Every year thousands of people are misdiagnosed for a medical condition, or not diagnosed at all. For those who are affected by this, they might not have any real long lasting effects. However, others may be seriously harmed because they were not diagnosed correctly. Some will even lose their life because of the mistake.
Wrongful death lawyers have handled many cases that involve a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Even though this is typically a type of medical error, a delayed diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) does not necessarily mean there are grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim. In the event the patient dies, the family may not be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. In other words, very specific circumstances must apply. Because of this, a wrongful death lawyer should review your case.
Proving Your Case
All states have laws, known as tort laws. These state that healthcare providers do not have to take a legal responsibility for an error that is associated with a diagnosis. Due to these laws, a wrongful death lawyer should see whether or not the following apply to your case:
- A patient-doctor relationship had been formed
- The healthcare practitioner, such as a doctor, failed to apply the standard of care to the patient
- The failure let to a negligent action, and this resulted in a delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose
- The negligent actions led to injuries that eventually led to the patients’ death
If the above can be proven, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim for a delayed diagnosis. It is likely that the average layman will not know how to prove the above; thus, turning to an experienced law firm is recommended.
How to Prove Negligence
A delayed diagnosis is generally not enough on its own to prove negligence occurred. For example, a doctor may very well have implemented the standard duty of care, but still did not diagnose the patient correctly. It must be shown that the doctor, or medical professional, was incompetent. This is often a difficult task and usually requires an extensive investigation that includes expert witnesses and other resources. Without a good wrongful death lawyer on your side, you might risk losing your ability to settle for a claim that is fair and just.
Common Types of a Medical Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
There are many different ways in which a person could be misdiagnosed or given a delayed diagnosis, including:
- Failure to review or consider the medical history of the patient
- Failure to order tests
- Misreading lab results
- Ignoring the symptoms
- Not listening to the patient
- Discriminating against the patient
A delayed diagnosis could mean that the patient was unable to receive the necessary care to treat their condition. Sadly, for certain patients, when this happens, they could lose their life. If you believe you lost a loved one because of negligence and a delayed diagnosis, please call a wrongful death lawyer today.