Chicago Wrong Diagnosis Lawyer

A misdiagnosis can be one of the most horrific medical mistakes, with severe consequences for the patient and their loved ones. At Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers, we can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the misdiagnosis and advise you on the legal options available to seek justice and compensation for your loved one’s suffering or death. Our attorneys experienced in wrong-diagnosis cases will take on every aspect of your claim, assuring that you and your family’s needs will be taken care of in a timely manner.

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Suffering After a Wrong Diagnosis?

A misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis can be the most horrific medical mistake with severe consequences for the patient and their loved ones — but sadly, it is also one of the most common, with over 12 million U.S. adults affected by diagnostic errors every year. 

Nearly 800,000 people in the United States die or become permanently disabled due to a wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis every year. 

Wrong diagnoses are so dangerous because a delayed or incorrect diagnosis can cause a patient to delay or miss necessary treatment, resulting in serious conditions that is more difficult or even impossible to treat. 

The timing of treatment greatly affects patient outcomes and a wrong diagnosis at the beginning can lead to potentially disastrous patient results. 

How Common is Getting a Wrong Diagnosis?

More than 7.4 million instances of misdiagnosis occur in United States emergency rooms every year, ending in death for as many as 250,000 patients with another 370,000 suffering serious harm that impacts their lives.

Moreover, The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the United States reported that diagnostic errors contribute to an estimated 10% of patient deaths and account for up to 17% of adverse events in hospitals.

The harms resulting from misdiagnosis are not limited to hospitals or emergency medicine.

A study found that diagnostic errors occur in approximately 5% of adult primary care encounters in the United States.

Receiving a misdiagnosis is not limited to any particular type of health condition, but there are some symptoms and ailments that lead to a delayed diagnosis more often than others.

In addition, some conditions worsen more rapidly than others, making a wrong diagnosis or delayed correct diagnosis a more serious condition.  

While about three in four of all misdiagnosis claims occur in cases when the patient has a heart attack, an infection, or cancer, other ailments such as pneumonia, embolisms or blood clots in veins, or pregnancy-related conditions are also more likely to lead to a wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis. 

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a wrong diagnosis, then contacting our Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers should be your next step towards recovering damages and beginning your healing journey. 

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Our Experience With Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice Cases

We’re a Chicago-based law firm specializing in medical malpractice with extensive experience representing clients in cases involving a wrong diagnosis or a diagnosis error.

We have successfully litigated numerous cases where many patients suffered harm due to misdiagnosis, securing compensation for medical treatment, expenses, lost wages, and pain & suffering. 

Our expertise in this area often involves collaborating with medical professionals to uncover negligence and advocate for their clients’ rights. 

We focus on clients in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding areas and offer a free consultation to hear your misdiagnosis case.

One example of a medical malpractice case we’ve handled included a settlement of $950,000 for a negligently laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

What is Considered a Misdiagnosis or Wrong Diagnosis?

In a medical malpractice claim, a misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional fails to accurately identify a patient’s symptoms within a reasonable standard of care, leading to harm or personal injury. 

Often, patients are not always aware that a diagnosis is wrong, especially at first.

We are all generally taught to trust doctors and other healthcare professionals implicitly to properly diagnose conditions or ailments.

There are different types of misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis cases, and each case has its own variables, challenges, and consequences.

In medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnosis, plaintiffs typically need to demonstrate that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care expected in their profession, and that this breach directly resulted in harm or personal injury to the patient. 

Medical misdiagnosis cases can be complex, involving multiple factors and scenarios.

They often require expert medical testimony to establish liability for an incorrect diagnoses and prove damages.

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Types of Incorrect Diagnoses

The concept of incorrect diagnoses in the medical field covers a range of errors, ranging from misidentifying a condition to overlooking its presence altogether, leading to potential harm or delayed patient treatment.

Failure To Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is a situation where a doctor failed or other healthcare provider overlooks or fails to recognize the presence of a medical condition.

This could result in delayed treatment or lack of treatment altogether, leading to the progression of the disease or worsening of the patient’s condition.

Delayed Diagnosis

In this scenario, the healthcare provider eventually arrives at the correct diagnosis, but the delay in reaching this diagnosis leads to harm or injury to the patient.

The delay could allow the condition to progress to a more advanced stage, making treatment more difficult or reducing the chances of successful treatment outcomes.

