From an injured patient’s point of view, the difference between misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose may seem negligible as both cases equal pain and suffering. The law, however, makes a clear distinction between these two terms, and it’s important to understand the differences.

Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional declares a patient to have an illness or injury that the patient is not suffering from. The patient is then treated based on that incorrect diagnosis. Meanwhile, the patient’s true malady goes untreated, and continues to cause harm. Misdiagnosis presents the patient with two problems: potential damage from the unnecessary treatment and continued suffering from the actual illness and/or injury.

Failure to diagnose, especially when dealing with a life-threatening illness, can be even more devastating. In this situation, a medical professional may minimize, altogether overlook, or fail to even consider the correct diagnosis. The outcome may be that the condition is allowed to worsen unchecked, or even progress to the point where complications develop and a potential curable condition becomes incurable.

A prompt and accurate diagnosis often means the difference between a quick recovery and a prolonged illness, or even the difference between life and death. Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are most often seen in heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. When a health care provider negligently misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose condition, and you are significantly injured as a result of that negligence, you may want to consider filing a medical negligence claim.

Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham handles all types of military medical malpractice cases arising from Military and VA Veterans Administration medical care, including birth injuries, surgical mistakes, and misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose diseases such as cancer. If you believe you or someone close to you has been injured by Veterans Administration or a military medical professional, contact a military medical malpractice lawyer at Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham today at 1-800-798-9529 or visit for a free consultation.