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Many medical malpractice plaintiffs feel cautious about litigating a claim against the healthcare professional (or entity) that is responsible for their injuries. They might believe that their case will not succeed if it were to go to trial or that it will be more trouble than its worth, or even that the healthcare professional was “doing their best” and simply made a mistake.
We encourage plaintiffs to speak with our qualified Cherry Hill medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible for a comprehensive evaluation of their medical malpractice claims, whether they were injured due to a failed diagnosis, or for any other reason. It can be difficult for plaintiffs to fully understand the circumstances contributing to their injuries, and whether they have an actionable claim, so it’s important not to resign yourself to whatever preliminary conclusion you’ve drawn.
If you’ve been injured due to the medical negligence of a treating healthcare professional, then New Jersey law may entitle you to compensation. Let’s take a closer look at medical negligence and the commonly-encountered “failure to diagnose” scenario.
Basics of Medical Negligence and the Failure to Diagnose
Medical negligence occurs when a treating healthcare professional (i.e., doctor, nurse, etc.) violates the standard of care, and in doing so, causes you to suffer injuries. The standard of care violation is what separates a mere mistake from negligence.
The standard of care can vary depending on the circumstances and other factors, such as the treating healthcare professional’s specialized training, your illness/condition/injury, and the tools that the healthcare professional had at their disposal.
Confused? Consider the following example.
Suppose that you are experiencing consistent headaches, nausea, and related symptoms over the course of months. You go to a generalist doctor, and they tell you that it’s probably just due to a lack of sleep, or due to stress at work. They do not perform any significant diagnostic tests.
A year later, your symptoms get worse. You go straight to a neurologist, who performs a comprehensive battery of tests and diagnoses you with brain cancer. The cancer is in an advanced stage, however, and the surgery may cause significant and lifelong impairments.
Given the circumstances, it seems obvious that the first doctor failed to diagnose your cancer when it was in its earlier stages, and that the failure was a violation of the standard of care. Though the first doctor may not have been able to identify the problem without further testing, they should have at least sent you to a specialist or ordered an MRI/CT scan.
When the courts evaluate the doctor’s negligence, they will try to determine what the standard of care was. They will compare the doctor’s decision not to order further tests or send you to a specialist with what other, similarly-situated doctors (i.e., similar training, background, and experience) would have done. If a similarly-situated doctor would have conducted themselves differently, then the defendant may have committed medical negligence.
Contact Folkman Law to Request a Free and Confidential Consultation
Medical malpractice disputes can be uniquely challenging, as the defendant (e.g. the negligent medical professional) may enjoy a reputational advantage with the jury and is likely to be backed by significant litigation resources. In many cases, liability insurers for medical professionals approach litigation with an aggressive strategy designed to discourage others from pursuing similar claims. As such, you’ll want to secure the assistance of an attorney who can match their intensity and aggression.
At Folkman Law, we fight relentlessly for the interests of our medical malpractice clients in a variety of disputes, including those that center around a failure to diagnose. We form close partnerships with our clients and investigate their claims thoroughly so that we can execute a comprehensive argument on their behalf. This approach has helped us achieve significant and favorable results over the years.
Please call 856-354-9444 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Cherry Hill medical malpractice attorney at our firm. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.