For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.
If you've experienced a case of delayed diagnosis, you may be wondering what type of restitution you can receive or whether pursuing a case would even be worth it. While consulting with a medical malpractice attorney should be your first step, there are a few questions to ponder before heading into your initial consultation.
Question #1: Was Negligence Involved in the Delayed Diagnosis?
This may seem like a straightforward question, but in reality, negligence may not be so easily proved.
To understand negligence, it's first important to understand the standard of care. What would other doctors faced with a similar situation have done? Did your doctor fail to do simple tests or procedures that would have normally been performed, or was your case an anomaly? Determining negligence can certainly help you to decide whether a malpractice case would be fruitful, but it's not the only factor that should be considered.
Question #2: Did the Delayed Diagnosis Cause Harm that Could Have Been Easily Avoided?
This question certainly ties in with the first, but it's a good stand-alone question to ask as well. While delayed diagnosis can certainly be frustrating, it may not always lead to harm significant enough to warrant a claim.
Certain situations, such as cancer, are more time sensitive than others. A delayed diagnosis of cancer might result in significant progression of the cancer, meaning a more aggressive treatment will need to be undergone. If, however, your broken wrist is initially misdiagnosed as a sprain but doesn't result in permanent damage or excessive treatment needs, you may not have a case based on harm. While you may have a case based on mental anguish due to the delayed diagnosis, this can be harder to prove than a physical injury or condition directly related to the delayed diagnosis and it might not be worth your time and money to pursue.
Question #3: What Outcome are You Looking For?
As mentioned above, some cases might not be worth pursuing due to the excessive time and money involved in doing so. This can depend, however, on the kind of outcome you're looking for.
If the costs of pursuing a case will break even with the settlement expected, the case may not be worth it unless you're simply looking to hold the medical professional accountable and perhaps make a change in their treatment of patients. If your delayed diagnosis was caused by a dismissive doctor, for example, but the delay didn't cause significant harm, you may not be looking to recover money, but simply to bring to light the doctor's unprofessionalism and bring about change.
While it's a good idea to consider the above three questions prior to consulting with a medical malpractice attorney, it's still recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously tricky, and there may be factors that you aren't considering that may make your case worth it after all. Find an attorney to help you at a firm like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C.Share
18 August 2015