Failure To Recognize Complications

Sometimes, a healthcare provider correctly diagnoses a medical condition but fails to recognize associated complications or risks.

This oversight can lead to inadequate treatment or monitoring, resulting in harm to the patient.

Botched Lab Tests

The typical medical lab processes hundreds if not thousands of samples every day.

Contaminated samples, mixing up patient samples, or reporting the wrong results to patients and their doctors can all result in a botched test that delivers erroneous results, which could lead to a misdiagnosis.

Misread Test Results

Misdiagnosis can also occur when healthcare providers misinterpret the results of diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, or biopsies.

Misinterpreting test results can lead to incorrect diagnoses and inappropriate treatment plans. 

As many as 62% of lab and 36% of imaging results are overlooked by healthcare providers according to the U.S. News & World Report. 

Failure to Order Tests

When a patient presents with symptoms that indicate certain tests are necessary for an accurate diagnosis, it is up to the healthcare provider to recognize symptoms, order, and follow up on those tests.

Failure to Follow up on Tests

A significant number of diagnostic errors made by healthcare professionals occur due to failures to read, order, or otherwise follow up on testing mistakes. 

These errors include failing to order appropriate tests based on patient symptoms, failure to obtain test results from the lab, or failure to communicate those test results to patients in a timely manner. 

 One study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported approximately 7.1% of abnormal test results were not followed up on within 4 weeks in an outpatient setting, potentially leading to delays in diagnosis or treatment

Failure To Refer

In some cases, a healthcare provider may fail to refer a patient to a specialist for further evaluation or treatment, despite indications that such a referral is necessary.

This failure can result in delayed diagnosis and treatment, contributing to patient harm.

Misidentified Symptoms 

This happens when a healthcare provider identifies the wrong medical condition.

The misdiagnosis could lead to unnecessary treatments, medications, or surgeries that may harm the patient or delay proper treatment for the actual condition.

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Commonly Misdiagnosed Health Conditions

While a doctors misdiagnose can occur regardless of the actual health problem(s) involved, there are a number of conditions that are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. 

Strokes and Heart Attacks

Misdiagnosis of heart attack, heart condition, high blood pressure, or stroke symptoms can lead to delayed treatment and increased risk of complications, potentially resulting in a malpractice lawsuit. 

For instance, more than one in four or 27.9% of aortic aneurysms and dissections have a critical delay in diagnosis, leading to missed opportunities for treatment that would lead to better patient outcomes.

Strokes were also found to be missed in 17.5% of cases.


Failure to diagnose or properly treat serious infections, such as meningitis or sepsis, can lead to severe illness or even death, prompting legal action from the patient or surviving family members.

Spinal abscesses or infections in the spinal cord are another example, and these types of infections were missed over 60% of the time according to a recent study by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Pulmonary Embolism

Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolisms — potentially fatal blood clots in the lungs — can lead to severe complications or death; accordingly, this may result in medical malpractice lawsuits.


Failure to diagnose a potentially serious respiratory infection like pneumonia can lead to worsening of the condition, serious illness, and potential legal action for medical malpractice.


Another type of lung infection that is frequently misdiagnosed is aspergillosis. individuals afflicted with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), a fungal lung infection, may remain untreated as it is misdiagnosed as a recurrence of tuberculosis.

Cerebral Palsy

Children can be misdiagnosed as having cerebral palsy when they suffer from other conditions that cause similar symptoms, which prevents treatable conditions from being properly and expediently addressed.

Birth Injury & Pregnancy Complications 

There are a number of conditions that arise during pregnancy that put the health of both the mother and child at risk.

Unfortunately, doctors may fail to test for problems like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, Rh disease, missed miscarriage, and placenta and umbilical cord complications that may be missed or diagnosed later in the pregnancy when they become much more serious.

Autoimmune Diseases

Conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis may be misdiagnosed due to their varied symptoms, leading to improper treatment and potential legal consequences.

Mental Health Disorders

Misdiagnosis of mental health problems like depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia may result in inadequate treatment or unnecessary medications, leading to legal claims for malpractice.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism are sometimes misdiagnosed or overlooked, resulting in health complications and potential legal action.

Chronic Pain Syndromes

Conditions like fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome may be misunderstood or misdiagnosed, leading to inadequate pain management and potential legal recourse.

