Maui Delayed Diagnosis Attorneys
You may have known right away that something was wrong. An accident might have caused immediate pain and discomfort. Or, over time, you may have noticed signs that something unusual was going on with your body. Because you were concerned that you were possibly suffering from a serious injury or medical condition, you went to the doctor.
You expected the doctor to note your symptoms, run any necessary tests and tell you what was wrong. It may have taken some time, but you expected a physician to give you the correct answers. Despite your expectations and hopes, a doctor may not have taken the steps necessary to determine what was really wrong.
The physician may have failed to properly diagnose your injury or condition or they may have misdiagnosed you. This may have led you to go without appropriate medical care or to undergo unnecessary and harmful treatments.
If you believe you were harmed by a misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis, talk with an experienced Maui medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Matt Menzer and his team at Menzer Law Firm, PLLC, are highly experienced in medical malpractice claims. Matt has over 30 years of experience successfully litigating these claims.
When Is An Error In Diagnosis Malpractice?
Not all misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses are medical malpractice. To have a legal claim against a physician or medical facility, you must prove that the medical provider committed a medical tort and caused you harm. If you can establish that medical negligence occurred and you were harmed as a result of that negligence, then you are entitled to compensation under Hawaii law. Under Hawaii law, a medical tort means medical negligence or malpractice occurred. A physician who either rendered professional services without consent or made an error or omission that caused a patient injury or death has committed a medical tort.
Medical Torts Involving Your Diagnosis
There are several diagnosis-related types of medical malpractice, including:
- Failure to diagnose: A physician may have all the information available to determine what is wrong yet may fail to do so. A failure to diagnose you properly also can arise when a physician fails to order appropriate tests or imaging and/or carefully review the results. A failure to diagnose can enable your condition to worsen or cause you to suffer a secondary injury.
- Misdiagnosis: A physician may diagnose you with the incorrect ailment. A misdiagnosis does not always constitute negligence. Certain symptoms can arise from many different conditions. However, if a medical provider failed to use their education, training and experience properly or to follow an established protocol and, therefore, gave you an inappropriate diagnosis, you may have a legal claim.
- Delayed diagnosis: A physician may properly diagnose you, though not as soon as they should have. A medical provider’s significant delay in determining what is wrong or informing you of your condition can cause your condition to get worse or for you to suffer an additional injury.
Common Causes Of Misdiagnoses Or Delayed Diagnoses
Misdiagnoses, failures to diagnose and delayed diagnoses occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Not ordering appropriate diagnostic tests: A physician may not order additional tests when appropriate. These tests may include blood work, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds or biopsies. A physician failing to gain more information by ordering these tests can result in you not receiving the correct diagnosis as soon as you should.
- Misreading test results: A physician may order one or more diagnostic tests and then fail to read the results properly, either due to improper training, carelessness or recklessness. Failing to properly review test results can rise to the level of medical malpractice, which is actionable if it causes you harm.
- Ignoring certain symptoms: If a physician considers certain symptoms and ignores others when considering your injury or condition, the physician may not diagnose you correctly.
- Not informing a patient of diagnosis in a timely manner: A physician may determine what is wrong with you but then take weeks, months or even years to inform you and order a treatment plan. During that time, your condition may become more severe, or you may suffer another injury.
- Not adhering to the recommended protocol: When patients present with certain symptoms, established protocols and standards may dictate a physician’s next steps, which are deemed necessary to reach a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A doctor that intentionally, carelessly or recklessly fails to follow proper protocols or procedures may be liable for missing or delaying your diagnosis.
- Not referring a patient to a specialist: Physicians, particularly general practitioners, must be able to recognize when a patient’s symptoms indicate a more serious problem that they are not qualified to diagnose or treat. In these circumstances, the appropriate response is to recommend that the patient see a specialist in the relevant area of medicine.
Pursuing A Delayed Diagnosis Claim
If you believe you have suffered harm because of a delayed or improper diagnosis in Hawaii, contact us today. At Menzer Law, we will listen to your story, review your medical records and advise you of the next best steps. To pursue compensation for medical malpractice, we will:
- Obtain an expert medical opinion. Hawaii law requires a certificate of consultation during the claim process.
- File a complaint with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (MICP). Hawaii law requires that you first file a complaint with the MICP and attempt to resolve your claim through this nonbinding conciliation process.
- Attempt to resolve your claim through a pretrial settlement. The MICP encourages settlements or other resolutions to medical negligence claims.
- File a medical tort lawsuit against the negligent health care provider. Hawaii law generally gives you two years from the time of the negligent act to file a lawsuit.
- Take your case to trial if we are unable to settle.
Call A Hawaii Delayed Diagnosis Lawyer Today
If you were not appropriately or timely diagnosed and suffered serious harm as a result, call our medical malpractice attorneys at Menzer Law to discuss your options. Hawaii’s medical tort law may entitle you to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us online or call 808.427.5752. We handle medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis for medical malpractice victims throughout Hawaii. There are no upfront fees.