What is a Delayed Diagnosis?
Girl looking at xray with doctor

What is a Delayed Diagnosis?

Delayed diagnoses occur when a patient seeks medical treatment for symptoms, and yet the condition causing those symptoms go undiagnosed for an unreasonable amount of time. Often, this may result in the condition worsening into a serious illness or disease.

A delayed diagnosis might be the result of certain symptoms being overlooked or dismissed by the physician, or when the physician fails to order follow-up testing to fully evaluate a patient.

Is Delayed Diagnosis Medical Malpractice?

It's not always the case that a delayed diagnosis is grounds for a medical malpractice claim; however, it may amount to a significant legal claim and an entitlement to damages.

To know if you have a claim, a patient needs to prove that their doctor should have done more to evaluate and identify their condition. Also, the patient will need to show that they did not delay seeking medical attention when the concerning symptoms began. To prove a medical malpractice claim for delayed diagnosis, you must show a doctor-patient relationship and that the doctor was negligent in providing the standard of medical care, which resulted in a delay in diagnosis and caused further harm to the patient.

For example, a doctor dismissing certain symptoms that a patient is experiencing, failing to refer them to a specialist for their condition, or otherwise neglecting to provide care that would result in proper treatment within a reasonable amount of time may be considered medical malpractice.

Delayed vs. Missed vs. Wrong Diagnosis

Although similar, each kind of diagnostic error varies in some aspect, especially when considering filing a medical malpractice claim. In each instance, however, the patient’s condition is left untreated and, so, worsens and progresses, sometimes until it is too late to be treated effectively and results in death. The key differences among a delayed, missed, or wrong diagnosis are:

  • Delayed: symptoms are eventually correctly diagnosed, although not immediately.
  • Missed: symptoms are never accurately diagnosed.
  • Wrong: symptoms are incorrectly diagnosed and treated as another condition, although the actual condition may be discovered later.

Consider contacting an attorney to better understand whether your circumstances fall under one of these categories and what you can legally do about it.

South Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The attorneys at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen have over three decades of combined experience in handling medical malpractice claims and are prepared to help see your process from start to finish. If your delayed diagnosis contributed to an injury or more significant condition, contact our team to discuss your potential case.

Call (866) 629-1061 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation.

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