When you go to the doctor, you expect to receive a proper and timely diagnosis. Unfortunately, that does not always occur. Alarmingly, a study cited by The Washington Post found that nearly 20 percent of people who developed serious medical conditions were initially misdiagnosed. In far too many cases, patients suffer severe harm because medical professionals fail to offer an accurate diagnosis.
Many medical malpractice lawsuits are filed after an incorrect diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. That being said, doctor misdiagnosis is not automatically medical malpractice. Here, our New York City medical malpractice attorneys explain when an incorrect or delayed diagnosis becomes medical malpractice in New York.
New York Law: Medical Malpractice
Under New York law, doctors and other medical professionals have a legal duty to provide patients reasonably high-quality care. When a doctor fails to abide by the standard of care — and that deviation from the standard of care is deemed to be the proximate cause for a patient’s injuries — medical malpractice has occurred (Stukas v Streiter, 83 AD3d 18, 23 ).
Put another way, doctors have a legal obligation to offer medical care that is at least as good as a reasonably prudent doctor would have offered under similar circumstances. This is the key element in a doctor misdiagnosis medical malpractice claim — a plaintiff must establish that an ordinary doctor would have been reasonably likely to have made a correct diagnosis if they were in the same situation.
Building a Case: How to Prove Misdiagnosis is Malpractice
Medical malpractice claims are among the most complex types of legal cases. Modern medicine is a highly technical field. Except for in the most egregious of malpractice cases, it is often not clear to the untrained person whether or not a physician’s failure to make an accurate diagnosis was actually negligence. In their earliest stages, some diseases and medical conditions are beyond the capabilities of our medical system.
For this reason, New York requires the use of expert witnesses in doctor misdiagnosis claims. If you or your family member was misdiagnosed, and you believe that the doctor or healthcare provider was negligent, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer right away. Your lawyer will be able to review the case, obtain the relevant medical records, consult with a qualified medical expert, and build a compelling medical malpractice claim.
Get Help From Our New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today.
At The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., our top-rated New York medical malpractice attorneys are knowledgeable and committed advocates for patient safety and well-being. If you or your loved one suffered harm as a result of doctor misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, we are here to help.
To schedule a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please contact our legal team immediately. With permanent office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx, and mobile law offices throughout the region, we are well-positioned to serve clients throughout New York.