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When Is a Diagnostic Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

When Is a Diagnostic Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

Seeking professional medical information and guidance from a physician in regards to an injury or illness can be very stressful. Worrying about all the possible outcomes can be an unsettling idea that lingers in a patient’s mind. One alarming area of concern that most convalescents are not thinking of, however, is the issue of dealing with a diagnostic error. Medical malpractice happens at an alarming rate, and errors made by medical personnel can result in treatment not being administered in a timely fashion. Those who suffer harm because of the inattentiveness, neglect, or oversight of a doctor can seek compensation for the injuries and damages they have experienced.

Diagnostic Error Categories

Errors in diagnosis are one of the leading forms of medical malpractice today. While this type of negligence may sound straightforward, diagnostic errors can be broken down into a few different categories:

  • A misdiagnosis (wrong diagnosis) occurs when a patient receives the wrong information from a doctor. An example of this could be a client who is informed that he or she has an ankle sprain when it is actually broken.
  • A delayed diagnosis occurs when an illness should have been discovered and communicated to the patient at an earlier occasion. These types of errors can be more difficult to prove, since there is not always a “correct time frame” to make an analysis. Cancer is an example of a disease that often gets a delayed diagnosis.
  • A missed diagnosis is the result of a patient not receiving any diagnosis for a condition or disease. This situation could result in improper treatment for a condition or a lack of treatment altogether.

Requirements to Prove a Diagnostic Error

In cases involving diagnostic errors, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that medical negligence occurred. These cases can be very complex due to the detailed medical issues involved. The following requirements must be met in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • A professional relationship must have existed between the patient and the physician.
  • A lawsuit must be filed within the designated time frame. In most cases, New York offers a statute of limitations of 30 months from the time of injury.
  • The patient must demonstrate that the doctor acted carelessly, which resulted in a diagnostic error.
  • The patient must show that the diagnostic error resulted in an injury.

Contact a Brooklyn, NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Preventable oversights happen every day in the medical field, and these errors can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. If you or a family member have suffered harm because of a diagnostic error, Goldberg Sager & Associates can help you determine your options for pursuing compensation for your injuries. For more than 25 years, we have represented clients in medical malpractice matters, and we are dedicated to ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve. For a free consultation, contact our experienced NYC medical malpractice attorneys today at 718-514-9516.


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    Brooklyn, New York 11229
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