Missed or Delayed Diagnosis Lawyer in Columbia, SC
We place a significant amount of trust in medical professionals to care for us when we’re injured or ill. This is particularly true when it comes to diagnosing conditions accurately and in a timely manner. Failure to make an accurate diagnosis could make an injury or illness worse, and delays in treatment could be harmful or even life-threatening. Similarly, subjecting someone to treatment that they don’t need could also cause significant harm.
All medical professionals have a duty to provide an adequate standard of care for their patients. Failure to meet this standard when it comes to diagnosing an injury or illness may be considered medical malpractice. If you have suffered harm or if you’ve lost a loved one due to an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis on the part of a doctor or another medical professional, you might be in a strong position to pursue a medical malpractice claim against them.
Proving medical malpractice is not always easy. Just because you are not satisfied with the outcome of a procedure or treatment doesn’t mean that a doctor was negligent or failed to meet a requisite standard of care. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. You’ll need someone who is skilled and experienced to assess the potential merits of your case. If your case is actionable, you’ll need that individual to effectively prove your case on its merits.
The Columbia medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis has what It takes to represent you if you’ve suffered harm due to a misdiagnosed condition or a delayed diagnosis. Our team will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your case. If you choose to hire Chris Davis, he will work on a contingency-fee-basis. That means that you won’t owe him anything until he secures compensation on your behalf.
Can You Sue Over a Wrong Diagnosis or a Delayed Diagnosis?
A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis can have a harmful or even fatal impact on your life. You may be empowered to file a lawsuit against your doctor and other healthcare providers if they have misdiagnosed or failed to timely diagnose your health condition due to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to render treatment to a patient in accordance with legally and professionally accepted standards of care. While the exact standard of care applied under the law is different for each case, “accepted standard of care” is broadly defined as the treatment decisions or actions that other reasonably competent healthcare professionals of similar training and experience would embrace under similar circumstances. This means that a medical professional could not be held liable for medical malpractice if other providers in the specialty and with similar experience would have approached your case in the same ways.
A viable misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis lawsuit will require you to prove that you were harmed because of the delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Harm might include extra physical pain and suffering due to the delayed treatment of your condition, the loss of the opportunity for more effective treatments, or needing to undergo more expensive, intensive, and/or painful treatment for a more advanced case of your condition.
For example, you might not be able to sue for a wrong diagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer if your cancer was already at a terminal stage by the time it should have been rightfully discovered. But you may have a claim if the delay allowed your cancer to progress from a more easily treatable stage to an advanced stage that required more intensive care.
Furthermore, you will also need to establish that you have suffered losses you should be compensated for because of the misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis. These losses might include the extra cost of corrective medical treatment needed for an advanced case of your condition or disease, loss of wages or income from time you missed from work that you would not have missed had your condition been timely and correctly diagnosed. A compensation award could also potentially address pain and suffering, rehabilitation, reduced quality of life from scarring/disfigurement, physical impairment, or reduced life expectancy.
Common Examples of Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
Some of the most frequent examples of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis that Chris Davis can work to hold providers liable for include:
- Cancer misdiagnosis or delayed detection of cancer
- Misdiagnosis of stroke
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of heart attack
- Misdiagnosis of appendicitis or inflamed gallbladder
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of internal bleeding
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of blood clots and vascular disease
- Misdiagnosis of autoimmune conditions
- Delayed diagnosis of respiratory diseases
- Delayed diagnosis of bacterial or viral infection
- False positive misdiagnosis, or diagnosing someone with a condition they do not have
- Causes of Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
Common causes of delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses that may give rise to cause for legal action include:
- Failure to include the correct diagnosis in a differential diagnosis, often due to multiple conditions having a similar set of symptoms
- Premature dismissal of the correct diagnosis from the differential diagnosis
- Inadequate staffing at the hospital or medical facility, which often leads to fatigue and inability to spend adequate time on patient cases
- Malfunctioning, inadequately maintained, or defective diagnostic equipment
- Errors in laboratory testing, including improper sample collection, swapping test results between patients, incorrect reporting of results, or misinterpretation of results
- Misinterpretation of radiology scans
- Inadequate patient exams, including failure to take a full patient history
- Failure to follow up with patients
- Not obtaining a second opinion or referring a patient to a specialist
- Failure to communicate between members of a patient’s care team
Who Could Be Liable for Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis?
Various parties may be held liable when a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is caused by substandard care. These parties may include:
- Physician assistants
- Nurses, especially triage nurses
- Radiology technicians
- Laboratory technicians
In addition, the hospitals or healthcare facilities that employ these professionals may also be held responsible under employer liability for a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
What Can You Do If You Were Misdiagnosed or Suffered a Delayed Diagnosis?
If your condition was misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in a timely fashion and you suffered harm as a result, you can put yourself in the best position to pursue legal action by:
- Taking notes of your appointments and interactions with your medical providers
- Obtaining copies of your medical records
- Seeing another doctor or provider for a second opinion
- Keeping copies of your medical bills, along with your pay stubs or tax returns if you need to miss work during your recovery from the condition that was misdiagnosed
- Starting a diary to record the pain and physical/emotional suffering you endure due to your treatment
- Talking to a misdiagnosis attorney from the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis to discuss whether you have cause to file a lawsuit
How Can You Prove that Your Diagnosis Was Wrong?
Proving that you were misdiagnosed or that a correct diagnosis will require you to present various kinds of evidence showing that not only was your diagnosis wrong, but also that proper medical care would have led to you being correctly diagnosed much sooner than you were. Examples of evidence that is used in delayed diagnosis/misdiagnosis cases include:
- Medical records, including patient histories, lab results, and radiology scans
- Doctor/provider notes
- Staffing records
- Surveillance camera footage
- Witness testimony describing what took place during care
A successful misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis lawsuit will often “hinge” on expert testimony from a doctor in the same field as the physician or provider who misdiagnosed you. You will need a medical expert to explain:
- The applicable standard of care in your case; in other words, what your provider should have done during your treatment
- How your provider’s decisions and actions failed to comply with the standard of care
- How you were harmed by your provider’s failure to provide treatment that complied with the applicable standard of care
How Our Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney Can Help
If you have grounds upon which to file a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit, The Law Offices of S. Chris Davis could help you seek justice by:
- Securing critical evidence in your case, including your medical records, provider notes, staffing records, and diagnostic testing results
- Bringing in medical experts to help persuasively explain how your doctor or provider caused you harm through a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis due to their failure to treat you in accordance with accepted standards of care
- Calculating your expenses and losses incurred because of the delayed diagnosis/misdiagnosis
- Identifying the parties who can be held liable to compensate you for the expenses and losses you have incurred
- Vigorously fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf, whether through a negotiated settlement or by taking your case to court, if necessary
Speak with a Columbia Misdiagnosis Attorney Today
If you have been harmed due to a missed or delayed diagnosis, you might be able to hold the medical provider who harmed you accountable via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis for a free, no-obligation case review to speak with a Columbia, SC misdiagnosis attorney about your situation today.