Rare Diseases

Diseases with uncommon symptoms or presentations, such as rare genetic disorders or autoimmune conditions, may be misdiagnosed, leading to delayed treatment and potential legal claims for malpractice.

Cancer Misdiagnosis

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, up to 28% of cancer cases may be initially misdiagnosed, leading to delays in appropriate treatment and potentially worse outcomes for patients.

The longer that a cancer diagnosis is delayed the lower the patient survival rate becomes.

This is typically due to the resulting delays in getting cancer treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Some types of cancer are more likely to not be correctly diagnosed, undiagnosed cancer, or misdiagnosed, including breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, or lung cancer.

In fact, lung cancer is one of the most common with about 22.5% of lung cancer diagnoses being initially incorrect and therefore meaningfully delayed. 

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Why Do Wrong Diagnoses Occur?

Wrong diagnoses can occur due to a variety of factors including atypical symptoms, limited access to medical history, cognitive biases, limitations in diagnostic tests, or rare conditions mimicking common ones.

Sometimes symptoms may be vague or atypical, leading to diagnostic uncertainty.

Additionally, time constraints in busy healthcare settings can contribute to oversights.

 What Steps Should I Take After a Misdiagnosis?

If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit after a misdiagnosis, there are several steps you should take and key elements to consider if you believe you deserve compensation.

  • Gather Documentation. Collect all relevant medical records, test results, and any other documentation related to the misdiagnosis. This will be crucial evidence in your case.

  • Consult with a Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis Attorney. Seek out an experienced attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases in your area or jurisdiction. They can evaluate your case and advise you on whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

  • Review The Statute of Limitations in Your Area. Understand the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in your jurisdiction. This is the time limit within which you must file a lawsuit after the misdiagnosis occurred. Missing this deadline could prevent you from pursuing legal action.

  • Obtain Expert Opinion. Your attorney may recommend consulting with medical experts to review your case. These experts can provide opinions on whether the misdiagnosis constituted medical negligence.

  • Consider Mediation or Settlement. In some cases, it may be possible to resolve the dispute through mediation or negotiation with the healthcare provider or their insurance company. Your attorney can advise you on whether this is a viable option in your situation.

  • File the Lawsuit. If negotiations fail to reach a satisfactory resolution, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. This will initiate the formal legal process.

  • Discovery Phase. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents. Your medical misdiagnosis lawyer will help you secure necessary documentation from various parties as needed.

  • Trial or Settlement. Depending on the circumstances, your case may go to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome. Alternatively, the parties may reach a settlement agreement before trial.

  • Follow Legal Procedures. Throughout the legal process, it’s important to follow your attorney’s guidance and adhere to all legal procedures and deadlines.

  • Attend Hearings and Court Dates. Be prepared to attend hearings, depositions, and court dates as required by your attorney and the court.

Remember that each case is unique, and the specifics of your situation will determine the best course of action.

It’s essential to work closely with qualified attorneys in Chicago or your local area who can provide personalized guidance based on the facts of your case and the relevant laws in your jurisdiction.

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Is Misdiagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis can be considered medical malpractice if it meets certain criteria.

To qualify as malpractice, the misdiagnosis typically must involve negligence or a failure to adhere to the medical standard of care. 

This means that a competent medical professional, under similar circumstances, would have correctly diagnosed the condition.

Additionally, the misdiagnosis must have resulted in harm or injury to the patient.

If these elements are present, then misdiagnosis can indeed be considered medical malpractice. 

However, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who understands the malpractice laws specific to your area or location to evaluate the specifics of your case and determine whether you have grounds for a malpractice claim for a doctor’s failure.

What Types of Misdiagnosis Claims Are There?

Misdiagnosis claims can arise from various scenarios, including failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, and incorrect diagnosis. 

Failure to diagnose claims happen when a medical condition is overlooked entirely, leading to delayed treatment or worsening of the patient’s condition. 

Delayed diagnosis claims occur as result of a significant gap between when the condition should have been recognized and when it actually was, often resulting in harm. 

Incorrect diagnosis claims stem from doctors diagnosing the patient with the wrong condition, potentially leading to unnecessary treatments or procedures.

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How Is a Misdiagnosis Claim Proven?

Proving a misdiagnosis claim in a medical malpractice case typically involves demonstrating several key elements:

  • Establishing Doctor-Patient Relationship. You must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning that the healthcare provider had a duty of care to you.

