Medical Malpractice and Failure to Diagnose Explained by Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
What is “failure to diagnose?”
Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a medical condition is the most common medical malpractice claim, accounting for some 40% of cases filed. The quick definition is the failure of a physician to identify and appropriately treat a medical condition, either by not identifying a problem at all or by misidentifying a problem as one thing when it is indeed something else. There are many reasons why a physician might fail to diagnose or misdiagnose a condition:
- Improperly conducting a physical examination
- Failing to perform regular screenings, especially in high-risk patients
- Failing to recognize potential indications of a problem
- Failing to pay attention to and act on a patient’s complaints appropriately
- Failing to order appropriate tests when indicated
- Misinterpreting test results
- Misdiagnosing a tumor as benign
- Failing to provide adequate follow-up care, including following up on test results or ordering additional tests
- Delaying referral of a patient to a specialist
What conditions do physicians most often misdiagnose or fail to diagnose?
Conditions physicians commonly fail to diagnose or misdiagnose that later result in medical malpractice claims include the following:
- Cancers, particularly of the breast, colon, prostate, lung, ovaries, cervix, testicles, kidneys, esophagus or skin
- Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
- Diabetic reactions, including ketoacidosis and diabetic coma
- Lyme disease
- Parasitic infections of the gastrointestinal tract
- Periodontal disease
What are the costs and consequences of failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis?
Recent improvements in disease detection and treatment mean that the failure to diagnose a condition early can absolutely impact the ultimate outcome of treatment or if treatment will even be an option, which makes early and accurate diagnosis of problems even more important. Regardless of the reason for the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, patients can suffer serious harm as a result, including medical complications, the need for more expensive or aggressive treatments, permanent bodily injury, decreased survival rates, shortened lifespan, and, in the worst cases, death. The costs to a patient to compensate for a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis can be overwhelming, if he or she still has treatment options available to pursue.
Why do victims of failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis need an experienced Long Island injury lawyer?
Whether the patient lives in Long Island or elsewhere in New York City, medical malpractice cases involving a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition are complex and difficult to prove because the patient has to prove the problem could and should have been diagnosed by a reasonably competent physician practicing where the patient lives when presented with the same circumstances. With so many variables involved, and because the financial stakes are so high, it’s important to have knowledgeable, experienced representation from a Long Island personal injury attorney well-versed in handling and winning such cases.
Get the compensation you are entitled to for a doctor’s failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
The NYC personal injury attorneys at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson, PC have over 100 years of collective personal injury experience successfully representing clients in Long Island, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. They are compassionate professionals whose mission is to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, and they have a track record of winning compensation into the millions of dollars for deserving clients who have been harmed by medical malpractice.
If you have been the victim of a physician’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition and have suffered serious harm, and you need an excellent Long Island injury lawyer, please call toll free 212.385.8000 for a free, no-obligation consultation about your situation, or contact us online.