How Are Damages Assessed When Medical Malpractice Causes Delayed Treatment?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s care falls below the expected standard of care. There are many ways that a healthcare professional can commit medical malpractice. This could happen whether you’re taking action or you’re failing to take any action resulting in a delayed diagnosis. When this occurs, it may be difficult to determine the value of a claim based on a delayed diagnosis.

Ways Diagnosis May Be Delayed

Some healthcare providers may not initially diagnose a patient correctly. This can result in the patient experiencing unnecessary pain or having his or her situation exacerbated until the right diagnosis is made. A delayed diagnosis may occur when any of the following situations:

  • The healthcare provider made an error in diagnosis
  • The healthcare provider failed to request a test that could have properly diagnosed the patient
  • The healthcare provider used outdated tests or methods
  • The healthcare provider failed to properly monitor the patient
  • The healthcare provider prescribes medication that masks symptoms of the actual medical condition

Value of the Claim

It can be difficult to determine the value of a claim based on a delayed diagnosis. However, being diagnosed later than was reasonable under the circumstances can cause a patient to suffer serious damages. A patient who has received a delayed diagnosis may be able to receive compensation for damages like:

  • Lost wages the patient incurred when recovering from an injury
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Additional medical expenses the patient incurred during the time that he or she was misdiagnosed
  • The cost of ongoing medical treatment to fully recuperate
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Some of these damages are easier to quantify, such as medical expenses or lost wages. Other damages are based on economic factors, but may require complicated projections or expert witnesses to explain, such as the cost of the patient’s lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish are subjective in nature and may be determined on a case-by-case basis by a jury.

Proving a Delayed Diagnosis Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you believe that a healthcare provider failed to follow the proper standard of care, you may want to contact a medical malpractice lawyer for assistance. He or she can review the circumstances of the case to determine if you might have a viable claim. Contact Udall Shumway at (489) 461-5300 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Arizona medical malpractice lawyer.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Medical Malpractice Causes Delayed Treatment, or other personal injury matters, call 480.461.5300. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.