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One of the largest categories of medical malpractice lawsuits involves the diagnosis of illnesses and diseases. A misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis can result in the individual failing to get the treatment they need.
In the worst case scenarios, the patient may even die because they were not treated quickly enough. Even a skilled doctor who was acting with reasonable care may make an error in diagnosis. The difference between human error and negligence is a failure to act in accordance with what others would have done in the same situation.
If you failed to get the treatment that you need due to a delayed diagnosis from a medical doctor in Bronx or in the surrounding New York areas, contact our medical malpractice lawyer. You will have access to vital information about delayed diagnosis and prompt legal representation.
How does delayed diagnosis occur?
What are some examples of delayed diagnosis or other forms of misdiagnosis in medical malpractice cases? When trying to determine what is wrong with a certain patient, it is the doctor’s responsibility to request the right diagnostic tests. If they fail to do so and this results in serious harm to the patient, they could be held liable.
Another example is when diagnostic tests are completed, but the abnormalities which are discovered are not thoroughly investigated. If a physician does not fully understand the results of a test, they are required to seek a second opinion or refer the patient to a specialist.
Another error which can arise is a mistake in the diagnostic test itself. If the equipment if faulty, it will not be able to give an accurate reading. In other cases, the individual performing the tests may have made a mistake. If the technician in some way allows the sample to become contaminated or mixes up the sample with someone else’s, the diagnosis and subsequent treatment will also be faulty.
For this reason, it is imperative that doctors and technicians ensure that they do not miss anything in x-rays, scans, or other tests they might run.
How do I know if I have a case?
As there has to be room for human error in these cases, not every instance of delayed diagnosis is a medical malpractice case. If you suffered because of delayed diagnosis, our medical malpractice lawyer can explain certain elements that must be present to have a case. First of all, a professional relationship must exist between the patient and the doctor. Merely asking a doctor for advice does not mean that there was a doctor-patient relationship. Second, you would have to prove that the doctor did in fact treat you with negligence.
This can be defined as any medical care that falls below the standard of what is reasonably accepted or of what another doctor would have done in their place. Lastly, this negligence would have to cause actually harm to the patient and the link between the doctor’s actions and the patient’s injury would have to be established.
Types of Errors in Diagnosing Patients
In delayed diagnosis, the doctor eventually comes to the correct diagnosis, but it can take too long to arrive there. Other types of diagnostic errors can lead to just as serious results. For example, in a wrong diagnosis, the doctor may completely misdiagnose the illness. This is serious because the subsequent treatment may not only fail to help, but in fact make the situation worse. In a missed diagnosis, the doctor may completely fail to recognize that anything is wrong with the patient. They may send them away telling them that they are completely healthy.
Another type of misdiagnosis situation occurs when the doctor fails to see complications in the patient. They may have correctly diagnosed the illness, but then did not see the complications which arose as a result of the illness or treatment.
If you have more questions regarding delayed diagnosis, please do not hesitate to contact our team at The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, PC. Our medical malpractice lawyer can explain the legal conditions to you in detail. We have over 60 years of combined experience in this area of law and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation.
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