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Diagnostic Errors Committed to Relentlessly Pursuing Justice

Jacksonville Misdiagnosis Attorneys

Fighting for Patients Harmed by Misdiagnosis in Jacksonville, FL

Put simply, when we go to a doctor with a problem, we expect them to accurately tell us what is wrong and what needs to be done to treat it. When a medical condition is not correctly identified in its early stages, it can progress untreated, often exacerbating the actual condition and leading to serious (and sometimes irreversible) health consequences. These can range from prolonged illness and unnecessary treatments to severe physical harm or even wrongful death.

If you or someone you love have been harmed by a diagnostic error, you may have a medical malpractice case, and our team at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. wants to help. Our Jacksonville misdiagnosis lawyers have over 150+ years of combined legal experience and have achieved extraordinary results both throughout Florida as well as at the national level. We are prepared to work with you to fully understand the scope and nature of the medical negligence so that we can carefully develop a personalized legal strategy for holding responsible parties accountable and recovering the just compensation you deserve. You owe us nothing unless we win! 

We encourage you to reach out and schedule a free initial consultation if you think you may have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Call (904) 295-1050 or contact us online today.

What Is a Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis is an incorrect identification of a patient's illness or condition. This inaccuracy typically arises when a healthcare professional erroneously matches a patient's symptoms to the wrong ailment, leading to an inappropriate or ineffective treatment plan. Such an error may stem from a variety of factors, including a lack of thorough examination, insufficient medical history analysis, misinterpretation of laboratory results, or even a hasty diagnosis made without adequate consideration of all possible conditions.

In some instances, a misdiagnosis may be a "missed diagnosis” – also known as a “failure to diagnose” – which refers to the complete failure to identify the presence of a disease or condition. This can occur when a medical professional dismisses a patient's symptoms as benign or fails to carry out necessary tests. As a result, the patient's actual condition remains undetected and untreated, potentially worsening over time and leading to severe complications – or even death.

Yet another form of misdiagnosis is the "delayed diagnosis,” which occurs when a medical provider eventually identifies the correct illness or condition but only after a substantial delay. This delay can cause the patient's condition to progress beyond an easily treatable stage, leading to more invasive and aggressive treatments, a poorer prognosis, and in some cases, the condition or illness becoming untreatable.

In all these cases, the misdiagnosis not only jeopardizes the patient's health but also their peace of mind. The error can lead to unnecessary treatments or surgeries, additional medical costs, lost time, and sometimes loss of life. 

How Do Misdiagnoses Happen?

All medical professionals must meet a reasonable standard of care when treating patients. While it is possible for a well intended medical professional to inaccurately diagnose a patient due to factors beyond their control, several types of medical negligence can result in misdiagnoses, each with its own set of unique circumstances and legal implications. 

Types of medical negligence that can lead to a misdiagnosis include:

  • Negligent medical examination: This type of negligence occurs when a healthcare professional fails to conduct a comprehensive and thorough examination of a patient. This can involve neglecting to take an accurate medical history, failing to perform necessary physical examinations or diagnostic tests, or ignoring vital signs, symptoms, or patient complaints. The result can be a misdiagnosis that leads to improper treatment.
  • Failure to refer or consult a specialist: General practitioners, while skilled in diagnosing a wide range of ailments, may not possess the specialized knowledge required for certain diseases or conditions. If a healthcare provider fails to refer a patient to a specialist when their symptoms point to a specific condition, they may have acted negligently.
  • Misinterpretation of test results: This form of negligence happens when a healthcare provider incorrectly interprets the results of diagnostic tests, leading to misdiagnosis. This can be due to a lack of knowledge or human error. 
  • Cognitive biases: Cognitive biases can significantly influence a healthcare provider's decision-making process. This could include an "anchoring bias," where the provider heavily relies on the initial piece of information encountered (the "anchor") when making decisions about a patient's diagnosis and treatment, potentially overlooking other relevant symptoms or diagnostic tests. Another type of bias is "confirmation bias," where the healthcare provider focuses on information that confirms their initial hypothesis and dismisses data that contradicts it. Both these biases can lead to misdiagnosis.
  • Failure to follow up: This can occur when a healthcare provider neglects to follow up on a patient's test results, disregards abnormal results, or fails to communicate the results to the patient in a timely manner. Consequently, the opportunity for early detection and treatment of a condition may be missed.

Commonly Misdiagnosed Health Conditions

The sooner a patient starts receiving the appropriate treatments, the better. Any delay in getting an accurate diagnosis can jeopardize their health and the treatability of the condition. While misdiagnoses can occur across a wide range of medical conditions, some are more commonly misdiagnosed due to medical negligence more than others.

Our Jacksonville misdiagnosis lawyers are ready to represent you if a medical professional negligently misdiagnosed your health condition, such as:

  • Cancer: Regrettably, this life-threatening condition is often misdiagnosed due to its numerous types and varied symptoms. For example, lung cancer symptoms can be mistaken for less serious conditions like bronchitis, leading to delayed treatment.
  • Heart attack: Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue can be misinterpreted as signs of less serious ailments like indigestion or anxiety, leading to a delayed or missed diagnosis, which can be fatal.
  • Stroke: The signs of a stroke, including sudden weakness, confusion, and difficulty speaking or seeing, can be mistaken for other conditions like migraines or intoxication. This can lead to a missed opportunity for early intervention, increasing the risk of long-term disability or death.
  • Lyme disease: This infectious disease, transmitted through tick bites, often presents flu-like symptoms, leading to misdiagnoses of conditions like viral infections, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Celiac disease: This autoimmune disorder, triggered by the ingestion of gluten, can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue. Due to the wide range of symptoms, it's often mistaken for other gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Fibromyalgia: Characterized by widespread chronic pain, this condition's symptoms overlap with many other conditions, including arthritis and lupus, making it susceptible to misdiagnosis.
  • Endometriosis: This condition, where similar uterine lining tissue found inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, can cause severe pain and fertility problems. However, its symptoms can be misinterpreted as menstrual pain or irritable bowel syndrome, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

When you suffer harm because of diagnostic errors, our Jacksonville misdiagnosis attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. can fight to get you fair compensation for your losses. Discuss your legal options today by calling (904) 295-1050 or contacting us online.

Have You or a Loved One Suffered Misdiagnosis?

We urge you to speak to our Jacksonville misdiagnosis attorneys if you feel you suffered adverse health consequences because of a misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or any other kind of diagnostic error.

Our team of attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz are here to help. With over 150+ years of combined experience and millions won, we have the experience and skill to effectively advocate on your behalf. 

Contact our team of attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation. You pay nothing unless we win!

  • Record-Setting $228 Million Personal Injury

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained one of the largest injury judgments in Florida's history.

  • Record-Setting $178 Million Catastrophic Injury

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained a $178 Million verdict on behalf of a client who was injured in Jacksonville, FL due to medical malpractice.

  • $23 Million Hospital Negligence

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $23 Million in a medical malpractice case against a hospital that caused catastrophic injuries to their client.

  • $11 Million Brain Damage

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $11 Million on behalf of a baby who suffered brain damage due to hospital negligence.

  • $8 Million Medical Malpractice

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $8 Million against a hospital on behalf of a client who was injured due to medical malpractice.

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