Delayed Diagnosis

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Baltimore

Unfortunately, numerous medical malpractice cases involve instances in which a doctor or other medical professional misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a patient’s medical condition. If that has happened to you or someone in your family, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers are familiar with Maryland malpractice laws and understand the intricacies that are often at play in these claims. Our goal is to focus on the legal side of your case so you can move forward with recovery and the rest of your life.

Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis refers to a case in which the diagnosis should have been made earlier. A delayed diagnosis can have a range of adverse outcomes for a patient, including the worsening of a condition, life-changing complications, and even death. Consider the following example: you go to a physician with a lump under your arm and the physician informs you it is just a swollen gland and nothing to be concerned about, but it is later discovered that you have metastasized breast cancer. In such a scenario, the failure to diagnose initially, which led to a delayed diagnosis, could significantly impact the patient because by the time he or she obtains the correct diagnosis, there may not be as many or any treatment options left.

When Does a Delayed Diagnosis Constitute Malpractice?

Not all mistakes or delayed diagnosis cases are considered to be medical malpractice. Rather, a delayed diagnosis will be considered medical malpractice or negligence when it involves a breach of the applicable standard of care, leading to the patient suffering an injury. In order to demonstrate medical malpractice by a physician or medical professional, the injured party must prove the following:

  1. The doctor or medical professional/institution breached the standard of care owed to the patient, and
  2. That the breach in the standard of care was a direct cause of the patient’s injuries.

The standard of care refers to the level of care that a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would have provided in the same or a similar situation. For example, if it is found that a reasonably competent doctor would have diagnosed the problem after the initial visit, but the defendant doctor failed to do so and it ended up making the patient’s medical condition worse, then that doctor can likely be sued for malpractice. In short, it must be shown that the delayed diagnosis was the cause of patient’s adverse health effects.

Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

In Maryland, a victim of medical malpractice can recover both economic and non-economic damages, and a skilled attorney can help. Economic damages include compensation for easily quantifiable monetary losses such as medical bills including future medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and loss of income including future loss of income. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include compensation for things like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other intangible harms.

It is important to note that while there is no limit on the amount of economic damages a plaintiff can recover, there is a cap on non-economic damages. In 2019, the cap for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases is $815,000 and $1,018,750 in wrongful death cases brought by two or more survivors. The cap is based on the year of the injury or death and rises every year.

Contact a Skilled Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore

A delayed diagnosis can have a devastating impact on a patient’s life. If you believe that you have been injured by a delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries. At Arfaa Law Group, our medical malpractice attorneys are available to help clients in Baltimore and across Maryland pursue negligence claims arising from a missed or delayed diagnosis. We understand that dealing with a medical injury can be very stressful, but you can rest assured that we will offer compassionate and knowledgeable guidance every step of the way. Call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.