When a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition, this failure can have a serious impact on your health. In many cases, your condition may become worse by becoming more painful and/or more expensive or difficult to treat. In other cases, your condition may become life threatening or fatal as a result of your doctor's failure.
When a medical professional lets you down by failing to diagnose a medical problem, you may have legal recourse. Delayed diagnosis is a form of medical malpractice and an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can assist you in understanding your legal rights and any recourse you may have available to you.
The Dangers of Delayed Diagnosis
For a huge variety of different medical problems, it is imperative that you got prompt and immediate medical treatment. While any medical condition should be treated right away, a delay in diagnosis can be more serious with certain illnesses than with others. For example, some of the different conditions that can be most adversely affected by delayed diagnosis include:
- Brain injuries. Often, there are no outward symptoms or the symptoms of a brain injury may not seem as severe as they really are. Unfortunately, bleeding, bruising or swelling of the brain that is not diagnosed can be fatal.
- Internal bleeding. Just like with brain injuries, there may not be a clear outward symptom associated with every internal injury that causes bleeding. Left untreated, however, internal bleeding can be fatal.
- Diabetes. Left untreated, diabetes or even pre-diabetes can do serious damage to the body. Kidney problems may become exacerbated by out-of-control insulin levels and undiagnosed diabetes could increase the risk of complications such as blindness or amputation.
- Blood clots. A blood clot can cause serious damage to the body, especially if it travels to the brain and causes a stroke.
- Cardiac problems. An undiagnosed cardiac condition can result in your heart continually having to work harder. The risk of a heart attack may increase and the outcome could potentially be fatal.
- Cancer. A 2008 article printed in Wired.com reported that there may be up to a 90 percent cure rate for many cancers diagnosed early while the survival statistics on those diagnosed with advanced cancer dropped to 10 percent.
- Arthritis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent joint deformities and other complications associated with this potentially debilitating disease.
These are just a few examples of the many types of medical problems that can quickly become worse if not diagnosed promptly. In fact, almost any medical condition becomes more serious the longer it is allowed to persist.
An Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help After a Delayed Diagnosis
If you or a loved one is harmed as a result of a delayed diagnosis, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or healthcare provider responsible for your delayed treatment. The ability to file such a claim will depend both on whether you can prove it was negligent for the doctor not to diagnose you correctly as well as whether you can prove that the delayed diagnosis actually caused you some type of harm.
Medical malpractice cases based on delayed diagnosis can have many legal complications. For instance, first you will need to show that a reasonably competent doctor in the same position as your physician would have diagnosed you properly and that it was unreasonably poor care for your doctor to have made the mistake. Only by showing that no reasonable doctor with the same background would have delayed your diagnosis can you hold your doctor accountable. Second, you will need to show that the doctor's failure actually caused you to suffer some type of additional harm that you wouldn't have suffered if you'd been diagnosed in a more timely manner.
An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to get the evidence you need to prove all of the necessary elements of a medical malpractice claim. Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys understand delayed diagnoses cases and can put together convincing evidence, including expert testimony, to show why you were harmed and why you deserve to be compensated for the harm.
Have You Been The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical error you need to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.