Our health is precious. Perhaps nothing we possess is as critical to our quality of life or as valuable overall as good health. The importance of health care today is demonstrated, perhaps most clearly, by its complexity and costs. Billions of dollars are spent annually on diagnostic examinations, physician care, surgery and treatment modalities. Simply put, our health care system is a massive industry.
Yet with all of the sophistication and technological advances, medical care remains an uncertain science. Mistakes are made. Conditions are mistreated. People suffer, often unnecessarily, because of an error. And perhaps no error is more critical or creates more hardship to a patient than when a doctor, other health care professional or facility fails to accurately diagnose a serious health issue or, worse yet, misses the illness or condition altogether.
If you believe this may have happened to you or a loved one, it may be time to see a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ.
When a mistake is made in diagnosing an illness or injury that causes you harm, you may have legal recourse for what is called “medical malpractice”. The simple fact that something went wrong does not, however, prove that medical malpractice has occurred. Whether medical malpractices exists depends on the following:
Medical malpractice may have taken place if a doctor or other health care provider diagnoses, operates on or otherwise treats someone in a manner that deviates from the normal standard of medical care provided by a competent physician (or care provider) which subsequently results in harm, injury or death.
The negligence results in actual harm that would otherwise not have arisen but for the error. Mere dissatisfaction or less than optimal results are usually not considered to be actual harm.
The injury must be significant or have lasting consequences. Chronic pain, constant suffering, considerable (rather than slight) loss of income and disability are examples of significant injury or consequences. An operation that resulted in average rather than excellent results is probably not.
If these three factors are present, a court may find that the health care provider, professional and/or facility has committed professional negligence, thereby entitling the patient (or the patient’s estate) to monetary damages.
Medical malpractice can take many forms. The type that gets the most attention is, of course, surgical malpractice. However, there are other, more common occurrences. For example, perhaps the doctor made an error in writing your prescription or the pharmacy made a mistake when filling it.
Maybe the doctor directed the wrong post-surgical rehabilitation or the rehab center didn’t follow the surgeon’s instructions.
What if you’re not sure? Maybe you suspect something has gone wrong but you can’t really tell. Perhaps you have some concerns that you’re not being told the whole story by your doctor. If any of these describe your situation, the time to seek advice from a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ is sooner rather than later.
There are a number of signs that a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ may be someone you should talk to. These signs include:
The treatment, surgery or medication had no effect.
It’s been said that if the treatment works, the diagnosis was probably correct. If you have undergone treatment for an illness, injury or condition that has been completely ineffective, this may be an indication that there was a problem with the diagnosis upon which the treatment was based.
At the very least, the health care provider should have given you the option of changing treatment plans or suggested that you seek another opinion.
Your condition not only didn’t improve, it worsened over time.
At some point, if your health continues to decline or a condition becomes progressively worse despite what you and your doctor are doing to treat it, it may well be that the diagnosis was incorrect from the start.
If so, a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ will be able to help you evaluate whether negligence was involved and if the harm you suffered is sufficient to warrant a cause of action for medical malpractice.
You are unable to get a straight story.
Doctors and other health care providers are often aware of a mistake in the diagnosis, care or treatment of a patient’s health problem well before the patient is. Not surprisingly, those healthcare professionals are less than eager to volunteer such information unless absolutely necessary. Instead, they choose to play things close to the vest and hope for the best.
At some point, however, it usually becomes clear to everyone that there may be a problem and that the original diagnosis may not have been correct.
If this describes your situation and the doctor or facility appears hesitant in answering specific questions or providing you with the information you’re requesting, it may be time to see a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ.
You are asked to sign documents that seem to relinquish your ability to take certain action or confirm that you agree with information that is different from what you previously understood.
Say, for example, that there has been a change in your diagnosis and you are asked, while providing consent for a different course of treatment, to also confirm that the new diagnosis is not very different from what you’ve been told previously. If this isn’t true, you should consult with a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ before signing any type of release.
You are told by a healthcare professional that an error has been made because your illness, injury or condition was either misdiagnosed or simply not diagnosed at all.
Clearly, this scenario means that there was definitely a problem with the diagnosis. If the error caused you harm greater than what you suffered from the original injury, illness or condition, a failure to diagnose attorney in NJ will help explain your options while protecting your interests and preserving your rights.
Don’t delay, however. The longer you wait to see an attorney, the more difficult it may be for him or her to gather all the evidence and compile the information necessary to put together a strong case. Memories fade over time, people change jobs, records go missing.
Proving whether a diagnosis was incorrect or missed altogether is difficult under the best of circumstances so it is important to have a professional law firm like Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith by your side.