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Delayed diagnosis: your healthcare provider may be liable

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

You likely go to your Illinois doctor when experiencing specific symptoms or you do not feel quite right, relying on your healthcare professional to treat your condition and help you feel better. If symptoms fit multiple ailments, identifying the issue may take time. However, if your physician delays the diagnosis, you may have grounds for a claim.

The American Bar Association states that negligence committed by a healthcare provider is medical malpractice. The consequences for a delayed diagnosis can be far-reaching and might result in worsening health or death.

Requirements for a medical malpractice claim

Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. They must act as any other reasonable healthcare provider would under the same conditions. Failure to take such action is a breach of the duty of care, also known as negligence. You must prove several elements in a medical malpractice claim.

  • That you had a doctor-patient relationship
  • That the doctor did not uphold his part of the relationship
  • The delayed diagnosis occurred due to the doctor’s negligence
  • You suffered damages as a result of the delay (negligence)

Healthcare professionals have a broad range of duties. They must also follow laws and guidelines for optimal patient care. Failing in their responsibilities might result in preventable patient injury or death.

Standard of care for diagnosis

Diagnosing a patient requires unique training and adherence to medical industry best practices. The physician must use clinical reason throughout each phase of the diagnosis process. He begins with your health problem and its symptoms, then collects relevant information. As he narrows down the list of potential causes, he recommends specific tests and specialists. This helps narrow the diagnosis further.

Negligence might include skipping steps in the process, not referring you to a specialist or not ensuring you have the appropriate tests. Understanding the physician’s requirements as well as your options is critical for a successful medical malpractice case.