Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Medical Expert Witness in Delay to Diagnose Cases

     By HG.org

Diagnosing an illness is essential to ensure the right treatment is applied to the patient before the cause of his or her ailment progresses beyond that which medicine is capable. When there is a delay in these diagnoses, the individual could proceed to the last stages of the condition where there is no possible treatment available, and then he or she may die.
Delays to diagnosing conditions are some of the most harmful actions a physician may accomplish. When he or she has not been trained in the field or has never encountered certain ailments, he or she may not see what is actually happening to the patient. This often leads to the death of the person when treatment is too late in coming or when the disease is too far gone for any medicine to treat. Then, the family may raise a wrongful death suit against the doctor or the healthcare facility for failure or a delay in diagnosing the cause.

A medical expert is hired often by both sides in these civil suits to explain different aspects of the issue. When the defendant is attempting to explain how he or she could not have diagnosed the issue until certain symptoms exhibited, he or she may successfully demonstrate to the judge or jury that he or she was not able to treat the ailment until then. However, may pose to the courtroom through additional information and another doctor, that a reasonable physician would have been able to diagnose the condition before it was too late if he or she were to look deeper.

The Delay in Diagnosis

When a doctor or other medical staff has not identified the ailment, condition or disease in a timely manner, the problem may proceed to the point that medicine is no longer able to assist with the issue. Then, the patient may only be waiting until he or she dies because treatment cannot help, is not possible or may only extend the personís life for days, weeks or months. The delay in determining what is wrong is what may lead to the death or additional injury. A lack of training or knowledge is usually how this transpires, but some doctors seek a second opinion or move the patient to a specialist if he or she cannot find what the ailment is.

Sometimes, the patient presents one issue, but the true ailment is hidden behind symptoms for what he or she has gone to the doctor for. When this occurs, the individual may proceed through surgery only for an unforeseen complication to arise in post-op processes. This could include an incident of anemia, gastro-intestinal problems or even internal bleeding. Other signs may appear such as high or low blood pressure. However, the delay in diagnosing the true condition may lead to unnecessary surgery, increased medical costs and lesser quality of life. This is when the expert explains to the courtroom how compensation is necessary to recover from the incident.

The Medical Expert in the Courtroom

When an expert is hired for a claim, case or legal battle, he or she is tasked with both explaining confusing evidence and information as well as informing the courtroom. It is his or her job to enlighten those that have had no previous experience or situations arise where a diagnosis has been delayed or come back incorrect. The average person does not understand fully just how much this could harm the patient. When the delay causes treatment to fail or medicine to become useless, the individual affected may lose all remaining quality of life. He or she may have less time with loved ones, and there may be little to no time to resolve any outstanding matters.

Sometimes, the expert must explain to the courtroom how the delay led to an untimely death. The surviving family may have initiated a wrongful death suit and are attempting to make the situation right through compensation for the loss of a loved one, someone that was originally providing financial assistance or through similar circumstances. It is the delay in the diagnosis that injuries both the patient and the family.

The Medical Expert Explained

A medical expert is usually someone with a background in patient care, medical treatment or a doctor that has been in the field. His or her knowledge and expertise in these matters is crucial to understand just how greatly a delay in diagnosis could affect the patient and his or her family.

Copyright HG.org


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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