How to Tell When a Delayed Diagnosis is Medical Malpractice

A few weeks time can make a world of difference when it comes to treating severe illnesses and health conditions. Unfortunately, this time is often lost when a doctor delays or misdiagnoses a patient, leading him or her to seek an unnecessary treatment or no treatment at all. The time and effort lost between the initial missed diagnosis and the proper diagnosis can be a matter of life and death for some patients.

To make a diagnosis a doctor must perform several tests, exams, and evaluations of the patient's health and then compare the results to clinical descriptions of known diseases and conditions. Because there are thousands of ailments, and many share the same symptoms, it's not surprising that a correct diagnosis can be difficult to obtain.

Still, there are many cases where a doctor should have had the evidence necessary to make a proper diagnosis and fails to do so. In these situations, the patient and their family have the rights to file a delayed diagnosis medical malpractice claim.

Evidence Necessary to Prove a Delayed Diagnosis

Once can catch a delayed diagnosis in one of two ways, either during a postmortem exam of a patient who died unexpectedly or during a second opinion exam from another doctor. During the second exam, the examiner must find clear evidence that the disease or condition existed during the initial doctor's treatment and should have been detected if a doctor were working thoroughly and responsibly.

Medical records are the most critical part of your medical malpractice evidence. Test results from the initial doctor visit must be compared with later tests to show the presence of the dangerous disease or condition at both times. The earlier tests must also show evidence of the state. Having other doctors disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis is part of proving medical negligence in a Peachtree City malpractice claim.

Expert Witnesses in Missed Diagnosis Malpractice Claims

One way medical malpractice attorneys present this evidence is through expert witnesses from the medical field. Say, for example, your loved one passed away suddenly and a postmortem exam showed he or she died from leukemia.

Your attorney may bring in an expert oncologist to review the initial bloodwork and show where the original doctor failed to diagnose the signs of leukemia. The evidence must also show that your loved one endured a serious amount of suffering or passed away because of the delayed diagnosis.

You might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim if the time between the initial exam and the proper diagnosis was substantial enough to cause the following.

  • Serious physical damage
  • Severe emotional problems 
  • Significant financial loss 

Let a Medical Malpractice Attorney Review Your Potential Claim

Don't be too hasty to jump to conclusions and accuse your doctors of malpractice before you speak to a medical malpractice attorney. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to support patients and their families in the Georgia area who believe their doctor misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose a serious medical condition or illness.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options for filing a delayed diagnosis malpractice claim 404-474-0804.