When it comes to delays in diagnosis there are instances where this could result in minor to no damage to the patient. However, in other instances it may result in fatalities. For example, with regards to delaying a diagnosis for cancer. This is because a delay in a month or more could lead to catastrophic consequences that result in inability to perform surgery or administering other treatments. When a doctor fails to diagnose cancer and administer subsequent treatment it can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. This article will discuss when you can sue for cancer delayed diagnosis.
Generally, when a person is diagnosed of cancer this diagnosis is adequate to provide the treatment options the person needs to get better. But if the diagnosis is delayed even by a few months, the person could start getting better or worse as they are unable to start medication or any medical procedure without being properly diagnosed of the illness. In cases where the condition is severe or life threatening, delayed diagnosis is even more serious. Depending on the factors relating to the case, this could lead to medical malpractice legal action if negligence is a factor in the delay in diagnosis.
In most cases a person who is not diagnosed within a few days or weeks could suffer injury as a result of the delay. If the illness relates to something serious, like cancer or a rare disease that needs immediate treatment, this could severely harm the patient’s body. The longer the delay in proper diagnosis, the less likely the chance of the necessary medication working. Delayed diagnosis can result in injury to internal organs, skin and a deterioration in the patient’s health, depending on the patient’s condition. The time of delay should lessen with additional research performed by the medical professional.
The aspect of negligence is the key determination as to whether there has been an act of medical malpractice. It is necessary to prove four elements for the lawsuit to be valid. These elements involve:
- a duty of care
- breach of the duty of care
- a direct relation between the breach of the duty of care and injury
- the existence of an injury
It must be noted that without being able to prove the negligence of the doctor, the injured person is usually an able to sue for damages. Therefore, solid proof is required. The delay in treatment due to the delay in diagnosis is a significant factor in the case, if it resulted in the cause of injury or impacted the patient’s life negatively. However, this depends on the type of cancer, as some delays in diagnosis of certain types of cancers can remove liability on the doctor as they are difficult to stop and understand.
It is rare for medical malpractice cases to involved delayed diagnosis; this is mainly because of the difficulty or inability to prove the four elements of negligence. However, a delayed diagnosis is possible in cases whereby the doctor is negligent or did not provide a duty of care to their patient.
For more information hire medical malpractice attorney Anchorage.