When Is A Doctor Negligent After Delayed Diagnosis?

One of the common lead-ins to a medical malpractice lawsuit is delayed diagnosis of medical conditions, illnesses or injuries. This can lead to a worse prognosis for treatment or even wrongful death. However, a delayed diagnosis by itself is not enough for a lawsuit. You must prove that the doctor’s negligence is the reason for the delayed diagnosis.

Patients and their attorneys will usually have to prove three things for the delayed diagnosis to count as malpractice.

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship
  • The doctor’s treatment was provided in a way that was not reasonably skillful or competent
  • The doctor’s negligence is the reason for the injury.

Doctors make mistakes. To determine whether the mistake constitutes negligence, we must look at the differential diagnosis method the doctor used to determine treatment. Differential diagnosis means that the doctor forms increasingly specific opinions as to the cause of an ailment as more medical information and observations become known. Ideally, a single diagnosis will result, and treatment will move on from there. If there is a significant delay in this diagnosis, and a different doctor in a similar field would not reasonably have waited this long, then you might have a delayed diagnosis case.

Our law firm has investigated delayed diagnosis cases before. In one, a 45-year-old client of ours experienced complications due to delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. It took the doctors over a year to give the final diagnosis of breast cancer. This kind of error is completely unacceptable. Breast cancer in younger women is unusual, but not unknown. When doctors do not follow through to make sure a tumor or lump is benign, the cancer patient loses valuable time that could be used for beneficial and life-saving treatments.

If you believe that a delayed diagnosis led to undue suffering for you or a loved one, call us at 478-238-6600 (Macon, GA) or 404-565-1621 (Atlanta, GA) to schedule a consultation. Our law firm will fight for the largest settlement or verdict that we can get, and we will not back down unless you are given your fair share of the money you are owed.

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