  • Breach of Standard of Care. You must demonstrate that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care, meaning they failed to provide treatment in line with what a reasonably competent medical professional would do under similar circumstances. This often requires expert testimony to establish what the appropriate standard of care should have been.

  • Causation. You must show that the misdiagnosis directly caused harm or injury to you. This can involve proving that the correct diagnosis would have led to different treatment or prevented the harm you suffered.

  • Damages. You must document the damages you suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis, which can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

To prove these elements, you’ll typically need to gather evidence such as medical records, test results, expert opinions, and testimony from witnesses. 

Throughout the process, it’s essential to work with a qualified medical malpractice attorney who can guide you properly and help you build a strong case.

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, so having skilled legal representation is crucial in pursuing a successful claim.

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If I Die Due to Misdiagnosis, Can My Family Make a Claim?

Yes, if you die due to misdiagnosis, your family or beneficiaries may be able to make a claim for wrongful death against the healthcare provider or institution responsible for the misdiagnosis. 

Wrongful death medical malpractice claims allow certain family members or beneficiaries to seek compensation for the losses they have suffered as a result of the death of their loved one.

To pursue a wrongful death claim based on misdiagnosis, your family would typically need to establish the same elements required in a misdiagnosis claim, including proving that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care, the misdiagnosis caused your death, and the damages suffered by your family as a result.

If you believe that your family member passed as a result of a misdiagnosis, your first step should be to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. 

At Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers, we can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the misdiagnosis and advise you on the legal options available to seek justice and compensation for your loved one’s death.

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How Long Does One Have to File a Misdiagnosis Lawsuit? 

The time limit for filing a misdiagnosis lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies depending on the jurisdiction and the laws governing medical malpractice in that location.

In most places, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases ranges from one to 6 years from the date of the alleged malpractice or from the date when the misdiagnosis should have reasonably been discovered.

It’s crucial to be aware of and adhere to the statute of limitations applicable in your situation and location.

Failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time frame can result in the loss of your right to pursue legal action. 

Therefore, if you believe you have been a victim of misdiagnosis and are considering filing a lawsuit, it’s essential to consult with a medical malpractice attorney promptly to ensure that you meet all relevant deadlines.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Misdiagnosis Lawsuits?

In most places, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases ranges from one to six years from the date of the alleged malpractice or from the date when the misdiagnosis should have reasonably been discovered.

In Illinois, including the Chicago area, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is generally 2 years from the date of the alleged act or omission that led to the injury or within 2 years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence, but in no event more than 4 years from the date of the alleged act or omission. 

However, there are exceptions and variations, so it’s crucial to consult with a qualified wrong diagnosis attorney who is familiar with Illinois law to understand how the statute of limitations applies to your specific case.

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How Long Does It Take to Receive Compensation for a Misdiagnosis Claim?

The timeline for receiving compensation for a misdiagnosis claim can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement, and whether the case goes to trial.

In some cases, a settlement may be reached relatively quickly, within months or even weeks of filing the claim, especially if liability is clear and both parties are motivated to resolve the matter outside of court.

However, if the case is contested or if negotiations are prolonged, it may take much longer, potentially years, to reach a resolution.

If the case proceeds to trial, the timeline can be further extended due to court scheduling, pre-trial motions, and other procedural requirements.

 Additionally, if the losing party appeals the verdict, the process can be further prolonged.

It’s essential to have realistic expectations about the timeline for resolving a misdiagnosis claim and to work closely with an experienced attorney who can provide guidance and advocacy throughout the process.

They can help expedite the process where possible and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages.

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Definitions And Background Information on Wrong Diagnosis Lawsuits

  • What is medical misdiagnosis? 

    Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to accurately identify a patient’s medical condition, leading to incorrect treatment or lack thereof.

  • What are the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions?

    A report on diagnostic errors from Johns Hopkins reports that the top three misdiagnosed medical conditions are vascular events (like heart attacks and strokes), infections (pneumonia or sepsis being the most common), and various cancers are the most frequent wrong diagnoses.

  • How long do you have to sue for misdiagnosis?

    The time limit to sue for misdiagnosis, known as the statute of limitations, varies by jurisdiction but typically ranges from 1 to 6 years from the date of the alleged malpractice or discovery of the misdiagnosis.

