Your best chance of recovering from serious illness or injury is to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can get the treatment you need to get better. A careless job by your healthcare team of diagnosing you could cause you serious harm and even put your life in danger.
The Weitz Firm, LLC, represents victims of medical malpractice in Philadelphia, as well as throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We regularly obtain multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more for victims of catastrophic diagnostic errors. Our clients have the advantage of Attorney Eric H. Weitz’s decades of medical malpractice trial experience and successful approach to personal injury representation.
In medicine, there often is a difference between a doctor not diagnosing a patient’s condition right away and negligent misdiagnosis. Some illnesses are difficult to diagnose, and it may take more than one try to get it right. The issue is, did your healthcare team act as any reasonable professional should under the circumstances? If not, the team may have negligently contributed to your harm.
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis due to malpractice is very dangerous and most often preventable. A wrong diagnosis generally leads to the wrong treatment or no treatment at all, which fails to cure the issue while causing unnecessary harm. Meanwhile, your actual condition may be growing worse, possibly leading to chronic illness or death.
Doctors and hospitals that are too careless or distracted to properly treat their patients’ health problems should be held accountable. Mr. Weitz is passionate about improving the health care system through litigation, which makes sure that bad doctors and hospitals cannot hurt any more patients.
Studies show that approximately 20 percent of serious conditions in the U.S. are misdiagnosed, but what are the patient’s rights if he or she suffers harm due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis?
Our Philadelphia misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC, can help you determine whether you have a right to pursue a medical malpractice claim if you believe that your condition, illness, or injury was misdiagnosed or a doctor made an avoidable delay in making a diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis often occurs as a result of a doctor’s negligence, which, in its turn, can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of the most common forms of negligence that lead to diagnostic errors such as misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis include:
Ignoring the patient’s complaints and symptoms when making the diagnosis.
Unlike misdiagnosis, which refers to a doctor diagnosing a patient with the wrong medical condition, missed diagnosis is the doctor’s failure to diagnose a medical condition when symptoms point to it.
For example, a patient may see a doctor because their heart is racing suddenly. The doctor may assume that it is a panic attack and avoid prescribing any medication or ordering tests. In that scenario, the patient becomes the victim of missed diagnosis because the doctor failed to recognize the early signs of a stroke.
A common question that our Philadelphia misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis lawyer gets from clients is, “Can I still file a lawsuit if it’s been years since my doctor misdiagnosed me?”
The short answer is: It depends on how long it has been since you discovered the injury or harm. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date of discovery. In other words, if the misdiagnosis occurred on September 1st, 2014, but you discovered the injury on October 5th, 2017, the deadline begins to count down from the date of discovery (October 5th, 2017).
Not at all. In fact, failure to obtain treatment after discovering that your condition was misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider may hurt your legal case. Under Pennsylvania law, an injured person is required to take reasonable steps to mitigate damages to treat the injury and reduce losses.
Not all instances of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis amount to medical malpractice. Typically, it is not possible to identify whether or not a diagnostic error or lack of diagnosis can be considered a deviation from the accepted standards of care on your own.
Consult with a Philadelphia misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis attorney to evaluate your potential medical malpractice claim.