When Does a Delayed Diagnosis Become Malpractice?

In many cases, one of the hardest parts of any personal injury case is understanding that you have a case in the first place. Personal injury cases must meet several criteria, including negligence and damages you can remedy through financial compensation. These points can be surprisingly complex, leading many victims to miss their opportunities to recover damages.

Medical malpractice cases are particularly complicated since they often involve highly technical conditions and diagnoses. While many people understand the concept behind a misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis can be a little more nebulous. However, a delayed diagnosis may still be an example of medical malpractice in some cases.

What Qualifies as a Delayed Diagnosis?

It's easy to see why there's often more confusion around delayed diagnoses when compared to misdiagnosis. If you receive an inaccurate diagnosis, it's easy to understand what went wrong when you later receive a more accurate one. On the other hand, diagnosing complex illnesses can often be challenging and time-consuming, so it's not as easy to recognize a delayed diagnosis.

In general, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a medical professional takes so long to arrive at an accurate diagnosis that your condition worsens or your treatment options narrow. A delayed diagnosis can have many consequences, including lost time at work, more expensive medical treatments, or severe pain and suffering.

Does a Delayed Diagnosis Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases often revolve around a concept known as "standard of care." This concept isn't a hard and fast rule, but an attempt to quantify how a hypothetical competent physician would respond to a particular case. In other words, was your doctor much slower in providing an accurate diagnosis than should be expected from a reasonably competent medical professional?

In addition to proving that your doctor failed to provide an adequate standard of care, you must also prove that you suffered harm from your delayed diagnosis. Note that the concept of harm is particularly malleable and can include pain or discomfort from prolonged treatment. Other potential examples of recoverable damage include lost wages, a worse long-term prognosis, or even relationship damage.

When Should You Speak with an Attorney?

Determining whether you have a medical malpractice case following a delayed diagnosis is challenging. If you think your physician acted negligently, resulting in harm, it's crucial to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. A medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your situation objectively, helping you determine if you have a viable malpractice case.

However, speaking with an attorney sooner rather than later is crucial. Like all personal injury cases, malpractice cases require substantial investigation and numerous pre-trial steps. While most cases will settle out of court, these steps are still critical to achieving a favorable outcome that provides you with the compensation you deserve.

About Me

Always Be Prepared for Accidents at Your Apartment Complex

I live in a big city, and apartment-living is the only affordable option for me. I learned my lesson about apartment complex injuries one day when I tripped over a pothole in the parking lot, fell, and suffered a concussion. I didn't think about anything else at the time other than getting to the nearest emergency room. Once I returned home and was ready to report the injury to my building owner, they had already filled the pothole and denied that it ever existed! Now, when I notice any dangers in my complex, I take photos in advance to prove they existed to help myself and others later if they suffer an injury. I am now very determined to help others who suffer these injuries, so I decided to start a blog to share accident laws and tips that I am learning. Come back often to learn your rights!

Latest Posts

8 March 2024
Getting into a car accident is a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially when it is your fault. However, knowing the proper steps to take in

10 January 2024
It's not always easy to know if you have a personal injury case or not. Personal injury cases arise when someone is injured, and that injury is caused

30 November 2023
Whistleblower cases are intricate and often involve complex legal processes. Whether you're an employee, contractor, or former employee, blowing the w