In most cases, early diagnosis of medical issues and illnesses can save you from a lot of pain and suffering. To make matters worse, many injuries or medical conditions will worsen if a medical professional fails to diagnose you promptly and accurately. A delayed diagnosis can put your life at risk in some cases. Moreover, the delayed diagnosis of even a minor condition can lead to added medical costs and recovery time.
If you or a loved one had to undergo additional treatment or experienced further pain and suffering due to a delayed diagnosis in New Jersey, contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble today. Our team can answer your questions about the average settlement for a delayed diagnosis claim and evaluate whether you might qualify for compensation.
What Is a Delayed Diagnosis?
A delayed diagnosis is a diagnosis a healthcare provider failed to make earlier, even though there was enough information available to make the diagnosis. Delays in diagnosis can result in as much harm as an inaccurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people think that as long as their doctor discovers their condition eventually, they cannot prove there was a delay in their diagnosis. However, an attorney can help you prove the harms you suffered because of a delayed diagnosis and fight for the compensation you may be entitled to.
What Can Cause a Delayed Diagnosis?
Oftentimes, a delayed diagnosis results from miscommunication or a lack of organization rather than actual difficulty making the correct diagnosis. In many states, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated already critical staffing shortages. As a result, nurses and doctors may neglect to give each patient the individual care they need. Other factors that can lead to a delayed diagnosis include:
- Lack of coordination among staff members,
- Inadequate follow-up visits with patients,
- Lack of proper training,
- Delayed scheduling for routine care,
- Losing test results,
- Lack of communication between different agencies,
- Misinterpretation of results, or
- Failure to refer a patient to the proper specialist.
In addition to the contributing factors listed above, carelessness and inattention by medical personnel can also result in the delay of a diagnosis.
Delayed Diagnosis as Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim
If a medical professional delays a diagnosis despite having sufficient information to diagnose a condition, this can qualify as a medical error. However, just because there was a medical error does not mean you are entitled to compensation. First, you need to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the physician. This is typically easy to prove by offering evidence of your doctor’s appointment. If you are a doctor’s patient, they owe you a duty to act in accordance with the applicable medical standard of care.
Next, you need to show that by delaying your diagnosis, your physician departed from the applicable medical standard of care. This means you have to show that a hypothetical doctor with the same background and training as your doctor, when faced with the same information, would have diagnosed your condition sooner than your doctor did.
Even if you can show your doctor breached the medical standard of care, you still need to demonstrate the harm you suffered as a result of the delay. To prove this element, you must show a direct link between the delay in diagnosis and the injuries or complications you suffered as a result. For example, imagine a patient who can show their doctor delayed a cancer diagnosis which allowed the cancer to spread and required a more invasive treatment. That patient can establish the harms they suffered, such as added pain and suffering and medical expenses, were directly caused by the delayed diagnosis. You can prove this element through witness testimony, medical reports, and other forms of evidence. Our medical malpractice attorneys have decades of combined experience proving the elements of a delayed diagnosis claim.
Average Settlement Value for a Delayed Diagnosis in New Jersey
The last element of a medical malpractice claim is proving that harms caused by the delayed diagnosis also caused you damages you can be compensated for. Many patients incur significant medical expenses when doctors fail to diagnose their condition in a timely manner. It is important to save records such as doctor and hospital bills to help your attorney accurately calculate your damages. Patients may also suffer noneconomic damages caused by emotional harms such as pain and suffering. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence to establish both your economic and noneconomic damages. Damages often claimed in medical malpractice lawsuits include:
- Medical bills,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Cost of future medical treatment,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earning capacity,
- Loss of consortium,
- Emotional distress, and
- Pain and suffering.
A settlement in a delayed diagnosis lawsuit can vary widely depending on the facts of each case. For example, a person who makes more money will receive more damages for their lost wages than someone who earns less. Because each settlement depends on the specific facts of the case, an average settlement for a delayed diagnosis does not exist. Our team of attorneys can consult with experts to determine the value of your delayed diagnosis lawsuit.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today to Discuss the Average Settlement for a Delayed Diagnosis
When navigating a medical malpractice claim, selecting the right attorney is one of the most critical decisions you will make. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble’s history of success and professionalism has gained the respect of our peers and our clients. In 2021, seven of our attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2021 “New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars” lists. We are always just a phone call away, and we make it our mission to make sure our clients get the attention they deserve.
If you or a loved one had to undergo additional treatment or experienced additional pain and suffering due to a delayed diagnosis in New Jersey, there is no time to waste. Contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble today to schedule your free consultation.