Patients trust their doctors to make a correct diagnosis, whether they are suffering from a common cold or a life-threatening disease such as cancer. While doctors may make mistakes, they are expected to adhere to the standard of care for their area of practice. A misdiagnosis may occur if a physician does not follow this standard and fails to investigate their patient’s symptoms further.

If a medical professional gave you an improper diagnosis, you may want to contact a Newburgh misdiagnosis lawyer. An experienced medical malpractice attorney could help you assess your case to determine if your doctors followed proper procedures based on your symptoms and test results.

Common Misdiagnosed Conditions

While any condition could be misdiagnosed, some diseases and illnesses are more likely than others to result in misdiagnosis. Unfortunately, some of the conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed have some of the most severe medical consequences. For example, many forms of cancer are often misdiagnosed. These could include cancer of the lungs, cervix, ovaries, or breasts.

There are other chronic diseases that could be misdiagnosed outside of cancer. These could include diabetes, bacterial meningitis, or appendicitis. One of the reasons these conditions are mistaken is that they often share symptoms with more common illnesses. When a doctor fails to carefully review a patient’s medical records, they might make assumptions that have dangerous consequences.

How Misdiagnosis Happens

There are different factors that can mix together and lead to a misdiagnosis. Sometimes it is simple carelessness on the part of the medical provider. In other cases, structural issues within a medical facility could be to blame.


The carelessness of a doctor is a common cause of misdiagnosis. Numerous medical conditions share the same symptoms, but when a doctor does not bother to dig deeper in search of the underlying condition, the end result could be misdiagnosis.

Poor Training

Inadequate training is another common factor in these cases. While hiring new or inexperienced doctors is unavoidable in some cases, these facilities have an obligation to provide adequate training and oversight. The failure to do so could lead to misdiagnosis.

System Failures

There are times when system failures and overall hospital negligence are responsible for a misdiagnosis. For example, misdiagnosis could occur when two patients’ records are switched accidentally.

Communication Errors

The basis of many misdiagnosis mistakes is simply miscommunication. Doctors and nurses could miscommunicate vital facts to each other when diagnosing an illness or injury. These mistakes could also result in a doctor prescribing inappropriate medical care to the wrong patient. It is the job of a misdiagnosed illness attorney in Newburgh to investigate if and how this miscommunication took place.

Misdiagnosis Statute of Limitations

All potential plaintiffs should be aware that under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214-a, they are only allowed two years and six months to file their medical malpractice claim. This statute of limitations is in place to help potential defendants avoid lawsuits arising from events that allegedly happened many years in the past. Defendants in such a situation may have a difficult time gathering evidence to defend themselves, resulting in an unfair trial.

However, New York law does offer a few exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice patients. One of these exceptions addresses cancer patients who did not receive their correct diagnosis when the standard of care establishes that they should have.

For these patients, a discovery of injury rule applies which gives cancer patients two years and six months from the date they discovered or reasonably should have discovered that malpractice caused their injuries and damages. By hiring a skilled Newburgh misdiagnosis attorney, a plaintiff could better ensure that they meet any applicable statutory deadlines, as well as verify whether any exceptions to the statute of limitations apply to their case.

Damages Arising from a Misdiagnosis Case

When a patient has a serious medical condition, especially one pertaining to the heart, lungs, or other major organs, a swift diagnosis usually increases the chance of a better outcome. A misdiagnosis could lead to the wrong path of treatment, further delaying the time before the patient could receive the correct treatment.

Because of these serious potential consequences, patients who receive the wrong diagnosis from their doctor may be entitled to many types of damages. Common recoverable damages in a misdiagnosis claim may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Loss of a bodily function
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Mental anguish

It is important to mention that not all of these damages may apply to every misdiagnosis case. A Newburgh lawyer with experience in misdiagnosis cases could help an injured plaintiff determine which types of damages they may be able to seek based on their specific circumstances.

How the Certificate of Merit Works in a Misdiagnosis Case

There is a technical requirement in New York that applies to all lawsuits resulting from a misdiagnosis. This requirement—known as the certificate of merit—applies to all medical malpractice lawsuits.

The certificate of merit is a document that must be attached to an initial lawsuit. This document is created by the plaintiff’s attorney and is used to show the court that there is indeed a viable case for medical negligence.

The certificate of merit must attest to one of two things. First, the certificate must establish that the plaintiff’s lawyer reviewed the case with a physician that practices in the same area of medicine as the defendant. The affidavit should confirm that, after reviewing the medical records, the doctor agreed that there was a viable claim for malpractice.

Alternatively, the certificate could also attest that the attorney tried and failed to secure counsel with a doctor. The certificate must indicate that they made good-faith efforts to speak with three different doctors on three different occasions.

The law requires a plaintiff to submit the certificate along with the lawsuit. However, the court has discretion to allow a plaintiff to attach the certificate up to 90 days after the lawsuit.

Contact a Newburgh Misdiagnosis Attorney Today

Suffering injuries from the wrong diagnosis can lead to many unnecessary financial and personal obstacles. If you are experiencing these challenges from an incorrect diagnosis, a Newburgh misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help you pursue compensation. To find out more about your legal options, call today to schedule your case consultation.