Most medical mistakes involve direct harm to the patient as a result of a physician’s negligence during a procedure; for example, when a surgeon uses an unsanitary scalpel and causes a dangerous infection. However, there are also many ways that a doctor can cause indirect harm to a patient, such as in the case of delayed or misdiagnosis.
If a physician does not take prompt action to correctly diagnose your condition, you could sustain severe, life-altering injuries as a result of their delay.
While all delayed diagnosis claims come with unique considerations, our medical malpractice lawyers at Cullan & Cullan are up to the challenge. As practicing lawyers who also have advanced medical degrees, we understand exactly how to navigate complex malpractice cases and advocate for our client’s needs.
It’s our goal to secure the fair restitution you deserve in the wake of a delayed diagnosis, and with years of experience, we’ll work tirelessly on your behalf.
Delayed Diagnosis: Common Medical Conditions
As a type of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis is incredibly common. In fact, one study estimated that 20% of all patients who suffer from a serious condition will be misdiagnosed at first or experience other errors related to diagnostics.
Like other forms of misdiagnosis, diagnosis delays are more likely to result in life-threatening injuries and death when the patient is suffering from one of the “big three” medical events: cancer, a heart condition, or an infection.
Cancer is one of the most common medical conditions for which doctors provide a delayed or late diagnosis. This can be due to a variety of factors, including lack of access to diagnostic tests, misdiagnosis, or simply not recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer early enough. Delayed diagnosis can lead to a decreased chance of survival, due to delayed treatment, and an increased risk of complications from the disease.
Late diagnosis is common for the following types of cancer:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Brain cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cervical cancer
Heart disease is another medical condition that is often missed by doctors. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as difficulty interpreting test results or a failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease early on. Delayed diagnosis can lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, as well as other complications.
Stroke is another medical condition that doctors commonly delay in diagnosing and treating. This can be due to misdiagnosis, difficulty interpreting test results, or simply not recognizing the signs and symptoms early enough. Delayed diagnosis can lead to an increased risk of death or disability from stroke-related complications.
Doctors may also provide late diagnoses for infections. This can be due to misdiagnosis, lack of access to diagnostic testing, or simply not recognizing the signs and symptoms early enough. Delayed diagnosis can lead to an increased risk of serious complications from the infection, such as organ damage or sepsis (blood poisoning).
What Can Cause a Delayed Diagnosis?
Common causes of delayed diagnosis:
- Poor internal communication at the hospital or healthcare facility
- Failure to perform an in-depth consultation with the patient
- Lack of adequate screening when patients are admitted
- Defective or failing medical equipment
- Overcrowding at the facility
- Inadequate physical exam
- Errors in the patient record management system
Do I Have Grounds for a Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuit?
Of course, serious medical conditions often take a long time to develop and manifest. If it is not possible for a doctor to provide a correct diagnosis at the time of your admission, then they cannot reasonably be considered negligent under the law.
In order to have a delayed diagnosis lawsuit, you need to show that your physician, nurse, or surgeon violated the “standard of care” in failing to get you a prompt and timely diagnosis.
In medical malpractice, the “standard of care” is defined as the medical treatment you could expect to receive from a provider with the same background in similar circumstances. Although some delays in the medical process may be justified, diagnostic delays caused by a doctor’s negligence may entitle you to compensation.
Why Choose Our Firm?
At Cullan & Cullan, we are proud to have won over $350 million for injured clients and their families. With a history of record-setting verdicts, a deep connection to our community, and advanced medical degrees, our Phoenix delayed diagnosis lawyers can carefully examine your case and determine whether negligence played a role.
By getting to the heart of a diagnostic error or delay, we can craft a compelling case strategy and seek to maximize your compensation in a lawsuit.
Ready to schedule a free consultation? Call (602) 900-9483 to discuss your case with our Phoenix delayed diagnosis attorneys at Cullan & Cullan.