Each year, hundreds of medical malpractice cases are filed in New Jersey. In 2020, the figure was over 300. Medical malpractice is a serious problem that can result in personal injuries, and it erodes confidence in the medical profession. People trust their doctors to know what they’re doing. When a physician is negligent, they need to be held accountable.
Understanding delayed diagnosis
The key in proving medical malpractice is not just that something went wrong but that the medical provider was not performing to the normal standard of care. Proving malpractice is all about negligence.
One form that medical malpractice can take is delayed diagnosis. A diagnosis is considered delayed if the patient did not receive it within a reasonable window of time. The word “reasonable” is where a lot of interpretation comes into play in the courtroom.
Doctors are trained to use very methodical diagnostic techniques. Most of the time, they arrive at a diagnosis through a process of excluding other possibilities. This differential diagnosis process, along with tests and referrals, is the standard in the medical field. Physicians who use a different diagnostic technique may be more likely to be found guilty of malpractice.
The ill effects of delayed diagnosis
When someone doesn’t receive the correct diagnosis in time, their care will be delayed. They can experience a worsening condition and additional symptoms. In some cases, it truly is a struggle to find out what’s wrong, but delayed diagnosis is unacceptable when a doctor’s negligence is at fault.
If you or a loved one has experienced a delayed diagnosis, a lawyer may be able to help you understand if you have a good case for malpractice. They may also be able to demystify the malpractice lawsuit process for you.