Consequences of Failing to Refer a Patient to a Specialist in Pennsylvania

If you or a loved one have come to harm because you did not receive proper medical care, please read on, then contact an experienced York County, PA personal injury attorney to learn more about the consequences of failing to refer a patient to a specialist in Pennsylvania.

What is the purpose of referring a patient to a specialist in Pennsylvania?

A referral provides information about you and your condition so that the person you are being referred to does not have to ask so many questions, they are aware of relevant background information and they know exactly what they are being asked to do. Additionally, medical specialists generally do not see patients without current referrals, and being a previous patient of a medical specialist does not necessarily mean you can make ongoing appointments either. An effective referral system ensures a close relationship between all levels of the health care system and helps to ensure people receive the best possible care closest to home. It also assists in making cost-effective use of hospitals and primary health care services.

How failing to refer to a specialist can harm patients

When a doctor fails to refer a patient to another, more knowledgeable doctor, some serious harm to the patient can potentially occur. Some of the results of a failure to refer include:

  • A worsening condition or illness that may become irreversible
  • A misdiagnosis of a condition or illness due to a physician’s insufficient knowledge
  • A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer the patient for more comprehensive or conclusive diagnostic testing or lab work

The failure to refer a patient to a specialist or other medical professional can result in devastating consequences – even fatalities – and the patient ( or the patient’s family, in cases of death) may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering that resulted from the harm that was sustained.

Do you have a case for failing to refer a patient to a specialist in Pennsylvania?

First, you will have to establish that you were, in fact, the doctor’s patient and that he or she, therefore, owed you a duty of care. From here, you will have to prove that the physician in question diverted from the accepted standard of care, breaching his or her duty of care, that your medical condition worsened, and that you suffered significant damages as a result. This is not always easy, which is why you need an attorney who has been helping victims of negligence for years.


We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today. 

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