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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Can I Sue For Delayed Diagnosis?

When suffering unusual or life-threatening symptoms, the first step is to see the doctor for a diagnosis. Patients trust that doctors diagnose the correct illness or condition and prescribe treatment or medications to make them better. Unfortunately, doctors do not always provide the correct standard of care, which can result in a delayed or missed diagnosis.

Below, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. explain a delayed diagnosis and when you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.

What Is A Delayed Diagnosis?

A delayed diagnosis occurs when a patient seeks medical attention for symptoms, and the condition goes undiagnosed for an unreasonable amount of time by a medical professional. Whether this is because the medical professional misses or ignores symptoms or fails to order follow-up testing to evaluate a patient properly, this can result in worsening symptoms or even death.

It is typical for someone to confuse a missed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and delayed diagnosis because the words are similar. However, it is imperative to know the differences when filing a claim. These differences include:

  • Missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a patient, and another doctor or medical professional would have. Pneumonia was one of the most commonly missed diagnoses in a National Library of Medicine study. 
  • Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose the patient correctly and instead diagnoses the patient with a different medical condition. Misdiagnosis can result in patients receiving treatment that does not improve their condition. According to USA Today, some of the most common misdiagnosed conditions include aortic aneurysms and spinal cord compression injuries. 
  • Delayed diagnosis occurs when the doctor takes unreasonable time to diagnose a patient correctly. Certain cancers see a lot of delayed diagnosis. For example, in a study by the National Institute of Health, more than 75% of breast cancer patients had a delay. 

At SPBMCC, we have extensive experience with medical malpractice cases, including delayed breast cancer diagnosis. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your delayed diagnosis.

When is a Delayed Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

To receive compensation for a delayed diagnosis, you must prove that malpractice occurred. A doctor’s negligence does not always cause a delayed diagnosis, like when the delay occurs because hospitals are understaffed. Additionally, to verify that your delayed diagnosis resulted from medical malpractice, you must show that you did not postpone seeking medical treatment when your symptoms began. You must also show that the doctor failed to provide the standard of medical care, causing the delay and the resulting injuries.

The standard of care for a patient differs for each case but is typically defined as the treatment, decisions, and actions other medical professionals of related training and experience would provide in the same circumstances. Connecting with a medical malpractice attorney to guide you is critical to a successful claim.

When is a Missed Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

Just because your doctor or medical professional failed to diagnose you does not necessarily mean that what you’ve experienced can be considered medical malpractice. To prove that your missed diagnosis resulted from medical malpractice, you must verify the above violation of standard care, that you sustained an injury caused by negligence, and that your injury resulted in severe damages. 

One typical example of when a missed diagnosis may constitute medical malpractice is through a missed diagnosis of cancer. For instance, a patient may present to a doctor with a cough and swelling in the neck. Suppose that the doctor diagnoses a cold and does not order follow-up testing, but weeks later, the patient visits another doctor and is told they have thyroid cancer. In that case, this might be a missed diagnosis case that constitutes medical malpractice. 

Should I Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer For A Delayed Diagnosis or a Missed Diagnosis? 

Consulting a medical malpractice attorney can benefit anyone pursuing a delayed or missed diagnosis case. Medical malpractice attorneys are highly experienced, and their knowledge is invaluable. At SPBMCC, our specialization in this area of law helps us stay aware of new rules and precedents that might affect your case. Our dedicated team of attorneys is well-versed in using medical expert testimony to secure the compensation you may be entitled to. 

Contact The New York Failure To Diagnose Attorneys at SPBMCC Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. is a reputable, full-service, personal injury law firm specializing in various areas, including medical malpractice cases. Our dedicated litigation support teams are committed to vigorously representing clients in matters such as 9/11-related illnesses, personal injury, car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk counties, and New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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