Delayed Diagnosis

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Delayed Diagnosis in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Doctors are human and can make mistakes, but when negligence results in substandard care and delayed diagnosis, the results can be catastrophic to the patient. Failing to diagnose a herniated disc in a patient when first presented can delay necessary treatment and result in permanent paralysis and disability. When a doctor fails to order vital tests upon initial contact with a patient that is later diagnosed with cancer, the delay in diagnosis can mean the difference between a treatable form of cancer and a terminal case of cancer.

Unfortunately for the victim of a delayed diagnosis, the burden of proof that the doctor’s negligence led to the delay falls on their shoulders. Lawsuits resulting from delayed diagnosis are often difficult to prove and require the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. It is vital that the patient and their family seek counsel as soon as possible to determine if they are entitled to compensation.

New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP have a long history of successful outcomes for those individuals who have suffered injury or death as a result of a delayed diagnosis. We are committed to helping our clients obtain the highest level of compensation and justice available.

Proving Medical Malpractice due to Delayed Diagnosis

There are three criteria for proving medical malpractice in the case of a delayed diagnosis. Patients must prove that a relationship was established with the physician; that negligence on the part of the physician resulted in the delayed diagnosis; and that harm, injury or death resulted from the negligence. Each of these components must exist for a case to be successful.

Proving the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Once a patient has been seen and examined by a doctor, a relationship has been established. In the case of medical malpractice resulting from a delayed diagnosis, it is not necessary for this relationship to extend beyond this initial meeting. If the physician failed to diagnose an existing condition, injury or illness, they can still be held liable if the diagnosis is made later by another physician and has resulted in injury to the patient.

Establishing Negligence in a Delayed Diagnosis

Establishing negligence on the part of the physician is the first task in a medical malpractice claim. Patients need to prove that the attending physician did not diagnose an illness, injury or condition as quickly as a competent doctor would have in a similar situation. An example of this standard of care is if a doctor delays diagnosing lung cancer because he instead treated the patient for bronchitis or COPD, thus delaying a cancer diagnosis and treatment to stop the progression of the cancer. To prove the doctor’s negligence, the patient could get a second opinion from another physician that would have ordered a lung X-ray before making the official diagnosis.

The patient must also prove that a breach in the standard of care took place. In the case discussed above, the breach in the standard of care that delayed the diagnosis of lung cancer was made when the physician did not order the lung X-ray quickly enough, thus resulting in the spread of the cancer. Had the physician ordered the lung X-ray on the day the patient was seen, critical treatment could have begun, increasing the odds of survival for the patient.

Proving that Harm to the Patient Occurred because of the Delayed Diagnosis

Patients bringing suit against a doctor for a delayed diagnosis must also prove that they suffered undue pain, increased medical bills, lost wages and earning potential, and experienced a significant loss of functioning and independence. The laws can be tricky here. Doctors can be found guilty of delaying a diagnosis, but patients cannot always claim compensation for pain and suffering unless it was directly caused by the delay in diagnosis.

An example of this type of situation can be found in a case wherein a patient consults a doctor for back pain and the physician fails to diagnose a herniated disc. In time, the doctor properly diagnoses the herniated disc and the patient undergoes surgery to repair the disc.

This delay in diagnosis would not result in compensation for pain and suffering since the surgery would have been necessary even if the herniated disc was diagnosed at the initial visit. However, if the disc caused a permanent disability that could have been prevented with a diagnosis at the initial visit, the patient has a good chance of a successful suit.

Consultation with a Competent and Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer is Crucial for a Successful Claim

Whenever a delayed diagnosis has occurred, it is wise to consult an experienced and competent medical malpractice attorney to see if you can bring suit against the responsible physician. Pain and suffering, loss of wages due to recovery time or disability and a significant effect on the patient’s lifestyle are factors that are key to proving medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can review the details of your case and determine your ability to bring a successful claim against the doctor. Compensation from the claim can help relieve the burdens thrust upon the patient due to the doctor’s negligence resulting in a delayed diagnosis.

New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Victims of Delayed Diagnosis

If you or someone you know has suffered injury or death as a result of a delayed medical diagnosis, the experienced team of knowledgeable New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help. Call us at 732-384-1331 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.Our offices are conveniently located in Red Bank, Toms River and Edison, New Jersey allowing us to serve clients throughout the state.

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"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

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"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
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~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

Mr. Zaslow is truly the best.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
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2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

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~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

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~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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