When you visit your doctor’s office with symptoms or concerns, you expect your doctor to listen to your concerns, conduct an assessment, reach a diagnosis, and thereafter provide you with treatment. However, if doctors and other medical professionals are not diligent they can miss a crucial diagnosis or improperly diagnose a condition.

However, proving that a doctor departed from the standard of care in a failure to diagnose scenario requires examining that physician’s practice to determine whether another physician in the same practice field would have been able to properly diagnose a condition, disease, or injury.

Proving a medical malpractice action for a failure to diagnose can be incredibly complex, therefore it is essential to turn to a trusted and experienced Newburgh failure to diagnose lawyer who can help you determine if you have a case, your damages, and the most efficient way of litigating and resolving a lawsuit. Work with a capable medical malpractice attorney that could advocate for you.

The Difference Between a Missed Diagnosis and a Misdiagnosis

It is critical to understand the difference between a failure to diagnose or a missed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis. In a misdiagnosis case, a doctor will examine a patient, conduct tests, and provide options for treatment. However, in a misdiagnosis, a doctor will come to the wrong conclusion, therefore the treatment may be wholly ineffective. Typically a misdiagnosis is caused by a doctor’s misjudgment rather than a failure to conduct a thorough examination.

In a failure to diagnose case, a doctor generally fails to diagnose a condition, injury, or disease entirely, Failure to diagnose cases typically result from not following proper protocol and not ordering proper diagnostic tests.

Some of the most frequent cases involving a failure to diagnose include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Lung cancers
  • Heart attacks in adults
  • Meningitis in children

Newburgh Medical Specialists Who Fail to Diagnose

Generally, proving a doctor is liable for a failure to diagnose requires proving that a doctor departed from the proper standard of care. This means that a doctor may avoid liability if the condition, injury, or illness would not have been diagnosed by a doctor of ordinary skill. See Mason v. Mazzarella, 194 A.D.2d 593, 599 N.Y.S.2d 80 (2d Dep’t 1993)

This is why doctors will often refer a patient to a specialist. For example, if a doctor is concerned that a patient may have breast cancer, they may refer the patient to a breast cancer specialist who will have more experience and knowledge of that particular area of medicine and therefore is better equipped to make an accurate diagnosis. For professional insight, get in touch with a Newburgh failure to diagnose lawyer today.

Certificate of Merit Requirements

Most medical malpractice lawsuits—including cases stemming from a failure to diagnose—require something known as a certificate of merit before the lawsuit can proceed. This requirement sets medical malpractice lawsuits apart from standard injury cases.

These certificates must contain one of two important facts in order for the court to find them valid. First, the certificate of merit must attest that the attorney has consulted with a licensed physician prior to filing suit. The certificate must go on to show that the physician has found a reasonable basis for the malpractice lawsuit.

Alternatively, the certificate could attest that the Newburgh missed diagnosis attorney has not consulted with a medical professional but that they made a good faith effort to do so. In this situation, the certificate must show that the attorney made three “good faith” attempts to consult with three different physicians.

Typically, the court requires that the plaintiff’s attorney file this certificate along with the underlying lawsuit. However, the court does have discretion to grant the plaintiff up to 90 days after the lawsuit is filed to comply. These extensions are in place to allow a plaintiff to file a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations—even if the certificate is not available yet.

Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit

A patient suffering from an injury or illness due to the failure to diagnose it on time could be entitled to significant financial compensation. What is more, there are no limits on the amount of compensation that could be recovered in these cases. New York State law had a statute that limits the amount of non-economic compensation recoverable in a malpractice case. However, this statute was ruled unconstitutional in 2010. Now, a jury has free reign to award fair compensation in these cases.

Lost Wages

Missing work is an unfortunate reality for many people with an undiagnosed injury or illness. This is true not only during the period where their condition has not been diagnosed but also in the aftermath of any corrective medical care. Missing work could cause financial hardship for months or even years after a failed diagnosis.

Medical Care

Costly medical care is usually an issue following the failure to diagnose. The cost of this treatment can be overwhelming if the underlying condition was allowed to worsen. It could be possible to recover a financial award that covers the cost of medical treatments like prescription drugs, hospitalization, or physical therapy.

Pain and Suffering

The failure to diagnose a medical condition could leave a patient with severe physical pain. Recovering monetary compensation for pain and suffering is common with failure to diagnose lawsuits.

Disability

In some cases, it could be impossible for a patient to return to their normal life following a missed diagnosis. As medical conditions become serious, a patient could lose out on their ability to meet basis day-to-day needs or remain employed. Disability benefits could provide for those individuals following a lawsuit.

Consulting a Newburgh Failure to Diagnose Attorney

Patients rely on their doctors to address their medical concerns and to conduct a thorough examination to make a timely and proper diagnosis. When a doctor fails to make a diagnosis, it can mean an injury is left untreated, cancer continues to grow, or an infection continues to spread ultimately meaning you suffer further injuries and losses.

A Newburgh failure to diagnose lawyer can help you determine whether your doctor failed to diagnose a condition by conducting a thorough and extensive review of your case. Further, they can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. Contact a failure to diagnose attorney today to discuss your case and learn your rights.