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What Happens if a Doctor Fails to Refer a Patient to a Specialist?

What Happens if a Doctor Fails to Refer a Patient to a Specialist?

Doctors are held to an incredibly high standard, but like all humans, they can make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are unavoidable, while others are simply due to negligence. A common form of negligence is failing to refer a patient to a specialist. This can cause serious complications for the patient, who is relying on a doctor to do what is best for them. Read on to learn more about what to do if your doctor fails to refer you to a specialist.

When is a Doctor Referral Necessary?

When a doctor treats a patient, he or she must continue with treatment until it is no longer necessary or the patient ends the relationship. Some doctors practice more general medicine, while others have a specific specialty. If your doctor is no longer capable of providing necessary treatment, he must refer his patient to a specialist. This must be done in line with the proper “standard of care.” Generally, the standard of care is determined by the decisions other doctors would make in the same situation. If another doctor would refer the patient under the circumstances, your doctor must do so themselves. If a doctor deviates from the standard of care, the patient can pursue legal action against the doctor for their suffering. 

Failure to Refer Can Cause Serious Harm

If a doctor does not refer a patient who needs further treatment, it can cause the patient serious undue harm as a result. Some examples of the harm caused by failure to refer include:

  • The condition or illness worsening to the point of being irreversible 
  • A misdiagnosis of a condition or illness due to insufficient knowledge
  • A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer a patient 

What do I do if my Doctor Failed to Refer me to a Specialist?

If your doctor failed to refer you to a specialist and your condition worsens as a result, you may be entitled to recover compensation. In order to provide proof this your doctor was negligent, you should enlist the help of an experienced attorney. Our firm is here to advocate for you and walk you through the process every step of the way. Reach out today to speak with our team of dedicated attorneys.

Contact our Firm

We understand the impact a serious injury can have on an individual’s life. If you have been injured in New Jersey due to another party’s negligence, please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and guide you through your legal options. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.

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