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Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Delayed Diagnosis?

Posted on November 29, 2022 in

We trust our healthcare professionals not just to uphold their legal standard of care but to genuinely care for us and guide us through challenging medical issues. Unfortunately, medical malpractice takes many forms, including delayed diagnosis, which is incredibly dangerous as it prevents patients from getting urgently needed treatments with enough time to make a difference. Delayed diagnosis may place a patient’s health or life at risk. As such, under certain circumstances, medical professionals can be liable for malpractice.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Jensen Phelan Law Firm understand the serious danger that a delayed diagnosis can have on a patient’s health and life. Our goal is to help you understand the merits of your claim, and if supported by the facts, to recover full and fair compensation for the harm and pain you’ve suffered. While doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals and establishments have strong representation that aims to intimidate you, our attorneys are here to even the playing field and make sure you receive the treatment and outcomes you are entitled to.

Is it Possible to File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Delayed Diagnosis?

In Arizona, a delayed diagnosis may occur when a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a medical condition in a timely manner, resulting in delayed harm or injury to the patient. A delayed diagnosis can occur in various medical contexts, including cancer, heart disease, infections, and neurological disorders among others.

For any diagnosis to be considered medical malpractice in Arizona, the healthcare provider must have breached the standard of care. This means that the healthcare provider did not provide the same level of care that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider would have provided in similar circumstances.

For instance, any diagnosis, including a delayed diagnosis, of cancer may be considered medical malpractice in Arizona if a healthcare provider fails to order appropriate tests, misinterprets known test results, or fails to refer the patient to a specialist in a timely manner. 

Generally, a delayed diagnosis is considered medical malpractice in Arizona if the delay in diagnosis results in harm or injury to the patient and if the harm or injury was a foreseeable consequence of the delay. 

To file a medical malpractice claim in Arizona for a delayed diagnosis, you need to prove:

  • The healthcare provider owed you a duty to diagnose your condition using reasonable care (equal to the “standard of care” that applies to the situation).
  • The healthcare provider breached that duty by failing to diagnose your condition properly and in a timely manner.
  • The breach of duty caused delay which led to your harm or injury. The harm or injury involves damages, such as pain, suffering, harm to relationships, medical bills, lost wages, plus other harms and losses potentially including death.

Statute of Limitations for a Delayed Diagnosis Case. Arizona has a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, which means there is a limited amount of time to file a claim. In Arizona, you generally have two years from the date of the incident to file a medical malpractice claim, or two years from the date of discovering the injury or harm resulting from the incident

In a delayed diagnosis case, it could be months or years after the medical provider’s negligence before you discovery the original negligence by reason of a “delayed diagnosis” alerting you to the erroneous earlier diagnosis or a missed diagnosis in the past. The legal test for when the statute of limitations begins to run is when you first “knew or should have known” of the erroneous or omitted diagnosis which led to the delay in diagnosis and treatment which are harmful.

It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Arizona who can assess your situation and advise you on your legal options.

Contact a Specialized Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

A delayed diagnosis interferes with your ability to receive prompt medical care and can make your condition worse. Therefore, medical professionals that fail to diagnose you promptly and properly should be held accountable for the harm they have caused. 

The attorneys at Jensen Phelan Law Firm have helped wrongfully injured patients for over 65 years. We understand the intricacies of these cases and have the knowledge, skills, and resources to pursue and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation of your case and explanation of your rights by filling out our online contact form on our website or calling (928) 778-2660.