We rely on medical practitioners to diagnose our illnesses correctly so that we can receive the treatment we need. When misdiagnosis occurs, our health and even lives can be placed at risk. When this misdiagnosis occurs due to negligence, the medical practitioner could be liable for medical malpractice.
What are the different types of misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis comes in many forms, with many of them being sufficient grounds for a medical malpractice claim. They include:
- Missed diagnosis: After examining you, your doctor may conclude that you are healthy, even when you are actually ill.
- Delayed diagnosis: The doctor diagnoses you correctly, but only after a significant delay, during which your condition worsens.
- Wrong diagnosis: You are diagnosed with a condition you do not actually have and treated for it while your actual injury or illness gets worse.
Medical malpractice may also occur when your treating physician diagnoses you correctly but does not identify complications that could worsen your condition or if they fail to diagnose you with a related disease that usually accompanies your illness or has a high rate of occurrence in people who have it.
How does misdiagnosis occur?
A medical practitioner can misdiagnose a patient in the following ways.
- Failing to investigate properly possible causes for your symptoms
- Failing to screen you for a medical condition for which you are at risk
- Misinterpreting lab results
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Failing to refer you to a specialist
When does misdiagnosis become medical malpractice?
It is important to remember that a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is not grounds for a viable medical malpractice claim in and of itself. You must be able to prove that certain elements were in place between you and the doctor in question. They are:
- The doctor had an obligation of duty toward you.
- They failed in their duty to provide you with medical care in an effective and reasonable manner
- The care must be similar to that which other doctors in the same field, with similar knowledge and training, would have provided under the circumstances
- The misdiagnosis must have directly affected your health and caused it to worsen or new illnesses/injuries to develop
- Your resulting injuries were caused by the substandard care and are not pre-existing or arising from another problem.
- You suffered damages under the doctor’s care. This would include medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to work, and mental or physical suffering from or by your worsening condition.
If a medical practitioner has misdiagnosed your case, causing you to experience additional pain, suffering, and financial hardship, then contact a New York personal injury attorney who can help you fight for the damages you need to heal, regain your financial footing, and move on. Call the law offices of Jayson Lutzky at 718-329-9500 to set up a a free in-person consultation. Mr. Lutzky is a Bronx attorney handling medical malpractice cases. Over the past 34 years, he has helped New Yorkers obtain millions of dollars in damages for their injuries. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.