When A Misdiagnosis Becomes Medical Malpractice

Doctors occasionally make mistakes. They are human, like everyone else. Failure to notice a single detail in a patient’s blood results could lead to a misdiagnosis. However, that in itself does not constitute malpractice.

For the law to consider a mistake to be malpractice, the patient has to prove they sustained damage as a result. Determining whether something is a mistake depends on the standard of care typical in a given situation.when-a-misdiagnosis-becomes-medical-malpractice/


When a physician makes an inaccurate diagnosis or fails to diagnose an illness promptly, a patient’s condition can worsen. If the doctor fails to order tests, orders the wrong tests, or overlooks something in the test results, they may be liable for injuries a patient sustains.


Misdiagnosis alone does not prove negligence. Doctors may miss something, even after having met the appropriate standard of care. The key is whether the doctor was competent in their diagnosing methodology. Sometimes, a diagnosis is a matter of ruling out other possibilities, and that process may take some time to complete.

Malpractice compensation

If a malpractice case results in an award to the patient, it might cover more than just the medical expenses. Compensation may also cover things such as:

  • Counseling
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and reduced earning ability
  • Wrongful death of a family member

Financial damages include out-of-pocket expenses, meaning those insurance does not cover. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are more difficult to quantify because of their intangible nature.

Failure to properly and promptly diagnose an illness can be a matter of life and death. If a patient sustains injuries and can establish negligence on the doctor’s part, there may be grounds for a malpractice suit. For more information on when a misdiagnosis becomes medical malpractice, Contact Us Today at 508-809-7555.

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    We're Joining Tetzel Law!

    We are excited to let you know that effective January 1, 2024, Attorneys Kevin Donius and Roger Brunelle of Sbrogna, Brunelle & Donius, LLP, along with our paralegals Nicole LeBlanc and Denise Geoghan, have joined forces with Tetzel Law, a Boston based firm specializing in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and abuse, and construction accidents.  We encourage you to visit Tetzel Law’s website at www.tetzellaw.com to learn more about the firm.  With Tetzel Law, we now have offices in Boston, Worcester, Woburn and Hingham.

    For existing clients, you may still reach us at the same phone numbers previously provided or call us at Tetzel Law directly at 617-742-1700.  Further, while we still have our existing emails, any new emails should be sent to the following email addresses:

    Kevin Donius: kdonius@tetzellaw.com

    Roger Brunelle: rbrunelle@tetzellaw.com

    Nicole LeBlance: nleblanc@tetzellaw.com

    Denise Geoghan: dgeoghan@tetzellaw.com

    We look forward to continuing our representation of injured individuals throughout Massachusetts with Tetzel Law.

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