Were You Harmed By A Failure To Diagnose?
Here’s a scenario for you to consider: You’ve been taking your car to the same mechanic for years, faithfully having routine maintenance such as oil changes and tuneups done on schedule as well as general checkups of your vehicle’s health. Shockingly, you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a blown out engine that was caused by an oil leak. Despite interacting with your car on a regular basis, your trusted mechanic failed to notice or remedy the leak and now your car is done for.
Awful, isn’t it?
Now, imagine that instead of a mechanic and your car, this tale involved your doctor and your body. Sadly, it’s not far fetched at all. Diagnostic errors affect as many as 12 million Americans per year and one in three misdiagnoses results in a patient’s death. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness such as cancer or heart disease, you are far from alone.
At Roberts & Harris PC, our goal is to be your advocate and fight to make things right for you and your family. We bring the fight to the insurance companies, slaying the dragons that stand in the way of the financial compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, lost earnings, and more. Our firm’s roster of attorneys includes a former insurance company defense lawyer who can use his experience to beat them at their own game.
What Is A Delayed Diagnosis?
A delayed diagnosis is exactly what it sounds like: a correct diagnosis that was delayed. For example, your doctor may initially fail to diagnose you with a disease such as cancer only to make the correct diagnosis at a later date. In the time between the failure to diagnose and the correct diagnosis, you have lost valuable time that could have been devoted to treating your illness. Depending on the nature of your illness, that delayed diagnosis can make the difference between a positive or terminal prognosis. Delayed diagnosis can literally be a life or death issue, leaving patients without the knowledge and tools they need to fight their disease and protect their future.
When Is A Delayed Diagnosis Medical Malpractice?
A delayed diagnosis crosses the line into medical malpractice when the correct diagnosis could have and should have been made by a competent medical professional given the tools and resources available at the time. Determining whether a doctor did everything right or missed obvious clues in the course of diagnosing your condition is a complex matter best left to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At Roberts & Harris PC, our team includes a former insurance company defense lawyer who knows what to look for in these cases. We also partner with medical experts to review evidence such as your hospital charts, test results and other medical documents. If evidence of malpractice exists, we are equipped to aggressively pursue your rights in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Types Of Failure To Diagnose
The law reflects that doctors are human beings and human beings are not clairvoyant. Some illnesses are more difficult to diagnose than others and, despite the miracle of modern medical testing, not every instance of a disease can be quickly and accurately diagnosed. When looking at a case to determine if malpractice was a factor in the failure to diagnose, a malpractice attorney will look for evidence of negligence such as:
- A doctor failing to ask basic questions about your condition and your health
- Failure to send tests such as blood tests to the lab in a timely manner or failure to act on test results
The key to successfully pursuing a malpractice claim for failure to diagnose is being able to demonstrate that a trained doctor should have been able to diagnose your condition based on your symptoms and other information available via examination. No one expects doctors to make a miracle diagnosis; we do expect doctors to use their skills, knowledge and available technology to make an accurate diagnosis that provides you with an opportunity to get the best treatment for your illness.
Some common examples of failure to diagnose include:
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Failure to diagnose heart disease
- Failure to diagnose stroke
- Failure to diagnose heart attack
- Failure to diagnose aneurysm
The fact that these are somewhat common failures does not absolve your doctor of failing to live up to their expected standard of care. An experienced attorney from our firm can pursue the financial compensation needed to make things right for you and your loved ones.
What Happens If A Doctor Gives The Wrong Diagnosis?
It is not an exaggeration at all to say that a doctor providing you with the wrong diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis or completely failing to make a diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Survival rates for conditions such as cancer are often tied to how quickly they can be diagnosed and treated; once a disease is terminal it is too late. Conditions like a stroke or brain aneurysm can quickly result in permanent brain damage or death if not quickly and accurately diagnosed.
A medical malpractice claim cannot go back in time and undo your doctor’s error. However, a successful claim can provide you and your family members with financial compensation for damages such as your medical bills, your pain and suffering, your lost earnings and more. The first step is making sure you have the right legal representation on your side. Call 877-404-1138 now for a free consultation with a proven medical malpractice lawyer from our firm.