A misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis can compound the harm the victim suffers and lead to additional harm and suffering. Medical malpractice falls into several different categories or types and a failure to diagnose is one way that a negligent medical provider can cause harm to a victim who has placed the trust in the medical provider for their treatment and care.

A failure to diagnose a medical condition correctly and promptly can lead to a worsened medical condition and can be fatal in some instances. A failure to diagnose can lead to delayed treatment for the illness the victim is actually suffering from; may prevent treatment at all; or can lead to treatment of an illness the victim is not suffering from but was incorrectly diagnosed with which may also lead to a worsened medical condition or death.

In some circumstances, a failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis can be particularly tragic for victims and their families such as in circumstances of cancer; heart disease and related problems; heart attacks; pulmonary embolism; and serious infections. Doctors and medical care professionals may commit medical malpractice while being careless related to a failure to order the correct tests; failure to correctly read and interpret tests that have been ordered; improper treatment; or the loss of needed medical records.

It is important for victims of medical malpractice to be familiar with the legal protections available to them when they have been harmed by the negligence of a medical care provider. Legal options may help them recover compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages but because there are important time limits associated with these claims, it is essential for victims to understand their rights and remedies.