What Happens When a Doctor Fails to Refer a Patient?

If you are someone who recently developed a medical condition that required the attention of a specialist, though your physician failed to refer you to one, there is a very good chance you are now seriously hurt. Please continue reading and speak with our experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys to learn more about the failure to refer and how our firm can help you via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are some of the questions you may have:

When should a doctor refer a patient?

There are various circumstances that may warrant a doctor to refer his or her patient to a specialist. For example, if your general practitioner notices something wrong that may require medical intervention outside of his or her expertise, he or she must refer you to a specialist in a timely fashion. Doctors have a duty of care to their patients that binds them to treat their patients accordingly either until the treatment is no longer needed, or until the patient ends the relationship between him or her and their doctor. That being said, when a doctor fails to meet his or her legal obligation to refer his or her patient to another doctor, that patient’s condition worsens or he or she becomes ill and incurs damages as a result, the doctor most likely breached his or her duty of care, thus warranting a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

What happens when doctors fail to refer patients?

When someone approaches a doctor about a certain medical issue and the doctor fails to refer the patient when it is necessary to do so, that patient can become extremely ill as a result. There are various consequences of failing to refer certain patients to specialists, though some of the most common outcomes are as follows:

  • The patient’s condition may worsen, even to the point of irreversibility
  • If a physician does not have sufficient knowledge of the field a patient required assistance in, he or she may misdiagnose or delay the diagnosis
  • Doctors sometimes miss diagnoses when failing to refer patients for more specific testing/lab work
  • Sometimes, when doctors fail to refer patients to specialists, it may even result in wrongful death

No matter your circumstances, if you believe that your doctor failed to refer you to a specialist, there is a very good chance you will qualify for compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Give our knowledgeable team of attorneys a call today. We are here to help.


Stathis & Leonardis, LLC is an experienced personal injury law firm in Middlesex County, New Jersey that is committed to helping clients who have been hurt due to another party’s negligence. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or were injured on another person’s property, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.

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