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


If your doctor has failed to refer you to a specialist or failed to notice that something was wrong altogether, you may have a medical malpractice case. Doctors are legally bound to provide their patients care. If they are unable to provide specific care whether it be due to being out of their realm of expertise or lack of knowledge, they must refer you to someone who can properly treat you. If you have been harmed due to a result of your doctor’s negligence, you may qualify for financial compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact an experienced Texas personal injury attorney today to begin this process.

When should a doctor refer a patient to a specialist?

Doctors are obligated to refer their patients when they are no longer able to provide proper care with the correct knowledge needed to help. There are only two instances where a doctor should end treatment with a patient: when treatment is no longer needed or when the patient terminates the relationship. As a part of a doctor’s treatment, the doctor must refer their patients to the appropriate specialist if they are no longer able to provide care. This is required under the standard of care. If a doctor is unable to uphold this standard of care, resulting in a patient’s injury or harm, the doctor can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

How can the failure to refer harm a patient?

The following circumstances are examples of ways that failure to refer a patient can result in harm:

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

How can I sue a doctor for medical malpractice?

If you have been harmed due to a doctor’s failure to refer, you must first obtain the assistance of an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney. This attorney will first establish that you were the doctor’s patient and that this doctor owed you a duty of care. They will gather all of the appropriate evidence to prove that the doctor diverted from the standard line of treatment which resulted in your injuries and damages. They will prove that the doctor breached their duty of care.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas?

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Texas is generally two years. This means that from the date of your accident, you will have two years to take legal action against the negligent party responsible. You will likely be barred from suing if you wait longer than two years. Reach out to a medical malpractice attorney to begin this process and to hold the negligent doctor accountable today.


If you or someone you know has been wrongly injured, you must not wait. Our firm is ready to help you through each step of the legal process to help ensure you recover the financial compensation you need to move on with your life. We are ready to help–all you have to do is contact Brock & Goetzmann, PLLC today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


IV Pumps deliver medicine to patients automatically. Unfortunately, these complicated machines can automatically deliver too much medication. Too often this can go unnoticed by doctors and nurses. When a malfunctioning IV pump is discovered doctors and hospitals report it to...
Becton Dickinson manufactured and distributed defective silicon tubes that allowed medicine to continue to be pumped into the patient, resulting in an over infusion in what is termed as "free flow". 151 million life-threatening defective silicon tubes were distributed without...