  • Can you sue a doctor for a wrong diagnosis?

    Yes, you can sue a doctor for a wrong diagnosis if you believe they have been negligent in their diagnosis and it has resulted in harm or injury to you.

  • Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis?

    Yes, you can sue a hospital or similar healthcare institution for misdiagnosis if you believe the hospital or its staff made a mistake in their diagnosis and it resulted in harm or injury to you.

  • Can you sue an urgent care clinic for misdiagnosis?

    You have the option to file a lawsuit against an urgent care clinic for misdiagnosis if you believe that the clinic or its staff were negligent in their diagnosis, resulting in harm or injury to you.

  • Can you sue an emergency room for misdiagnosis?

    It is possible to pursue legal action against an emergency room for misdiagnosis if you believe that the emergency room or its staff were negligent in their diagnosis and it resulted in harm or injury to you. 

  • Will a confirmed misdiagnosis automatically lead to a valid legal claim against the health care provider?

    A confirmed misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis alone does not automatically guarantee a valid legal claim against the healthcare provider.

    To establish a valid legal claim, it must be shown that the misdiagnosis resulted from negligence or a breach of the standard of care, and that it caused harm or injury to the patient.

  • If I die as a result of the misdiagnosis, will my claim die with me?

    If you die as a result of misdiagnosis, your claim may transition to a wrongful death claim, allowing certain family members or beneficiaries to pursue legal action on your behalf.

  • How long do I have to file a lawsuit, and how long is it likely to take before I receive compensation?

    The time limit to file a lawsuit for misdiagnosis varies by jurisdiction, typically ranging from one to six years, while the duration to receive compensation can vary significantly depending on factors such as case complexity and negotiations, potentially taking months to several years.

  • Does Illinois apply any limits on medical malpractice damages?

    Illinois does not have statutory limits or caps on medical malpractice damages, meaning there is no cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for economic or non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

    However, it’s essential to consult with a legal professional or check for any updates in the law prior to making a claim, as regulations can change over time.

  • How much can I sue for in a misdiagnosis lawsuit?

    The amount you can sue for in a misdiagnosis lawsuit varies depending on factors such as the extent of harm or injury caused by the misdiagnosis, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.There is no set limit on the amount of compensation that can be sought, but it will be determined based on the specific circumstances of your case and applicable laws.

  • What to do if you have been misdiagnosed by a doctor?

    If you’ve been misdiagnosed by a doctor, consider seeking a second opinion from another healthcare provider, gather all relevant medical records and documentation, and consult with a qualified medical malpractice attorney to explore your legal options.

  • How do you prove misdiagnosis?

    Proving misdiagnosis typically involves gathering evidence such as medical records, test results, and expert opinions, demonstrating that the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care, and showing how the misdiagnosis directly caused harm or injury to the patient.Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases can also be crucial in building a strong case.

  • When an incorrect diagnosis is listed on an insurance claim​ form, what will​ happen?When an incorrect diagnosis is listed on an insurance claim form, it may result in the claim being denied or delayed, as insurance companies typically require accurate and relevant information for processing claims. Additionally, it could lead to confusion or discrepancies in medical records, potentially affecting future insurance coverage or healthcare services.

  • How many misdiagnoses are there per year?

    The number of misdiagnoses per year is challenging to quantify accurately due to various factors such as underreporting, differing definitions of misdiagnosis, and variations in healthcare systems worldwide.

    However, studies suggest that misdiagnoses are not uncommon and may occur in a significant percentage of medical cases, contributing to adverse patient outcomes and healthcare costs.

  • My doctor misdiagnosed me. Now what?

    To determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit, consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case and assess factors such as the extent of harm caused by the misdiagnosis, whether there was negligence on the part of the doctor, and if there’s sufficient evidence to support a claim.

  • Can you sue for inaccurate medical records?

    Yes, you can potentially sue for inaccurate medical records if they result in harm or damages, as they can impact your treatment, diagnosis, or insurance coverage.However, the success of such a lawsuit depends on various factors, including the extent of the inaccuracies and the resulting harm.

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Contact a Chicago Wrong Diagnosis Lawyer Today

Do you think you have a medical malpractice based on a misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis that occurred in Illinois?

If you are located in Chicago or the surrounding areas, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys today.