Our Medical Negligence Irish Solicitors have considerable experience in representing clients in delayed diagnosis claims. Our professional team will focus entirely on your needs by providing vigorous expert representation to ensure that you receive maximum damages for your delayed diagnosis medical negligence claim. Our experienced lawyers are able to deal with a wide range of claims.

Delayed Diagnosis

It is best to have a prompt diagnosis, especially when it comes to diseases that ultimately lead to severe disability or death.  Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis is among the most common medical malpractice claims seen in the courts.

Ideally, a patient seen by a physician the first time will have an appropriate workup, a thorough differential diagnosis and an actual diagnosis that leads to a successful treatment.  But sometimes, the diagnosis is missed and the patient is sent home with no diagnosis or with the wrong diagnosis. Later, after one or more additional visits to the same or different doctor, the right diagnosis is made but the delay cost the patient acceptable health or his life.  The end result is what’s known as a delayed diagnosis claim.  The patient can claim that the delay in diagnosis caused a worsening of his condition, the onset of a disability, or death.  Time can be crucial in making the diagnosis of the patient’s condition.

Examples of conditions associated with a delayed diagnosis claim include the following:

  • Dissection of the aorta
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Cancers of all types

How do we determine if the doctor was negligent in any particular case?

Not every case of delayed diagnosis can be considered negligent.  It must be determined that a reasonable doctor would have come by the diagnosis on the first visit, contrary to the doctor in question. Remember that skilled doctors make diagnostic errors when providing reasonable care and using an extensive differential diagnosis.

What is a differential diagnosis?

It is a list of possible things the patient can have. The doctor goes through the list proving and disproving each item on the list until one stands out as the diagnosis of the patient.  If the doctor fails to do this part well, it means the diagnosis might be missed.

If the doctor didn’t have the actual diagnosis on his differential diagnosis, it means he couldn’t have come up with the proper diagnosis.  In the meantime, the patient still has the disease that is likely getting worse. When diagnosed later, the patient could just have a permanent disability or even no disability but a prolonged period of pain and anguish.

In a medical malpractice case that is based upon diagnostic error, the plaintiff must prove that a medical doctor in a similar specialty and under similar circumstances would have correctly diagnosed the patient’s illness the first time around.  They must show that the doctor didn’t include the right diagnosis in the differential diagnosis and that a reasonably competent and skilled doctor would have done so under similar circumstances. The other scenario is that the doctor included the right diagnosis in the differential diagnosis but did not perform the proper tests to show it or failed to get a second opinion from specialist doctors that would help guide the physician along the right path.

Making a compensation claim for delayed diagnosis

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a delayed diagnosis, please contact us to speak with one of our specialist solicitors who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights and options.

We offer free consultations for advice to find out whether you have a good case, how to go about claiming and how much your compensation might be worth. We will give you clear unequivocal advice about your chances of success and the anticipated value of your claim. If after talking to us you decide not to take your delayed diagnosis compensation claim further, you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged anything at all.

For more information or to arrange a meeting freephone 1800 303 556 or email ascally@lavellesolicitors.ie

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.