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A delayed diagnosis can be malpractice

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

New Jersey doctors can be sued when they fail to act as a reasonable doctor would under the circumstances. While not every bad medical outcome is the result of malpractice, doctors can be sued when they make certain mistakes. One of these is the failure to promptly diagnose medical conditions.

Diagnosis delays cost treatment time

When doctors do not timely diagnose conditions, a patient will lose valuable treatment time. Oftentimes, this can make the difference between life and death. For example, certain types of cancer must be treated quickly before they metastasize and spread. Pancreatic cancer is one example of a difficult to diagnose cancer that is often discovered after it is too late to treat the patient. In other cases, doctors could miss the signs that may indicate an imminent heart attack.

A malpractice case will look at the doctor’s actions

There are some medical conditions that are difficult to diagnose because they have symptoms that are commonly associated with other ailments. Nonetheless, the doctor must still use due diligence to try to diagnose the patient. A jury would look at the facts and circumstances of the situation, and what the doctor specifically did, in trying to determine whether they have committed malpractice. In these cases, it is not difficult to establish that the patient was injured by a failure to diagnose, especially if there was a treatment course that could have been followed if the doctor had more time.

Patients can recover compensation in a malpractice lawsuit when the doctor acts unreasonably. Doctors are not infallible, even though jury members often give them some respect based on their position.