More than ever before, doctors have widespread access to medical knowledge, diagnostic tools, and technology to help diagnose medical conditions and diseases. As a patient, you trust your doctor will use every resource available to make the right diagnosis when presented with your symptoms and concerns. Unfortunately, sometimes even experienced medical professionals fail to do so.

Sometimes a failure to diagnose is a minor mishap—a bacterial respiratory infection being mistaken for a viral infection, for example, or a cracked bone going undiagnosed. In other situations, failure to diagnose cancer, heart attack, or stroke can be a matter of life or death.

If you suffered avoidable injury because of a doctor’s error, there is help available in the form of a qualified medical malpractice attorney. A Schenectady failure to diagnose error lawyer may be able to build a strong case to help you receive the compensation you deserve if you fall victim to a failure to diagnose error.

What Does the Certificate of Merit Require in Failure to Diagnose Cases?

To help deter frivolous lawsuits with no legal standing, the state enacted a law requiring all medical related claims to include a certificate of merit. This certificate must typically be submitted with the case’s initial filing. However, an extension of 90 days may be granted if the statute of limitations is approaching at the time of the filing.

According to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §3012-a, a thorough certificate of merit should certify that the plaintiff’s Schenectady failure to diagnose error attorney has reviewed the facts of the case with a medical professional who is licensed in the state and that the professional believes the case has merit. Alternatively, the certificate can state that the lawyer made at least three separate attempts at consulting with medical professionals and was unable to complete a consultation.

How Does Negligence Serve as a Basis for a Failure to Diagnose Cases in Schenectady?

The legal concept of negligence is frequently used in failure to diagnose cases and other types of malpractice claims. For a physician to be found negligent and liable for damages to a patient, the presence of several elements must be proven to the judge or the jury in the case.


When a physician agrees to see a patient, that agreement establishes a doctor-patient relationship. From that point forward, the doctor has a duty to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with other reasonable professionals in the same or similar practice.

Breach of the Duty

If a physician fails to make a diagnosis or make the correct diagnosis, they may have breached their aforementioned duty. Perhaps they failed to run a diagnostic test or screening or maybe a patient was never contacted about test results.

Proximate Cause

Demonstrating “proximate cause” means showing the lack of a correct diagnosis directly caused the patient to suffer an injury. In other words, the injury would not have occurred if the correct diagnoses was made to begin with.

Physical Damages

To prove liability, it is not enough for a failure to diagnose error lawyer in Schenectady to simply prove that their client was injured in some way. They must also prove that the client incurred physical damages. Financial and intangible losses like increased medical bills and pain and suffering can be included in a settlement demand, but the suit must first be based on some kind of physical injury.

Contact a Schenectady Failure to Diagnose Error Attorney

If a physician fails to make a diagnosis or incorrectly makes a diagnosis, their negligence can cause extreme harm to the patient. Fortunately, any patient injured under such circumstances has the legal right to seek compensation from the doctor responsible for their damages. If you are ready to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered, contact a qualified Schenectady failure to diagnose error lawyer today.