| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
Failure to diagnose malpractice

Any type of medical negligence is traumatic, but misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose malpractice claims can be especially traumatic.

That means someone might not get the necessary treatment they require. That could make their condition worse or even cause their death in some instances. 

If you or someone you love is the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, you could have the right to file a lawsuit. However, malpractice claims are complex. That is why it’s best to speak with a skilled Las Cruces medical malpractice lawyer.

At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we know how to prove a failure to diagnose medical malpractice claim.

Our firm primarily specializes in New Mexico medical malpractice claims, and we have a doctor and nurse on staff who are available to evaluate your case as well.

To better understand medical malpractice claims, here is a look at how to prove a misdiagnosis in New Mexico.

Key Elements of Proving a Misdiagnosis Case

To prevail in any medical malpractice case, you must prove the core elements of liability. Inability to prove even one of these means you won’t be able to collect any compensation.

Establish a Doctor-Patient Relationship

The first element requires you to show an established doctor-patient relationship. If this is a medical professional you booked an appointment with, establishing the relationship is pretty straightforward.

Duty of Care

The second element is showing the duty of care the provider owed you. A duty of care is a medical professional’s legal obligation to provide you with treatment that falls within the accepted standards of care.

The best way to look at this is what would a similarly trained medical professional do if they were in a similar situation?

Breaching the Duty of Care

If you establish the medical professional owed you a duty of care, you must show they breached that duty to meet the third criteria of malpractice.

If a similarly trained physician would’ve made the proper diagnosis in a similar situation, then there’s a good chance of proving medical malpractice.

However, you will need testimony from another medical expert who will explain the standard of care for your situation.

The Medical Professional’s Breach Caused Your Injuries

The final element is often the hardest to prove. You can show that the medical professional breached a duty, but you must show that breach is the leading cause of your injuries and damages.

That is why having a very experienced lawyer on your side is crucial. At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we know how to build a solid case to show the necessary link and rule out factors such as your actions after treatment or any preexisting conditions that contributed to the misdiagnosis.

How Medical Misdiagnosis Happens

A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can happen in a variety of ways. Medical providers may not recognize the symptoms or signs of a particular disease or condition.

Another way this happens is when they fail to read diagnostic results correctly, such as a doctor misreading the MRI findings or interpreting the biopsy tissue samples wrong.

Human error is the primary cause of failure to diagnose. Issues like confirmation bias and anchoring bias play into human error.

Confirmation bias is when a medical provider looks for proof confirming their suspected diagnosis while discounting any evidence that points to something else.

Anchoring bias means a medical professional gives one piece of evidence too much weight and therefore potentially ignores other vital elements that could point to the correct diagnosis.

Contact our New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you suspect that you’re a victim of medical malpractice and failure to diagnose, it’s essential to speak with a skilled New Mexico medical malpractice attorney right away.

Poulos & Coates, LLP, has over seven decades of combined experience of medical malpractice in addition to having a medical doctor and nurse on staff.

With our skills and expertise, we can help you build the strongest case for misdiagnosis possible. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can protect your rights.

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.

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