What Is Delayed Diagnosis?

Written by Atlee Hall

Delayed diagnosis occurs when a physician or other healthcare provider does not diagnose your condition within a reasonable amount of time. Whether your healthcare provider fails to exercise necessary precautions, does not take your health concerns seriously, or makes a mistake that impedes your diagnosis, your life could be significantly affected by a delayed diagnosis.

For example, if you were suffering from an aggressive type of breast cancer, but your physician failed to diagnose you promptly, your health could rapidly deteriorate, causing you severe injury, illness, or even death. If your healthcare provider had diagnosed you sooner, you may not have suffered complications as severe as you did.

This is just one example of how a delayed diagnosis could affect your life. If a reasonable doctor would not have made the same medical error as yours did, you may have grounds for a delayed diagnosis claim.

Consequences of Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is 100% preventable. Unfortunately, it is also common. Three primary types of delayed diagnosis are known as the “Big Three.” These include delayed diagnosis of infections, vascular events, and cancer.

According to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Research, the Big Three account for more than 74% of all diagnostic errors. The most severe cases of delayed diagnosis have resulted in nearly $2 billion in medical malpractice payouts over a 10-year span.

When a healthcare provider fails to properly diagnose your symptoms, your entire life could be adversely affected. Your debilitating injury or illness may make it difficult or even impossible for you to continue earning a living, care for yourself, or provide for your family.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways you may be able to get justice. However, before you can recover the compensation you are entitled to for a delayed diagnosis, your medical malpractice lawyer must show that your healthcare provider violated the medical standard of care.

Proving Negligence in Delayed Diagnosis Cases

If your attorney is going to recover compensation for your delayed diagnosis, we will need to show that the healthcare provider’s negligence was the cause of your damages. The following elements of negligence must be proven:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

If a reasonable physician would not have handled your case the way yours did, there may be a breach of the duty of care. Your attorney’s thorough investigation will uncover compelling evidence to support your case, such as statements from your healthcare provider, diagnostic test results, and more.

Get Help from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Pennsylvania Today

When your healthcare provider’s negligent actions have victimized you through a delayed diagnosis, and you do not know where to turn for help, having a dedicated Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer at Atlee Hall on your side could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

Our firm can help guide you through the process. Fill out our online contact form or call us at (717) 393-9596 to schedule your free consultation today.