Typically, when people suffer from concerning symptoms, they will visit doctors to identify the cause of their issues and obtain an appropriate treatment plan. In many instances, a prompt diagnosis is vital to a good prognosis. Thus, if a doctor’s carelessness leads to delays in accurately diagnosing a patient, it can adversely affect the patient’s health and well-being. People harmed by a delayed diagnosis may be owed damages and should seek legal counsel regarding their rights. The Boca Raton misdiagnosis attorneys at The Grife Law Firm possess the skills and experience needed to prove that doctors who cause their patients to suffer harm should be held accountable. If you hire us, we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to help you seek a satisfying result.Examples of Harm Caused by a Delayed Diagnosis
Delayed diagnoses can be detrimental in a variety of ways. For example, if a patient presents with signs of a heart attack, stroke, or other critical issues, but the patient’s doctor either ignores or does not observe the severity of the patient’s symptoms, it can lead to heart or brain damage or other irreparable harm. Similarly, if a doctor fails to conduct or recommend routine screening tests or does not notice a patient’s concerns, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions may go undiagnosed for an extended time, greatly diminishing the patient’s chance of achieving a favorable result.Demonstrating Liability Due to a Delayed Diagnosis
Medicine is a science, but the practice of medicine is not always precise, and some conditions and injuries take longer to diagnose than others. However, there are clear differences between determining a diagnosis based on the process of elimination and a clearly unreasonable delay caused by incompetence.
People harmed by a delayed diagnosis will need to establish certain elements to show that the delay constituted malpractice. Specifically, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a defendant had a duty to provide treatment that complied with the prevailing standard of care, which is the care that a reasonably competent physician working in the same practice area would find acceptable when faced with similar circumstances. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant deviated from the standard. For example, if a prudent doctor would order certain diagnostic tests for a patient complaining of chest pain, and the defendant did not order those tests, it may constitute a breach of the duty owed.
A plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s breach was the legal and actual cause of the harm suffered. In other words, the plaintiff needs to produce evidence that establishes that the defendant’s incompetence was a significant factor in bringing about the plaintiff’s harm and that the injury would not have occurred without the defendant’s mistakes. Causation is often a strongly contested issue in medical malpractice cases, especially those involving a delayed diagnosis. Therefore, a plaintiff will usually need to hire an expert to testify regarding the applicable standard of care and to link the defendant’s acts to the plaintiff’s harm. Such testimony is explicitly permitted by Florida Statute 90.702, which states that expert testimony is admissible if it will assist a judge or jury in determining a disputed fact or understanding the evidence presented. The testimony must be based on adequate facts, and the opinion offered must be a result of applying reliable principles and methods to the facts of the case.Speak With a Trusted Boca Raton Attorney
Obtaining a prompt diagnosis is a critical component of appropriate care, and delayed diagnoses cause many people to suffer preventable harm. If you suffered losses due to an untimely diagnosis, you have a right to seek compensation from your doctor and should speak to a lawyer. The trusted medical malpractice attorneys at The Grife Law Firm take pride in protecting the interests of people injured by negligent doctors. We represent people in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach. You can contact us by calling 855-998-0770 or using our form online to set up a meeting.