When we’re sick or injured, we go to the doctor expecting to find answers. We put our faith in them to provide us with a reason for our symptoms and for treatment that will make us feel better. So, when a doctor doesn’t have the answers, it’s frustrating. And in some instances, it can be dangerous.
Dangers of a delayed diagnosis
A delayed diagnosis can be the consequence of a doctor who dismissed symptoms or focused on a separate issue entirely. This type of wrongful, misguided approach can allow the underlying problem to grow even worse.
In cases such as with cancer, if the delayed diagnosis results in cancer spreading to other parts of the body and becoming untreatable, you may have grounds for pursuing legal action for medical malpractice.
What can I do?
If you feel like your doctor is not listening to you or has missed something crucial in your diagnosis, consider the following:
- Listen to your instincts. We are the best judge of our pain and our discomfort. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to what your body is telling you, and make a doctor’s appointment.
- Speak up. It can be hard to make your voice heard, especially when talking to a doctor who has years of experience. But if you are in pain, tell your doctor. If you are confused about a diagnosis or explanation, ask your doctor to clarify. They should take the time to listen to your worries and make sure you understand what is going on with your own body.
- Get a second opinion. If you think your doctor has ignored important signs of your illness or injury and your symptoms are only growing worse instead of better, ask for a second opinion from another doctor or a specialist.
- Consult with an attorney. Talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to discuss whether you have grounds for filing a claim against a doctor for delayed diagnosis.
The state of Ohio allows a one-year period for filing a medical malpractice claim after the incident occurs. If you believe you have experienced malpractice at the hands of your doctor due to a delayed diagnosis, it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to pursue potential compensation for your pain and suffering.