Failure to Diagnose or Treat Strokes



A stroke is a common medical condition that occurs when there is a severe lack of blood flow to the brain as a result of a brain bleed or occlusion. When dealing with a stroke patient, the most crucial factor is time, time equals brain matter.  The longer it takes to diagnose and properly treat a stroke patient, the greater the risk of loss of brain matter. The American Stroke Association states that a stroke is the 5th most common cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. If left untreated, a stroke can result in life-altering side effects or even death. Therefore, rapid and proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for stroke patients.




Failing to recognize the symptoms of a stroke could be the difference between life and death for many patients. There are several errors throughout the process of receiving a diagnosis and treatment that could result in a stroke injury.

These errors include:


If not treated properly, strokes can leave a person with debilitating side effects. Due to the lack of blood flow to the brain, it is not uncommon for someone to experience brain damage after suffering through a stroke. These side effects can be mitigated through physical therapy but are often prevalent throughout the remainder of the person’s life. Sometimes, these lifelong side effects could have been prevented through proper diagnosis and treatment.

Side effects include, but are not limited to:

  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Speech impairment
  • Lack of coordination
  • Changes in behavior

Patients may also experience:

  • Loss of vision
  • Emotional changes
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing


Stroke symptoms can sometimes be ambiguous and difficult to detect. However, we rely on trained professionals such as doctors, to identify the signs and symptons to order the proper tests and diagnose the stroke without delay.  The importance of timing when it comes to diagnosing a stroke cannot be overstated. It is the doctor’s responsibility to recognize the symptoms and promptly take the appropriate action to give the patient the best possible outcome.

With over 20 years of experience and more than $2 billion recovered, Rob Levine & Associates continues to fight on behalf of clients who have experienced injuries and disabilities.

FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  
How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.

Different Types of Medical Malpractice - malpractice law firm Medical Malpractice It is the responsibility of medical professionals to care for the patients. However, medical malpractice occurs frequently. Take advantage of this free book to learn more about medical malpractice and legality of the subject. Free Ebook

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