Often, we think that doctors are supposed to know everything there is to know about conditions that ail us. When they don’t know what is wrong or they don’t spot a treatable illness before it is too late, they can be held negligent.
Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes and are not all knowing. Cases of delayed or missed diagnoses are not uncommon and medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
What is delayed diagnosis?
Delayed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to determine the cause for an illness or discover a medical condition before it is too late. Often, doctors realize they have delayed diagnosis after traumatic events transpire. Medical examples where delayed diagnosis is common include, but are not limited to:
- Heart attack
What do you need to prove?
If you want to have a solid medical malpractice case against you or your loved one’s doctor, you must be able to prove these three things:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
- There was injury caused to the patient
- The doctor deviated from the standard of care which caused the injury. In cases of delayed diagnosis, a doctor’s negligent delay of diagnosis would cause the injury.
It can be scary when a doctor cannot determine what is ailing you, and at times it is discovered too late. Staying diligent and getting a second opinion can be beneficial. When negligence occurs, it is helpful to know there is action you can take.