Patients who are not diagnosed in a timely manner or not diagnosed at all face a host of potential dangers. They may have delayed treatment, incorrect treatment, or no treatment at all. The consequences of failing to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis can lead to the worsening of an illness, permanent injury, or even death. In any of these instances, patients and their families have legal recourse if in fact there is evidence of medical negligence. Compensation for losses and expenses can be received in medical negligence and/or medical malpractice cases.
How Can I Prove Delayed Diagnosis or Failure to Diagnose?
The most common way that a doctor is liable for medical malpractice or medical negligence is when they dismiss symptoms and fail to diagnose and treat a patient’s condition. When a patient entrusts their medical care to their doctor, he or she trusts that the medical provider will take the necessary steps to investigate symptoms, determine what’s causing the symptoms, and then diagnosis the true medical condition.
In some cases, a medical provider may make a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. In most cases, when there is a delayed or misdiagnosis, a doctor can be held liable. The legal question is: what diagnosis would a reasonably prudent doctor, under similar circumstances, have considered as potential cause for the patient’s symptoms.
Most doctors are trained to come up with differential diagnoses, in the event that their original diagnosis was incorrect. If a doctor fails to establish a possible differential diagnosis or has one but fails to rule it out, then the doctor will most likely face a medical malpractice claim.
Additionally, doctors may prescribe a treatment or medication for an erroneous diagnosis that ultimately results in worsening of symptoms. A negligence claim can also be brought against the doctor.
Medical Conditions That Are Often Misdiagnosed
A number of patients suffer a worsening of conditions due to delays in treatment or a wrong diagnosis. Here is a list of conditions that are often incorrectly diagnosed:
Aortic dissection Pulmonary embolism Infection
Pneumonia Appendicitis Breast cancer
Colorectal cancer Lung cancer Testicular cancer Prostate cancer Cervical cancer
Difficulties in Proving Failure to Diagnose Cases
Due to the challenges in presenting a medical malpractice claim, you’ll need to consult an attorney if you think you were misdiagnosed or received a delayed diagnosis. Proving failure to diagnose can be very difficult for many reasons including:
If the harm you suffered would have occurred even if the doctor had not failed to diagnose your medical problem, you cannot claim that his negligence caused your harm.
You withheld information from the doctor or gave misleading information to the doctor, which might have aided or hindered the doctor’s ability to diagnose the problem.
You may not have seen the right specialist.
If the doctor’s mistake was one that a reasonable doctor would make, he has not acted negligently and has not committed medical malpractice. In many cases, when a doctor fails to diagnose a medical problem, he may mistake the problem for something else and attempt to treat that. Likewise, if the medical problem is extremely rare, then it may be difficult to diagnose.
New York Attorneys Can Help You With Late Diagnosis Claims
We tend to trust our doctors but even the best doctors make mistakes. If you think you have an injury or illness that doctors made worse, contact our office today. When filing a claim for medical malpractice, it can be a difficult case to prove.
At the New York office of Gallivan and Gallivan, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience helping clients in medical malpractice claims. Our resources allow us to conduct a thorough investigation into your medical negligence claim. We consult with medical experts and specialists, ensuring we have in depth knowledge of your claim. You need medical negligence experts who are effective in representing you. Call us today.
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