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Misdiagnosis a Common Cause of Medical Malpractice Claims

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes have more significant consequences than others. When a highly trained medical professional provides substandard care or acts negligently, the consequences can be serious, even deadly. While some cases of medical malpractice are relatively clear-cut — a surgeon removing the wrong limb, for example — other cases can be more difficult to prove.

According to a study in the journal Family Practice Management, a large proportion of medical malpractice cases in the United States arise from the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of common conditions and diseases. Specifically, the study found that medical malpractice claims most frequently arise from problems diagnosing:

  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Breast cancer
  • Appendicitis
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer

Physicians are specially trained to identify life-threatening conditions. Diagnosing a disease is not always an easy process, but the failure to recognize certain symptoms may constitute negligence. Primary care physicians may sometimes misinterpret symptoms and begin treating patients for the wrong condition instead of seeking the opinion of a specialist. Specialists may make mistakes, too, when they begin treating a patient without obtaining and reviewing a patient’s full medical history or fail to treat a patient for a condition that falls outside of their area of expertise.

If a doctor’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition or disease has caused you or someone you love to suffer an injury, you may have a medical malpractice claim. An experienced medical malpractice attorney, like those at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, can evaluate your case and provide you the information you need to protect your rights. To learn more, visit our website at

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