Skip to content

New York Personal Injury Attorneys

What Is Considered a Delayed Diagnosis?

April 6, 2023 in

A delayed diagnosis is a medical diagnosis made later than it should have been, based on the standard of care expected for a particular medical condition. It generally refers to a situation where the healthcare provider did not diagnose promptly, causing a delay in treatment and potentially affecting the outcome of the patient’s condition. 

While a delayed diagnosis can lead to devastating consequences, including death, it is not always related to medical malpractice. Below, the experienced NYC medical malpractice lawyers at SPBMCC share what factors contribute to a delayed diagnosis and how to determine whether you may be eligible for compensation.

What Factors Contribute to a Delayed Diagnosis?

While in some cases, a delay of a few days or weeks may not significantly impact the patient’s outcome, in other cases, a delay of even a few hours can be critical, leading to severe consequences such as prolonged suffering, complications, and even death. For this reason, healthcare providers must take all the necessary steps to ensure patients receive timely and accurate diagnoses and initiate the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. 

However, this doesn’t always happen. Errors or oversights in medical tests or procedures, the misinterpretation of test results, inadequate communication, or a failure to recognize or act on symptoms can lead to devastating effects.

Some factors that can contribute to a delayed diagnosis include:

  • Errors or oversights in medical tests or procedures
  • Misinterpretation of test results
  • Failure to recognize or act on symptoms
  • Inadequate communication or coordination among healthcare providers
  • Limited access to diagnostic tools or specialists

Is Delayed Diagnosis Automatically Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide a standard of care that a reasonable, similarly trained provider would have provided in the same situation, and that failure results in harm to the patient. 

However, a delayed diagnosis is not always indicative of malpractice. Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine the diagnosis, or the patient may present with symptoms indicative of multiple conditions. In such situations, a healthcare provider may need to conduct additional tests or refer the patient to a specialist to make an accurate diagnosis.

Ultimately, whether a delayed diagnosis constitutes malpractice depends on the case’s specific circumstances and whether the healthcare provider’s actions met the standard of care. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a qualified delayed diagnosis attorney if you believe that you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to a delayed diagnosis.

Am I Eligible for Compensation Following a Delayed Diagnosis?

Whether or not you are eligible for compensation following a delayed diagnosis depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Generally speaking, you may seek compensation if you can demonstrate that your doctor or healthcare provider failed to provide you with an appropriate standard of care and that this failure led to harm or injury.

To determine if you have a valid claim, you must consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can review the details of your case and help you understand your legal options.

In general, a delayed diagnosis may be a case of medical malpractice if:

  • The delay caused harm: If the delay in diagnosis worsened your condition or caused you harm, you may have a compensation claim.
  • The delay was due to medical negligence: You must show that the healthcare provider did not provide the appropriate standard of care and that their actions (or inaction) caused the delay in diagnosis.
  • The delay was avoidable: If, with proper testing, evaluation, or follow-up, the doctor could have avoided the delayed diagnosis, you may be able to seek compensation.

If you believe you have suffered harm due to a delayed diagnosis, it is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In addition, a medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries.

Contact the NYC Medical Malpractice Attorneys at SPBMCC Today

As a full-service personal injury firm, Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. specialize in all areas of personal injury. Our dedicated litigation teams diligently represent clients, including matters related to 9/11-related illness, personal injury, car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, as well as New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Free Case Evaluation

Our fee is on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover money for you, we will never charge you. If you are unable to come to any of our offices, we are happy to visit you at home or in the hospital.

*Field Required

Contact Information


Skip to content