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Failure to Treat or Diagnose Attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky

Medical malpractice can be a tricky legal concept, and pursuing a lawsuit can be equally challenging. The first question to be answered is, “What constitutes medical malpractice?” The simple answer—if there is such a thing as a simple answer in these cases—is that malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to live up to their required “medical standard of care.”   

Note that the definition includes all healthcare professionals and not just physicians. It also includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, radiologists, and more. Malpractice can involve both acts done and acts failed to be done, or done improperly. Both misdiagnosis and mistreatment—or failure to treat—fall into the definition. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical misdiagnosis, or failure to be treated properly, in Louisville or anywhere else in Kentucky, you need to reach out to legal guidance. 

When you’re ready to get started, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. The husband-and-wife team will give your case personalized attention and work with you one-on-one to pursue the compensation you deserve. Set up a consultation today. 

Types of Medical Diagnostic Errors 

Not all health conditions fall into the category of commonly being misdiagnosed. According to a study by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the area of family practice, the five most commonly misdiagnosed conditions involve: 

  • heart attacks,

  • breast cancer, 

  • appendicitis, 

  • lung cancer, and 

  • colon cancer. 

Keep in mind that misdiagnoses can be accompanied by a lack of proper treatment, or perhaps by the lack of any treatment at all. Take cancer, for example—failure to properly diagnose it can allow the cancer time to grow and spread, making future treatment perhaps more difficult or even impossible. In other words, a failure to diagnose or diagnose properly can have serious and even deadly consequences. 

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The Medical Standard of Care in Diagnosis: Possible Errors 

There are different failures in the diagnostic process that may lead to a patient’s not receiving the treatment needed. Although each and every case is unique, here are some possible scenarios: 

  • The physician might fail to order the proper tests, procedures, or specialized consultations 

  • The physician might improperly conduct a test or misinterpret its results 

  • The doctor might fail to include an important potential medical problem on the initial differential diagnosis list  

  • The doctor might fail to recognize the urgency of the potential medical problem and put off the diagnostic tests required 

  • A nurse might fail to provide proper diagnostic medication, thus altering the patient’s response due to the wrong medication and misleading the doctor in their evaluation 

Was the Doctor Negligent? 

Remember that medical malpractice hinges on the concept that doctors and other healthcare professionals must adhere to the medical standard of care that other professionals would use in the same circumstance. If your doctor—or another provider—deviates from this standard and harm results, then a medical malpractice suit may be possible. The four elements needed to be shown in a medical malpractice lawsuit are: 

  • The healthcare professional had a professional relationship with the patient and thus owed that person a duty of care.

  • The healthcare professional was negligent by acting or failing to act in a certain way toward the patient 

  • Their negligence caused the patient harm.

  • The resulting harm led to the patient suffering measurable damages such as disability, physical pain, generalized pain and suffering, and/or loss of income.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Kentucky 

Until the State Supreme Court interceded, the Commonwealth of Kentucky used to require anyone filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain an opinion on the merits of the case from a medical review board. After the Supreme Court threw out this requirement, Kentucky revised the statute to require that anyone filing a medical malpractice action must include a “certificate of merit.” The certificate is to be obtained by the plaintiff’s attorney in consultation with an expert in the field in question, who must deem the lawsuit to have merit. 

There is also a one-year statute of limitations on filing medical malpractice lawsuits. The clock starts ticking at the time the “cause of action accrued,” which is further explained as “the cause of action shall be deemed to accrue at the time the injury is first discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered."

Failure to Treat or Diagnose Attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky 

No one should have to experience an instance of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a misdiagnosis or a failure to treat in or around Louisville—or anywhere in Kentucky, including Lexington—contact the husband-wife team of attorneys at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. You will meet and work personally with Mr. or Mrs. Slechter on your legal actions going forward to receive the compensation you deserve for the harm you suffered.