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Misdiagnosis and medical malpractice claims

May 19, 2015 | Failure to Diagnose

Medical malpractice in New York can have a serious impact on the lives of affected patients. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient experiences suffering as a direct result of a physician’s incompetent care. The most frequent medical malpractice cases often claim that the doctor was neglecting injuries and illnesses, prescribing incorrect medication, misdiagnosing patients or failing to tell patients certain risks and other treatments that may have prevented further harm.

Misdiagnosis tends to be the most common cause of medical malpractice claims, and cancer and heart attacks are the most frequent illnesses that result in these claims. Doctor misdiagnosis was responsible for 26 to 63 percent of malpractice claims in 2013. This is because doctors have a responsibility to catch conditions such as cancer before they spread to the rest of the body, becoming more deadly as time goes on.

Doctors are supposed to test early for cancerous conditions and should refer patients to a specialist if there are any symptoms. If a doctor has misdiagnosed a patient and missed a serious illness such as cancer, the results may be fatal. Of misdiagnosed cases, 15 to 48 percent have resulted in the patient’s death. Making a misdiagnosis claim might be difficult because negligence is often hard to prove. The case may go on for months or even years.

Plaintiffs must be able to prove without a doubt that the doctor was directly responsible for the patient’s suffering and that he or she did not perform medical duties to an adequate standard. Other medical professionals maintain this standard and will review the case to see if the doctor was negligent. One of the most essential parts of the medical malpractice case is the date that the injury occurred. A plaintiff should find information about the physician who was responsible and document any additional treatments that were detrimental to the patient’s condition. A personal injury attorney might be able to help formulate a successful medical malpractice case.