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California Lawyers Strategize Your Defense Against Misdiagnosis Claims

Overcoming patient allegations

Like solving an intricate puzzle, doctors are expected to piece together a variety of common symptoms to determine whether to diagnose diseases, order more tests or send their patients home with a good bill of health. Signs of a terminal disease may mimic those of another less-serious condition. Further complicating the effort, patients often tell their doctors only what they want them to hear.

Misdiagnosis can be the tragic result. As a disease progresses, treatment options fade, and harm to the body can become irreversible. A patient’s lost health and diminished quality of life is undeniably heartbreaking, but this is rarely the fault of the doctor. Davis, Grass, Goldstein & Finlay is an Ontario-based law firm comprised entirely of medical malpractice defense attorneys who serve the Los Angeles area. Because we only represent healthcare providers in issues related to patient care, employment and Medical Board of California matters, our lawyers truly understand the complex treatment process and the legal implications when the outcome is not as you reasonably expected.

Failure to diagnose cancer

A single localized tumor may generate a positive prognosis, whereas distant metastasis may be considered terminal, making early detection a vital part of the treatment process. Unfortunately, at its earliest stages, cancer is often a silent disease undetectable to the naked eye and virtually asymptomatic. In other instances, its symptoms manifest as minor medical problems. Oncologists must decide when it makes sense to order MRIs, CAT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, mammograms, biopsies and other invasive diagnostic tests. If you ordered the level of diagnostic testing that another doctor would reasonably have performed based on the facts you knew at the time, you were not negligent, even if your patient’s cancer spread.

Misdiagnosis can cost valuable time in ER treatment

The emergency room is a chaotic place filled with sick, injured and anxious people. Prioritizing patient care is a vital element of getting all ER patients the care they need as quickly as possible. You must make immediate decisions about who to examine first and what care to give — for example, examining a stroke or gunshot wound victim before a patient that exhibits flu symptoms. However, your hospital’s protocol is not infallible and there may be an initial misdiagnosis, resulting in a failure to treat an urgent condition in a timely manner. Flu symptoms may actually be an aggressive listeria monocytogenes infection, for instance. If you and your hospital staff acted reasonably in the ER environment, you should not be held accountable.

Secure a strong defense to your ER malpractice claim

To receive assistance with your medical malpractice defense, call Davis, Grass, Goldstein & Finlay at 909.476.2662 or contact us online. Conveniently located near the intersection of I-10 and I-15, our office is close to the Ontario International Airport. We help medical providers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and throughout Southern California.