure the cardiac enzyme levels in the blood?


  • Was a thorough neurologic exam performed by the doctor?
  • Was a CT scan of the brain performed?
  • Was an ultrasound of the arteries in the next performed?

Blood Clot:

  • Was an ultrasound performed to determine if a blood clot was present?

Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in the lungs):

  • Was a lung scan or CT scan performed to look for a blood clot in the lungs?


  • Was a blood test performed to measure your white blood cell count?
  • Were blood cultures performed to test for the presence of bacteria in the blood?
  • Was your wound cultured?
  • Were antibiotics prescribed?

These are just a few examples of how doctors or hospitals can be responsible for failing to or delaying your diagnosis. The best way to understand if your condition was improperly diagnosed is to contact us. You can do that by completing the form to right for a free legal consultation or by calling the number listed at the top of this page.

At Sokolove Law we have over 40 years experience helping people who were let down by those they trusted with their health. We may be able to help if your medical condition, or one of a loved one, was not correctly diagnosed. Click through to the appropriate injury page and submit the form specifically designed to help us determine if you have a case and if we can represent you.

If you do not see the Medical Malpractice injury you or your loved one has suffered, we can still determine if you have a case. Submit the form to the right and we’ll let you know if we can represent you.

Failure to Diagnose Case Types



Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: September 10, 2020