Can I Sue My Doctor For Delaying Treatment?

Steven Schwartzapfel Aug 25, 2015
Delaying Treatment

If a physician’s delay in administering proper treatment resulted in harm, you may win a medical malpractice lawsuit in court. However, there are several things that must first be proven in order to establish negligence. For starters, the treatment given has to have been substandard when compared to the treatment that a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would have given under the same or similar circumstances. Medical malpractice lawsuits usually require the testimony of an expert witness. This medical “expert” will explain how the doctor’s conduct did not follow an appropriate course of treatment.

Three elements of malpractice must be proven in order to make a successful claim for delayed diagnosis. These include:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the alleged negligence or error.
  • The physician’s error was a result of negligence.
  • The harm was a direct result of the error.

Did the Delay Result in Harm?

Simply failing to provide adequate treatment in time does not automatically establish negligence. In order to prove malpractice in court, you will need to show that the injury or illness was a direct result of the delay. For example, if the delay in diagnosis or treatment caused an unnecessarily extended period of pain and discomfort, this may be cause for a malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, if the delay negated the effectiveness of a treatment that could have been administered with earlier detection, this may also result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Cancer and Heart Attack

The most common conditions cited in delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis lawsuits are cancer and heart attack. Early detection of cancer can be the difference between life and death. Certain cancers spread rapidly and if treatment isn’t begun in time, it may be too late. The vast majority of patients that doctors see on a day to day basis are healthy. Unfortunately, a constant flow of patients who think they are sick – when they are not – can occasionally cause doctors to dismiss actual symptoms.

As technology advances, many doctors become too dependent on it for diagnostic purposes. Although technology has significantly improved modern medical care, it is not fool-proof. Diagnostic tests can fail, and human-error can result in a misinterpretation of test results.

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. – New York’s Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove. Unless they are also a medical professional, the lack of medical understanding can put victims of malpractice at a significant disadvantage in this type of lawsuit. However, an attorney with extensive experience in medical malpractice can help bridge this gap. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., our malpractice attorneys have medical experts on hand to evaluate every unique case. We will help you determine if the legal and medical elements are there to justify bringing a lawsuit against the physician or other medical professional. If you’ve been injured as a result of a delayed diagnosis, we can help. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Let us put our more than 150 years of combined experience to work for you. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-877-737-4806 for a free consultation about your case.

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