Every year in the United States, about twelve million adults suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, and a host of other serious medical conditions are misdiagnosed. How can a misdiagnosis impact you?

Are you at risk? Can you sue for a misdiagnosis?

If you’ll keep reading, you’ll learn some disturbing facts about misdiagnosis and medical malpractice, and you’ll learn what steps to take if you’re misdiagnosed at a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic.

The truth is that the medical malpractice cases that grab the most attention – when a surgeon amputates the wrong limb or removes the wrong organ – are quite rare.

Overwhelmingly, most medical malpractice injuries arise from a misdiagnosis.

In these cases, a “misdiagnosis” may mean a diagnosis that completely failed to identify a serious medical condition, a belated diagnosis, or an erroneous diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis may also be linked with a doctor’s failure to:

– screen for a particular medical condition
– refer a patient to a specialist
– interpret lab test results accurately
– consult thoroughly with the patient regarding his or her symptoms
– follow up and investigate potential causes of the reported symptoms

IF YOU’VE BEEN HARMED BY A MISDIAGNOSIS, WHAT’S YOUR RECOURSE?

The misdiagnosis of a serious illness can mean the patient may receive the wrong treatment or the wrong medication, which can further harm an already-ill patient.

That additional harm may be the grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. In New York, a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if a misdiagnosis has made you a victim of medical malpractice.

When a serious medical condition is misdiagnosed or overlooked entirely, the patient misses important, early opportunities to improve or heal the condition.

If the patient suffers any harm, injury, or deterioration in his or her medical condition after a misdiagnosis, patients may pursue compensation – and justice – by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

All healthcare providers owe a duty of care to every patient. The central legal question in most medical malpractice cases is whether the physician breached his or her duty of care to the patient.

When the medical care that a doctor provides to a patient falls below the minimal standard of care set by the medical profession, the duty of care has been breached. That breach constitutes medical negligence if the patient is harmed as a result.

When the negligence of a physician causes injury to a patient, the victims and his or her family should seek sound legal advice immediately.

To succeed with a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, a medical malpractice victim must show that a doctor or another healthcare provider violated the legal and professional duty of care to that patient.

WHAT CONDITIONS ARE MOST FREQUENTLY MISDIAGNOSED?

If you are suffering with any disease or medical condition, and if you have been misdiagnosed at any time since you began seeking treatment, speak promptly with a New York medical malpractice lawyer who routinely represents the victims’ medical negligence.

Some of the most common conditions that are misdiagnosed include:

– asthma (often misdiagnosed as bronchitis)
– cancer
– heart attack
– lymph node inflammation (often misdiagnosed as appendicitis)
– staph infection (often misdiagnosed as flu)
– stroke
– diabetes
– chronic kidney disease

It’s not enough for a medical malpractice victim and his or her attorney to prove that a doctor misdiagnosed a medical condition.

A medical malpractice lawsuit will only prevail if the misdiagnosis resulted in harm to the patient, and if the patient and his or her attorney can prove it.

A misdiagnosis may harm a patient in a number of ways which can include:

– needless exposure of the patient to dangerous treatment like radiation or chemotherapy
– unnecessary surgery
– a higher likelihood of complications
– a higher likelihood of death

IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR FILING A LAWSUIT AFTER A MISDIAGNOSIS?

After any incident of medical malpractice, victims need to understand that the amount of time they have to take legal action is limited. In the state of New York, medical malpractice victims have two-and-a-half years – thirty months – from the date of the incident to bring a legal action, with three very limited exceptions.

If a healthcare provider’s negligence happened during an “ongoing course of treatment,” the thirty-month month statutory period does not begin until that course of treatment is completed. New York’s “discovery rule,” the second exception to New York’s statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases, is extremely narrow, applies only when a surgeon has left a foreign object inside a patient, and has no application to cases involving misdiagnosis.

The third exception is for minors. In this state, the statute of limitations for minors in medical malpractice cases does not begin until the day the minor turns 18, although the statute of limitations will not be extended beyond ten years after the alleged incident of medical malpractice occurred (or after a foreign object left by a surgeon was discovered).

WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO ACT RIGHT AWAY?

Of course, every situation is different, so it’s important to speak with a skilled Bronx medical malpractice attorney as soon as you realize that you’ve suffered harm or that your medical condition has deteriorated as the result of a misdiagnosis.

Don’t wait thirty months and then try to take legal action at the last possible moment. Acting quickly helps your attorney to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

When a patient takes legal action against a doctor after a misdiagnosis, that doctor’s insurance company may try to avoid paying what the patient’s claim is worth.

If you’ve been misdiagnosed and injured as a result, don’t accept any settlement, make any statement, or sign any agreement with an insurance company before you’ve obtained sound legal advice.

In fact, it’s best to let your medical malpractice attorney – an experienced negotiator – do the talking on your behalf.

Some states impose “caps” or restrictions on the amount that can be awarded to a victim whose medical malpractice lawsuit prevails.

Usually, medical malpractice caps only limit the “non-economic” damages that a malpractice victim may obtain for mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and/or disfigurement.

New York is not one of those states. The law in New York imposes no restrictions on how much a misdiagnosis victim can recover with a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you’ve been misdiagnosed with any serious medical condition, and that misdiagnosis has harmed or injured you, the law in this state is on your side, and a qualified Bronx medical malpractice attorney can advocate aggressively for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.