| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
proving misdiagnosis

You’ve just seen a doctor who incorrectly diagnosed you with an illness or disability that you didn’t actually have.

This is known as a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis, and often results in unnecessary and grave harm.

You may wonder, “Can I sue my doctor for misdiagnosis or can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis?” The short answer is, yes.

If you experience a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or a delay in diagnosis, you may be able to pursue a failure to diagnose lawsuit.

To speak with a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer, please contact the experienced team at Poulos & Coates today.

How to Prove Failure to Diagnose in New Mexico

To prove medical malpractice in a misdiagnosis case, you need to demonstrate the following elements:

  • The medical professional owed you a legal duty of care,
  • The medical professional violated this duty of care by misdiagnosing you,
  • You suffered measurable damages, and
  • The medical professional’s violation of their duty of care is what caused your damages.

All these elements need to be proven for a medical malpractice case to succeed. 

Duty of Care

To prove that the doctor owed you a duty of care in failure to diagnose cases, you must establish that a reasonable medical provider in the same or similar circumstances would have diagnosed the illness or disability.

Medical professionals have differing standards of care based on a variety of different factors such as geographic area, resources available, years of experience, practice area, and schooling.

Typically, expert testimony is necessary to prove the standard of care.

Breach of Duty

After establishing a duty, you must next prove that the doctor violated their duty to you. 

In order to do this, you need to prove the doctor violated it by failing to diagnose a particular ailment or disability.

Just because the provider made a mistake does not mean that they were negligent.

However, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you demonstrate that the doctor’s actions fell short of their standard of care.


Next is the hard part. You must prove the amount of damages you suffered. Damages may include economic losses like medical bills and lost wages.

They can also include noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life. Your attorney will work with you to help you put a dollar value on your claim.


Lastly, to recover compensation, you must show that your harm was a result of the misdiagnosis.

As with the breach of duty, you will typically need expert testimony to prove the connection between the misdiagnosis and your harm. 

The Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Poulos & Coates Are Here to Help

If you suffer injury from misdiagnosis and want to know how to sue a hospital for a failure to diagnosis, contact our Las Cruces, New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys at Poulos & Coates today.

Our experienced attorneys have won over $300 million for our clients over the years.

We have unique resources we can use to your benefit, such as a doctor and a nurse on our staff to lend their medical expertise to your case.

We will fight hard to get you the compensation you need.

Contact us online today or call 575-218-7873 to speak to one of our medical malpractice lawyers in New Mexico.

Author Photo

Victor Poulos

Vic Poulos & Greig Coates became law partners in April of 2002, when the two medical malpractice litigators merged their offices, combining what is now over seventy years of litigation experience, to form Poulos & Coates, LLP. Licensed to practice before all State Courts of Texas, New Mexico, Iowa, and Kansas. Licensed to practice before the United States District Courts of Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico, and Texas (Western, Eastern, Southern, and Northern Districts of Texas), as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.X. Ax Court.

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