Whether through a regular yearly exam or during intake in an emergency room or other urgent care facility, physicians are expected to conduct thorough examinations of all their patients and promptly identify any potential issues that might require further outpatient or inpatient treatment. Failing to diagnose a patient’s condition correctly is not just a matter of wasting time—in many situations, it could lead to that patient suffering severe harm that could have been avoided with proper care.

Misdiagnosis is a serious problem in healthcare facilities across New York, as experienced medical malpractice attorneys know all too well. If your doctor diagnosed you with the wrong condition or failed to diagnose your condition at all, a Poughkeepsie misdiagnosis lawyer could help you demand financial restitution for every type of harm you suffered as a direct result.

Common Types of Medical Misdiagnoses

Misdiagnoses in a medical setting can come in various forms, each of which could have different repercussions for an affected patient and make for slightly different legal proceedings against the healthcare provider responsible. Seasoned Poughkeepsie misdiagnosis attorneys have experience handling situations like:

  • Diagnosing the wrong condition entirely
  • Failure to diagnose a patient’s condition and erroneously claiming they are healthy
  • Diagnosing the correct condition but after an unreasonable delay
  • Failing to recognize a secondary condition connected to a correctly diagnosed primary condition
  • Only diagnosing one condition correctly while failing to identify or correctly diagnose a second unrelated condition
  • Failing to recognize and appropriately address complications arising from a correctly diagnosed condition

In many situations, failing to completely and accurately appraise a patient’s condition could lead to them not receiving vital care in a condition’s early stages, when prompt treatment is often key to avoiding long-term harm. In other situations, misdiagnosis may lead to a surgeon performing the wrong operation for a patient’s condition, a pharmacist providing the wrong medications, or even other related conditions developing.

Establishing Grounds for a Malpractice Claim

Importantly, proving that a doctor misdiagnosed a particular condition is not necessarily sufficient on its own to justify litigation. It is also essential to show that the misdiagnosis was the direct and primary cause of physical harm that would not have occurred had the patient’s condition been diagnosed correctly. Finally, a lawyer must establish that the damages for which that patient is seeking compensation stemmed directly from that physical harm.

To ensure healthcare providers are not overburdened with frivolous lawsuits that do not meet these basic criteria, New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 3012-A requires every prospective malpractice plaintiff to submit a “certificate of merit” with their initial complaint. This certificate must affirm in writing that the plaintiff consulted with at least one medical professional with experience and expertise relevant to the circumstances leading up to their injury; and that said professional agrees that there is a strong likelihood that the defendant physician(s) violated the standard of care applicable in their situation.

If the plaintiff and their legal counsel are unable to consult with a qualified physician despite a minimum of three good-faith attempts at doing so, the certificate can instead affirm that those attempts happened. A misdiagnosis lawyer in Poughkeepsie could explain how this rule, and others that govern cases like this, work during a private initial meeting.

Seek Help from a Poughkeepsie Misdiagnosis Attorney

A doctor’s failure to identify and appropriately treat a patient’s unique condition could—and unfortunately often does—have dire repercussions for that patient’s wellbeing. Even if you do not sustain permanent harm through a doctor’s misdiagnosis, the financial and personal consequences of professional negligence like this can be extraordinarily difficult to overcome.

Fortunately, you have help available from a Poughkeepsie misdiagnosis lawyer. Schedule a private consultation by calling today.