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Seeking Compensation for a Failed Diagnosis

Aug 28, 2015 | Failure to Diagnose

The human body is complex and medicine does not have all the answers yet. Diseases can throw up confusing symptoms and a myriad of tests have to be carried out before your doctor makes an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Sometimes the test results prove to be inconclusive and your doctor may be compelled to treat you on the basis of your symptoms.

At other times, new test results will add insights or prove the inadequateness of earlier findings and compel the doctor to change a course of treatment. Unfortunately, even with knowledge, experience, and the most sophisticated instrument, doctors do make erroneous diagnoses. Misdiagnosis can led to wrong treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all. These may cause physical and/or mental harm to the patient and in some cases may even prove to be fatal.

Beyond an Innocent Mistake

However, failure to diagnose correctly cannot be the basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A medical malpractice attorney can help you figure out if you have a valid case of failed diagnosis.

The law firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff in New York has knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorneys on board who know the nitty-gritty of the law and can help you gather relevant evidence to prove a failed or erroneous diagnosis claim. They have been fighting for medical malpractice victims for over three generations and have won millions of dollars in lawsuits for their clients.

In order to prove a claim of failed or erroneous diagnosis, you have to present evidence to support the following three instances:

1. A valid doctor-patient association existed.

This means that you and the doctor entered into a formal contract to diagnose your condition. You cannot take a doctor to a court for failing to diagnose your condition after you blurt out the symptoms to him after meeting him at a cocktail party. Nor can you sue a doctor for misdiagnosis if you overhear him talking to another patient and decide that you will follow the advice meant for the other person.

2. The doctor did not provide a reasonable standard of care.

The reasonable standard of care clause says that a doctor can be sued for medical malpractice if he does not provide the level and the quality of services expected from a man with his expertise and working under similar circumstances. In an instance of failed diagnosis, the plaintiff has to prove that either one of the following instances occurred:

· The doctor failed to guess and include the correct diagnosis in a probable list of diseases or conditions and that any other doctor with a similar level of competence would have done so. So a doctor who diagnoses the lump in your throat as inflamed tonsil but does not consider a tumor can be sued for failed diagnosis.

· The doctor included the correct diagnosis in the probable list of diseases or conditions but failed to carry out the requisite tests or did not seek advice from specialists to confirm his diagnosis. The above-mentioned doctor may include a tumor as a probable cause to explain the lump in your throat but fail to discuss your case with a specialist or carry out appropriate tests to confirm his suspicions. In the latter instance, he can be sued for negligence.

3. The act of negligence caused you physical and/or mental harm.

You need a slew of medical records to prove this. You have to prove that the erroneous diagnosis led to delayed treatment, wrong treatment, or no treatment at all. This caused the condition to worsen. You also need expert testimonies to prove that either one or more of these instances causes a medical condition to deteriorate. In this context it is also worth mentioning that you can sue a doctor for medical malpractice if misdiagnosis led you to spend money treating a condition that did not exist in the first place.

A medical malpractice attorney can help you gather the relevant evidence and testimonies to prove all the above claims.

Call us at (212) 697-9280 to book a free consultation with our medical malpractice attorneys. RMFW Law has offices Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. But don’t worry. If you can’t visit us, we will gladly come over and see you and see if your case is ripe for the picking.