Doctors and dentists can be deemed negligent when their actions do not comply with the applicable standard of care, such as when a mistake is made and the wrong body part is removed during surgery. They can also commit malpractice by failing to take a particular action, such as not diagnosing a condition that a reasonable professional would have observed in a patient. In some situations, a physician or dental professional can be held liable for making the correct diagnosis but at the wrong time, taking away the plaintiff’s chance of obtaining treatment that would have cured or significantly slowed the progression of his or her illness. If you or a family member has been the victim of a delayed diagnosis, our Rockland County medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine whether you have a viable claim.Delayed Diagnosis
Although there is no such thing as an “easy” malpractice case, it should be noted that delayed diagnosis cases can be particularly challenging. After all, the doctor or dentist did not cause the condition from which the plaintiff suffers and, most likely, the condition would have harmed the patient on some level even if it had been properly and promptly diagnosed. However, a delayed diagnosis can cause a unique type of harm which may be compensable in some situations. The basic question is, did the delay cause the patient’s condition to advance beyond the point that it would have if the diagnosis been made at the correct time. In other words, was there a lost chance for which compensation should be awarded?Holding Negligent Medical Professionals Liable for Neglect
If a doctor-patient relationship existed and the medical professional involved did not provide reasonably competent treatment (which in this case would mean that they did not give the patient a correct diagnosis within a reasonable amount of time), and the physician’s or dentist’s negligence caused actual injury to the patient, the patient may be able to recover monetary compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by the act of malpractice. It is important to note that the dental or medical practitioner is not responsible for all of the plaintiff’s damages relating to the condition for which there was a delayed diagnosis, only for those damages that were due to the delay.
In order to be successful in a delayed diagnosis medical malpractice suit against a doctor or dentist, the plaintiff has the burden of proving each and every element of negligence, and a skilled malpractice lawyer can help. Simply put, this means that the plaintiff must provide competent evidence that the health care professional owed a certain duty of care to the patient, that this duty was breached, that the patient suffered damages, and that these damages were the proximate result of the breached duty. Predictably, the defendant in such a case will likely argue that the diagnosis was made within a reasonable amount of time and/or that the damages for which the patient seeks compensation would have resulted regardless of when the diagnosis occurred. Such cases often come down to a “battle of the experts,” with the jury being given the task of determining which side’s expert witness is more credible and competent.Medical and Dental Malpractice Lawyers for Rockland County
Doctors and dentists are professionals upon whom we rely to exercise a reasonable amount of professional judgment. Unfortunately, these health care providers sometimes make mistakes that can cause not only great pain and suffering, but also the loss of an opportunity to get much needed treatment for a serious or even potentially fatal medical condition, such as cancer. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., our team of experienced legal professionals is here to help you fight for the justice you deserve following injuries caused by an act of negligence. To schedule a free consultation, please call us at 845-708-5900, call Valerie 24/7 on her cell phone at 845-598-8253, or contact us online. We are available to represent clients from communities including Rockland County and Greater New York, as well as from Westchester, Dutchess, and Orange Counties.