If a doctor fails to diagnose your medical problem, then you may not get the relevant treatment, and your health may take a turn for the worse. You can hold the doctor liable for the subsequent complications if you can prove that he or she failed to take the steps that a reasonable competent doctor would have taken in his or her place. However, this wouldn't be a straightforward case because these three things may complicate it:
Seeing the Wrong Medical Specialist
Doctors cannot be expected to know all the health conditions in the world, which is why they specialize. For example, you can't expect a dermatologist (dealing with skin diseases) to understand respiratory diseases, or a cardiovascular specialist to understand dental health conditions. Therefore, a specialist that fails to diagnose a condition outside the realms of his or her specialization may not be liable for your subsequent injuries or problems.
Having Existing Conditions
Unless you are in perfect health, there is always a chance that one of your existing medical conditions may affect your health even if you get the correct diagnosis. This means that a correct diagnosis and treatment doesn't guarantee a difficulty-free life afterward.
Consider a hypothetical case in which the doctor diagnoses your bronchitis, but fails to see that you are also suffering from asthma. These diseases have related effects, which means that a correct diagnosis and treatment of one doesn't mean that your respiratory airway will be clear. In such a case, you need to prove that the medical problem your doctor failed to diagnose, and nothing else, caused you harm. As you can imagine, this can be very difficult to prove.
Doctors don't work magic; they use scientific methods to diagnose disease. This means they need all the information they can get to come up with a correct diagnosis. The information includes all manner of things, such as your symptoms, lifestyle, age, medical background, and many more. If you omit or lie about something, then you are deliberately setting up your doctor for a failure, and he or she won't be liable for subsequent injuries. For example, lying about any drugs (legal or illegal) you are using may affect your medical condition's diagnosis.
These three things can affect your case significantly, which means a failure to diagnose a case is always going to be difficult and complicated. You need all the help you can get; rest assured that the defendant (with his or her insurance company behind him or her) will gather the entire defensive arsenal at his or her disposal. This may include experienced lawyers and expert witnesses, so do yourself a favor by engaging an attorney as early as possible, such as James Lee Katz.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.