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Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuits

WE ALL RELY ON DOCTORS AND OTHER MEDICAL PROVIDERS TO DIAGNOSE AND TREAT US COMPETENTLY, BUT SOMETIMES THEY FAIL TO RECOGNIZE SYMPTOMS THAT SHOULD HAVE LED TO A DIAGNOSIS OR SOMETHING OCCURS THAT CAUSES THE DIAGNOSIS TO BE DELAYED.

As a result, treatment is not provided as soon as it should be; people may suffer serious harm and sometimes lose their lives. For example, a delayed diagnosis of cancer can lead to its spread and cause disfiguring surgery, unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation therapy and death.

Medical professionals and facilities are held to a reasonable standard of care on a national basis. They have a duty to patients to use their training and tools like MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, EKGs and other tests to make the proper diagnosis and to begin treatment in a timely manner where required. If medical professionals do not do what they should, a treatable condition may become untenable and lead to serious harm or death. In these situations, patients may have a valid negligence claim for delayed diagnosis.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious harm or someone has died due to a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis because of the negligent care of a medical professional or facility, you should seek legal assistance to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Medical malpractice cases are complex. Since symptoms change over time and evidence and witnesses may disappear, it is important to contact an attorney experienced in medical malpractice as soon as possible.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania delayed diagnosis attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to negligence and malpractice by medical professionals and hospitals.  Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our experienced staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and determine the best way to proceed with your case.

Contact us today if you even suspect medical negligence by calling 800-326-9259 or by using our online contact form.

Areas of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis

As medical malpractice attorneys with decades of experience with delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose in various contexts, our attorneys can advise you with regard to:

  • Emergency room misdiagnosis or hospital errors
  • Diagnostic mistakes related to surgery
  • Diagnostic mistakes involving radiology, CT scans, X-rays and other imaging
  • Failure to diagnose diabetes, renal disease or kidney problems
  • Failure to diagnose heart disease, cardiac arrest, stroke, pulmonary embolism or aneurysm
  • Missed colon lesions or injuries
  • Closed head injuries, brain injuries or concussions
  • Glaucoma or other eye conditions
  • Cancers, lymphomas, tumors or growths that were misdiagnosed
  • Failure to provide pap smears and prostate exams
  • Failure to diagnose fetal problems or birth injury
  • Orthopedic and joint problems, including wrist, hip, femur and knee injuries.

What constitutes negligence?

Infographic: Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic negligence can occur when a serious condition is not properly diagnosed or when it is misdiagnosed. As a result, the patient may not receive the necessary treatment to cure the disease or prevent disabling results, which they would have received if the diagnosis was made correctly in the first place. Many medical conditions progress rapidly and become worse if they are not treated, so early diagnosis and treatment may be essential for survival.

When patients have symptoms that could mean a serious condition such as cancer, stroke or heart attack, doctors should normally make what is known as a differential diagnosis. Doctors should be aware of the major diseases and conditions that could cause these symptoms and should rule out conditions that are not caused by the symptoms. Doctors certainly must pay attention to the most life-threatening possibilities. To do this, doctors may be required to use available tools such as mammograms, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, blood tests, and biopsies.

If doctors discount patients’ medical history, fail to order proper tests or misdiagnose the results and serious harm results, patients may have a valid negligence claim. Pennsylvania law calls these “loss of chance” cases, since the doctor’s malpractice caused the patient to lose the chance to avoid a dangerous outcome.

Many times doctors do not properly use electronic medical records. Electronic medical records can be a cause of confusion which may lead to misdiagnosis and serious harm.

However, not every misdiagnosis is medical negligence. For example, if the results of the mistake were not serious, or the disease may have been too advanced for available treatment to have made a difference, there may not be a claim.

Winning a Delayed Diagnosis Lawsuit

To win a lawsuit, you and your attorney must show that the duty of care was breached because of the negligent actions or inactions of the medical professionals or facility, and that this breach caused the injury or death. In delayed diagnosis cases, you must be able to establish that the doctor failed to diagnose the patient in a timely manner and that the delay was long enough to make a difference in the outcome. Sometimes there may be a delay in diagnosis claim as a result of nurses or staff negligence. There may be claims based upon corporate negligence where there was not a proper system in place to prevent the misdiagnosis.

In general, there is a two-year time limit for filing medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania, although there may be additional time allowed for medical injuries involving children and where the injury could not reasonably be known.  The statute of limitations rule in Pennsylvania also contains a “statute of repose.”  The statute of limitations, discovery/tolling rules and statutes of repose are extremely complex and require a lawyer’s close scrutiny.

Contact a Delayed Diagnosis Attorney · The Consultation Is Free

If you or a loved one has suffered harm or someone has died from what you suspect was a healthcare professional’s negligent behavior in making a diagnosis and treating the condition, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann.

Set up your free consultation today by calling 800-326-9259, or use our online contact form.