In last week’s post, we discussed how Illinois patients always have the right to seek a second opinion from another physician. This right is especially important when symptoms suggest a serious condition. Illinois doctors have an obligation to act in accordance with the accepted standards of care in their area of specialty when they diagnose conditions. Doctors are not required to be accurate 100 percent of the time. They are, however, expected to meet the standard of competence prevailing among other practitioners in their field. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors make the wrong diagnosis, or do not make the correct diagnosis in time.
The failure of a doctor to diagnose a medical condition correctly or promptly can have disastrous consequences for the doctor’s patient. A condition that could be curable or more treatable had it been discovered earlier could become unmanageable because of an unnecessarily delayed diagnosis. An outright missed diagnosis can also mean a patient undergoes a procedure or takes medication that is ultimately harmful to him or her.
It is always good for patients in Illinois to be proactive and seek a second opinion if they feel so compelled, but it is equally important for injured patients, or their families, to know their rights in the event a failure to diagnose promptly or a mistaken diagnosis causes a serious medical problem. If a delayed or missed diagnosis leads to injury or a worsened medical condition, patients in Illinois have the right to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation, including lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering damages.
Our law office has successfully represented many victims of medical malpractice in Chicago and the western suburbs, and our experience representing these clients gives us the knowledge and experience needed to help victims get the compensation they deserve after a medical mistake.