misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose: medical malpracticeThe term Medical Malpractice makes most of us think of medication errors or surgical errors like the dramatic examples that make the news when a surgical procedure is performed on the wrong patient.

Malpractice laws in Connecticut also cover a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose that jeopardize the health and/or life of a patient.

The National Academy of Medicine defines diagnostic error as “the failure to (a) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problem(s) or (b) communicate that explanation to the patient.”

“In health care, diagnostic errors remain a substantial source of morbidity, mortality, and costs,” a Journal of the American Medical Association post says, calling diagnostic errors “a major health care issue.”

In other words, diagnostic errors that may constitute Medical Malpractice are not uncommon and take place on a significant scale –  but, by their very nature, their impact can go undetected for a significant period.

Time is an issue in Medical Malpractice claims, as with all types of Personal Injury claims, which must be filed within two years.

Establishing adherence to that time limit can be especially difficult in cases of a delayed diagnosis or a failure to diagnose.

If you believe you have been the victim of a diagnostic error, contact the highly experienced Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury attorneys of Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner as soon as possible so we may provide a free, no-commitment assessment of your case.

Contact us online, call our Hartford office at (860) 232-3000, or reach out directly to Partners Alan Rome, Christopher Sica or Steven Katz.

While diagnostic errors can amount to Medical Malpractice, the issues involved can be complex. For example, actions by a physician that most would consider equivalent to an admission of wrongdoing actually aren’t under Connecticut law.

Sec. 52-184d of Connecticut General Statutes says, “In any civil action brought by an alleged victim of an unanticipated outcome of medical care, or in any arbitration proceeding related to such civil action, any and all statements, affirmations, gestures or conduct expressing apology, fault, sympathy, commiseration, condolence, compassion or a general sense of benevolence that are made by a health care provider or an employee of a health care provider to the alleged victim, a relative of the alleged victim or a representative of the alleged victim and that relate to the discomfort, pain, suffering, injury or death of the alleged victim as a result of the unanticipated outcome of medical care shall be inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest.”

Similarly, Sec. 52-184b says, “The failure of a health care provider to bill a patient for services rendered shall not be construed as an admission of liability and shall not be admissible in evidence as to liability in any trial for malpractice, error or omission against a health care provider in connection with the provision of health care or professional services.”

About RCKK Law

Rome, Clifford Katz & Koerner is a Hartford-based law firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 100 years of experience in a wide variety of legal areas. Whether you are dealing with a motor vehicle accident, a Workers’ Compensation injury, a Family Law matter, or a business concern, our skilled lawyers will aggressively advocate on your behalf. We represent individuals and businesses in Connecticut and throughout the New England states.