Medical Malpractice Claims for Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack

failure to diagnose a heart attack

In honor of American Heart Month, let’s talk about medical malpractice claims for failure to diagnose a heart attack. Heart attacks have been a leading cause of death in the United States for decades so doctors should be very familiar with the list of symptoms associated with them, including the differences between symptoms experienced by men and women. In many cases, a “warning” heart attack occurs before a catastrophic event. When doctors quickly recognize the signs of the smaller heart attack, treatment is possible to help prevent a life-threatening event.  When a doctor fails to recognize the signs of a heart attack and the patient is injured as a result, a medical malpractice claim for failure to diagnose a heart attack may be appropriate.

If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of a medical professional, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights as soon as possible. Because injury cases are usually taken on a contingency fee basis, there are no up-front fees or expenses.

Common symptoms of heart attack 

According to, there are several common symptoms of heart attacks. 


  • Chest pain or discomfort in the center or left side of the chest
  • Feeling weak, tired, light-headed, or faint
  • Break out into a cold sweat
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting


  • Angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain or discomfort)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue

When is failure to diagnose a heart attack medical malpractice?

There are four elements that must be present in a failure to diagnose heart attack case to meet the standard of malpractice:

  1. A duty of care existed. A medical professional owes a duty of care to their patients.
  2. Breach of the duty of care. The medical professional did not meet the accepted standard of care for the particular circumstances they were dealing with; they provided negligent care.
  3. Direct cause. The breach of care was the direct cause of injury to the patient.
  4. Losses (damages). The patient must have suffered losses as a result of their injury such as medical bills and pain and suffering.

A medical malpractice lawyer will dive into the circumstances of your claim to determine whether malpractice occurred and whether a medical malpractice lawsuit is an appropriate next step based on the four elements discussed above.

Why you need the help of a medical malpractice lawyer

There are many reasons to hire a medical malpractice lawyer for help with a medical malpractice claim, including:

  • Medical malpractice cases require a strong understanding of local personal injury laws.
  • Medical malpractice lawyers gather evidence and retain expert witnesses as needed to support your claim.
  • Medical malpractice lawyers can contact your medical providers to arrange deferred payment.
  • Medical malpractice lawyers have the knowledge to calculate the true value of your claim.
  • Medical malpractice lawyers understand and know how to fight against the tactics used by insurance adjusters to rob you of a fair settlement.

The Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys You Want on Your Side 

The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury. 

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.