When can a doctor be held liable for failure to diagnose?

Waukegan, IL medical malpractice attorney Scott Gibson talks about when a doctor can be held liable for failure to diagnose in medical malpractice.

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Keep in mind that the law and the judges are very cognizant of the fact that doctors, we all use doctors, we all need doctors and they do primarily or usually a very good job. And doctors are trained, for instance, to have a differential diagnosis because they may not know what is causing your headache. They start with what primarily could be the cause and then they go down a list and try to figure out by using tests and other examination techniques, what the cause may be.

None of that is malpractice if they don’t find the right cause or if something bad happens at that time. It’s a matter of did they comply with the standard of care. In other words, for instance, if someone comes in with a headache and there are four or five potential causes, did the doctor properly assess those, did the doctor order the right tests, did the doctor interpret the tests correctly, did the doctor act upon the tests correctly. If the doctor did, there’s no case, even if someone is badly hurt or ends up dying. But if the doctor did not comply with the standard of care, for instance, in any of those examples, we would have a right to bring a case on behalf of the injured person.