Unfortunately, patients who have been injured from a delayed or misdiagnosis have the added burden of proving that medical malpractice has occurred. Consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is crucial to a successful outcome. At Folkman Law Offices, we advocate for patients who have suffered due to a medical mistake and help them collect the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
Examples of Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
There are many reasons that a doctor can be held liable for negligence. Diagnostic tests such as blood work, MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, or x-rays are crucial when there is a possibility of internal injury, head injury, broken bones, organ failure, or illness. Failing to order these tests can result in a doctor diagnosing a sprain instead of a bone fracture, or missing pneumonia in a patient that they diagnose with asthma. Without the benefit of a CT scan, a patient diagnosed with a concussion could actually have a serious head or neck injury that can have permanent repercussions.
Doctors who fail to refer patients to a specialist can also cause a delayed diagnosis. A patient that complains of back pain and is sent home with muscle relaxers and pain medication can be at risk for permanent paralysis that an experienced neurologist could have prevented. For example, patients that go to an emergency room for treatment of severe stomach pain that are not seen by a gastrointestinal specialist could be diagnosed with the flu instead of a serious liver issue.
It is also important for doctors and nurses to communicate with patients and gather pertinent information about their health history and that of their immediate family members. Information on preexisting medical conditions and family history of inherited disorders such as heart disease and diabetes are crucial to properly diagnosing a patient’s symptoms. A patient with flu-like symptoms, severe stomach pain, and dehydration that has a family history of diabetes could be quickly tested for high glucose levels and treated immediately before they suffered organ damage or coma.
The emotional toll that misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis has on a patient can be severe. Imagine a patient that is told they have cancer. They may have endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments only to find out later that the diagnosis was wrong. Not only has this patient suffered physical pain and possible damage to their body, but the emotional aspect of the ordeal can leave permanent scars.
Proving Medical Malpractice Due to Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
To prove that medical malpractice occurred as a result of a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, the plaintiff in the lawsuit must prove three things.
- The patient must prove that they had established a relationship with the physician. This can be proven with medical records of appointments with the physician, medications prescribed by the physician, and treatment plans ordered by the physician.
- The patient must establish that negligence by the physician resulted in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Physicians are required to provide their patients with a standard of care established within the medical profession. When they do not provide this level of care, the physician can be held liable for medical malpractice.
- The patient must prove that they suffered pain, lost wages, have costly medical bills, or have experienced a significant loss in the quality of their life or in their ability to live independently because of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Compensation for pain and suffering may be available to the patient in addition to compensation for their physical injuries.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Help Victims of Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know has been injured, disabled, or was fatally injured as a result of a physician’s negligence, it is vital to consult with an experienced and reputable medical malpractice lawyer. The laws are very specific and often overwhelming to navigate. New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are committed to helping their clients claim all entitled compensation available to them.
Call us at 856-354-9444 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.