There are cases whereby a patient’s diagnosis is delayed. Such delays may result in minor to no damage to the patient. However, in other instances it may result in serious damage to internal organs or fatalities. When it comes to a delay in diagnosis for cancer, the results may make the difference between life and death. A delay in a month or more could lead to a patient being unable to have surgery performed or other treatments administered. This could also lead to a patient filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. This article will discuss proving negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit linked to delayed cancer diagnosis.
Proving Negligence in Delayed Diagnosis
The issue of negligence is the deciding factor as to whether there has been an act of medical malpractice. As mentioned in a previous article the plaintiff must prove four elements for the lawsuit to be valid. These elements are:
- a duty of care
- breach of the duty of care
- causation – a direct link between the breach of the duty of care and injury
- the existence of an injury
If the plaintiff cannot prove the negligence of the doctor, the injured person is usually unable to sue for damages. Therefore, it is a requirement to have evidence. In addition, a delay in treatment caused by delayed diagnosis is a significant factor in the case. Especially, if it resulted in the cause of injury or negatively impacted the patient’s life. However, a strong factor is the type of cancer. This is because some delays in diagnosis of certain types of cancers remove liability on the doctor. Some cancers are generally difficult to spot and understand.
Because of the difficulty or inability involved in proving the elements of negligence, delayed diagnosis medical malpractice cases are rare. However, they are not impossible with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney. Contact the Vinson Law Office today for a free initial consultation.