Medical Malpractice Trends: Failure to Timely Diagnose Cases

A noticeable trend among medical malpractice cases lodged in Canada involve the failure to make a timely diagnosis of a patient. Medical malpractice experts in the legal community are finding themselves representing an ever increasing number of individuals who suffered serious injuries because doctors failed to make a proper diagnosis of a disease or condition in a timely manner.

The failure to make a timely diagnosis is also representing an increasing percentage of medical malpractice wrongful death cases in Canada. Even with seemingly never ending advances in diagnostic technology, the failure to make a timely diagnosis appears to be on track to be an increasingly more prevalent problem.

Overview of the Failure to Make a Timely Diagnosis

The failure to make a timely diagnosis involves a patient who presents certain symptoms to a doctor. The health care provider does not make an erroneous diagnosis in the sense that the doctor incorrectly identifies a malady. Rather, the doctor makes no diagnosis at all in a timely manner.

No Diagnosis Versus an Incorrect One

When a doctor makes patently incorrect diagnosis of an illness or disease, the negligence is rather self-evident. On the other hand, when a doctor fails to make a timely diagnosis, the underlying negligence can prove to be a bit more elusive.

The typical scenario involves a patient making an appointment with a doctor. The patient presents symptoms and the doctor concludes there is nothing significantly medically wrong with the patient. In short, the doctor does nothing further.

Another common scenario involves a situation in which a doctor concludes that something may be wrong with a patient but then spends an inordinate and unnecessary amount of time reaching a proper diagnosis. The delay in diagnosing is not something that should occur if the doctor conducted his or her self in a reasonable manner.

In fact, the patients ends up having a serious medical condition that a reasonable doctor would have diagnosed in a timely period of time. In these cases, doctors are quick to pronounce that they acted with all deliberate speed and no other healthcare provider could have done better.

Medical Experts in the Legal Arena

Cased of failure to diagnosis in a reasonable time period necessitate the involvement of legal professionals who truly are medical experts. These professionals need to be able to address the nuanced nature of this type of malpractice with clarity and precision in order to best protect the rights of a patient injured because of this type of medical negligence.

How To Know If You Have An Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice experts agree that there are certain criteria that must be met if you are to prove to a Canadian court that your medical malpractice suit deserves to be heard. Some of the most important criteria includes, but is not limited to, the following:

You Must Prove A Professional Relationship Between Your Doctor And Yourself

You will need to show conclusive proof via written documents that you had a professional relationship with the doctor you are suing. In other words, you need to prove that you directly hired this physician, and that they then began to treat you. This means that the doctor you are citing for malpractice must have been directly hired to treat you. They cannot be a consulting physician who may have been only indirectly responsible for your treatment.

You Must Prove That The Physician Was Negligent In Your Treatment

You must prove that the physician you hired was directly negligent in either your diagnosis or treatment. The level of care that your doctor provided doesn’t have to be the best possible (as this is a concept that can hardly be defined in strict legal terms). However, under Canadian law, you have to prove that the doctor you employed to treat you caused you injuries in a manner that no competent physician, acting under the approved medical guidelines of treatment, would have.

You Must Prove That The Malpractice Led To Physical And Mental Anguish

Canadian Medical malpractice experts agree that you will need to prove that the malpractice committed by your attending physician led directly to both physical and mental suffering. While a precise definition of what “physical and mental suffering” entails may be hard to pinpoint, a few leading examples might include:

  • Physical pain. You must be able to prove that the malpractice committed by your attending physician has left you in serious, possibly permanent pain.
  • Mental distress. You must be able to prove that the malpractice committed by your doctor caused you a great deal of mental distress, for example anguish related to the loss of your quality of life or stress over impending bankruptcy due to not being able to cover your medical expenses.
  • Financial distress. You must show that the medical expenses you have incurred after the malpractice committed by your doctor have severely drained your finances. You must also include any additional claims concerning income that you may lost due to not being able to show up at your workplace during your recovery.
  • Reduced quality of life. You must show that your physical injuries and mental suffering have contributed to a severe reduction in your quality of life.