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Taking Legal Action After a Delayed Diagnosis

 Posted on May 06, 2024 in Medical Malpractice

Rolling meadows medical malpractice lawyerThe misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition can lead to catastrophic outcomes for patients. A delay in diagnosis might cause a health issue to deteriorate, potentially to a stage where it is no longer treatable. When this negligence occurs due to a doctor’s mistake or oversight, patients may be able to take legal action through a medical malpractice lawsuit. An Illinois lawyer can help you take the proper steps so you can potentially seek justice.

What Constitutes a Delayed Diagnosis?

A delayed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to identify and diagnose a medical condition in a timely manner. This delay can happen for various reasons, including:

  • Failure to order proper diagnostic tests
  • Misinterpreting test results
  • Failing to recognize symptoms
  • Failing to refer the patient to a specialist when necessary

For a delayed diagnosis to be considered medical negligence under Illinois law, it must be proven that a doctor would have discovered the patient’s condition sooner. This negligence must also have caused harm to the patient.

Potential Consequences of a Delayed Diagnosis

The effects of a delayed diagnosis can range from mild to severe or even life-threatening. Potential consequences include:

  • Progression or worsening of the undiagnosed condition
  • Need for more extensive treatment than if promptly diagnosed
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Significantly higher risk of death

If the delayed diagnosis allowed a curable condition to become incurable or terminal, this would likely strengthen the malpractice case.

Taking Legal Action

If you or a loved one experienced a delayed diagnosis that meets the criteria for medical negligence, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Working with a medical malpractice attorney is vital and can significantly strengthen your case.

Your lawyer will need to establish several key elements, including:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed
  • The doctor was negligent (failed to meet the standard of care)
  • The doctor’s negligence caused your injury
  • You suffered specific damages (medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.)

With a successful case, you may be able to recover compensation for economic damages like past and future medical costs as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Statute of Limitations for Delayed Diagnosis Cases

It is important to act quickly, as Illinois has a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice cases. Generally, the limit is two years from the date of injury or when the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

There are some exceptions, such as if a foreign object was left inside the patient’s body or if the case involves a minor child. An attorney can advise you on how the statute applies to your specific situation.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Medical Malpractice Attorney

You may have grounds to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim. A Palatine, IL medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case and advocate for the justice you deserve. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 847-797-8000 to start with a free consultation.

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