Failure to Diagnose Attorney

Failure to diagnose is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. Physicians may rush through the patient intake process, ignore patient complaints, fail to administer the proper tests, or otherwise act carelessly during the diagnoses process. Diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition, or failing to diagnose entirely, can result in the patient failing to receive proper treatment. Patients throughout NYC have suffered worsened prognoses, lost treatment opportunities, and even wrongful death because of physicians’ failures to diagnose. Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, P.C. can help patients in these frightening situations.

Elements in a Failure to Diagnose Claim

The New York courts will ask one main question to determine negligence in medical malpractice cases: “Would a reasonable and prudent medical professional have acted the same way in similar circumstances?” It is unreasonable to expect any doctor to correctly and accurately diagnose conditions perfectly throughout an entire career. However, every doctor has the duty to act within accepted industry standards of care to try to come to a correct diagnosis. This includes listening to the patient, narrowing down diagnoses based on symptoms and tests, and coming to a logical conclusion.

Skipping steps or otherwise caring for a patient negligently, resulting in failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim in NYC. Patients must prove three main elements for these types of cases in NY: 1) a doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the alleged failure to diagnose; 2) the doctor was negligent; and 3) the doctor’s negligent caused the patient’s injury or illness. If a doctor’s failure to diagnose doesn’t cause the patient’s harms, the patient will not have grounds for a lawsuit. For example, if the patient had terminal cancer, failure to diagnose might not have caused any additional harm.

The nature of failure to diagnose cases makes it important to have expert witnesses take the stand on your behalf. The success of these claims often depends on testimony from an expert medical witness in the same or similar profession to the defendant. If an expert witness believes the doctor should have done something differently to accurately diagnose the patient, the courts may see this as proof of negligence. Other forms of evidence such as medical records and similar cases against the same doctor may also work in the plaintiff’s favor. Working with a team of qualified legal professionals can make the complicated legal processes in NYC easier on plaintiffs.

Establishing Your Med Mal Claim

Failure to diagnose cases involve the same rules and regulations as other medical malpractice claims. Injured parties have 2.5 years from the date of the injury to file a claim against the doctor and/or medical facility. They must include a certificate of merit with their claims, stating that a lawyer has reviewed the case and believes there are grounds to file. If you are self-representing, the courts will waive this requirement. Medical malpractice is one of the most complex types of personal injury cases in New York City. Retaining an attorney can be a significant aid. Fill out our intake form to speak with us during a free consultation.