Medical negligence is a significant problem across America. According to a study in the journal Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, over 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors, making this the third-leading cause of death in the country. Many of these errors are preventable.
Medical errors can take many forms. Wrong site surgery, preventable infections, drug errors, and other instances of negligence lead to complications and even fatalities. Today, though, let’s take a closer look at another common cause of medical malpractice claims: delayed care.
What Is Delayed Care?
Time matters in medicine, because if you don’t get an accurate diagnosis in time or your medical tests or treatment are delayed, your outcome can be much worse. For example, any patient that has a stroke needs medical care at once. If caught and treated early, some of the damage of a stroke can be reversed. If diagnosis and treatment is delayed, even by an hour, the patient might not survive.
For heart attacks, cancer, head injuries, strokes, and many other conditions, timely care can literally mean the difference between life and death for patients. Unfortunately, delayed care does happen, and it can occur for many reasons:
- Communication mistakes can mean referrals or requests for tests aren’t processed
- In busy ERs, there may not be enough beds or doctors for everyone
- A doctor may initially think a condition is not serious and may not treat it with the urgency it requires
- There may be delays and long wait times to see specialists because of doctor shortages
Why Might I Have a Claim?
If you have suffered a serious injury or losses because of delayed care or if you have lost a loved one because they did not get life-saving care in time you may have a claim if the delay was caused by negligence. You must also be able to show the delayed care caused losses. Let’s look at some examples:
- You were diagnosed with cancer late because your doctor did not follow up on your symptoms, and now your chances of successful treatment are lower
- You were diagnosed with cancer or another serious condition late because of negligence and now you’re about to have more complex treatment or serious negative medical outcomes. For example, if endometriosis isn’t caught early, it could result in infertility.
- You face higher medical costs. For example, if you suffered infertility because a serious illness was not caught in time you may need to use surrogacy or other expensive options.
How Do I Know If I Have a Claim?
It can be difficult to know whether you have a delayed care or medical malpractice claim. Doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities and professionals usually don’t admit that a mistake was made from negligence. You may not know whether a delayed treatment was caused by recklessness or whether it wasn’t preventable.
Medical malpractice attorneys work with investigators and medical experts to find out what really happened. They can get answers and find all liable parties because they can seek to secure medical and hospital records, to see where and how errors and delays occurred.
If your condition was diagnosed late or you experienced a delay in treatment that caused complications or losses, call an attorney. You can always call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. Our team in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead has more than 60 years of combined experience and we can arrange a free, no obligation consultation with you if you’ve been injured. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.