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Albany Misdiagnosis Attorney
Failing to correctly diagnose a patient in a timely manner can have life-threatening consequences for patients. For example, let’s say a patient with colorectal cancer was misdiagnosed with irritable-bowel syndrome (IBS). This patient would then receive unnecessary treatment for IBS, which would provide minimal relief, while their colorectal cancer continued to spread and create more debilitating symptoms. If the medical professional does eventually provide an accurate diagnosis, the patient will have gone through weeks or months of pain and suffering. Additionally, their cancer may have spread so much by this point that no amount of chemotherapy or surgery will save their life. If you or someone you love has endured a similar situation as this, then you need to hire an Albany misdiagnosis attorney to take on your case.
The experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck are ready to begin an attorney-client relationship with you so that they can fight for your justice. Call a legal professional today at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is a type of medical error where the doctor fails to provide a patient with a correct diagnosis in a timely manner. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to severe consequences for a patient.
Types of Diagnostic Errors
There are a few different types of diagnostic errors: incorrect diagnosis, missed diagnosis, and delayed diagnosis.
Incorrect diagnosis occurs in situations like the one mentioned above. The negligent doctor provides the wrong diagnosis to a patient suffering from cancer, for example. However, a patient could receive an incorrect diagnosis for almost any type of medical condition. A wrongful diagnosis often results in incorrect and unnecessary medical care.
Missed diagnosis occurs when the doctor doesn’t provide a diagnosis to a patient at all. So the patient would come to the doctor complaining of pain or other symptoms, and the doctor would send them home, saying that they can’t find anything wrong. Therefore, they are completely healthy and shouldn’t worry. Missed diagnosis cases often result in the patient’s condition worsening over the course of weeks or months. Additionally, many patients in this situation find themselves “doctor-hopping” until they can receive a diagnosis and relief from their symptoms.
Delayed diagnosis occurs when the doctor diagnoses the patient correctly, but it just took them a long time to do it. Incorrect diagnosis or delayed diagnosis is a common reality for many cancer patients. They’re either completely misdiagnosed until their symptoms significantly worsen or their doctors just take a long time to identify what the problem is. Tragically, both situations can ultimately lead to an early death. The earlier a doctor catches a disease like cancer, the easier it is to treat. Additionally, when a doctor catches a disease like cancer early on, the patient has a much higher survival rate.
How Does Medical Misdiagnosis Happen?
Incorrect, missed, and delayed diagnoses can occur for a variety of reasons. Many researchers claim that the most common reason behind a doctor’s misdiagnosis is a knowledge-based failure or an information transfer failure. This means that the healthcare provider didn’t have enough knowledge about a medical condition and they applied this knowledge incorrectly, or they didn’t receive a patient’s most recent medical records in order to make a correct diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis may also occur due to the following reasons:
- The doctor failed to order the appropriate tests based on the patient’s symptoms and medical history
- The doctor failed to correctly interpret the results of the diagnostic tests
- Failure to follow up with a patient in order to ensure they receive the best medical care possible
- The doctor generally lacks experience and knowledge
- A patient isn’t honest with their doctor about their medical history or their symptoms
- The doctor receives incorrect test results due to broken equipment or a lab technician’s error
Can I Sue My Doctor for Misdiagnosis?
If a wrong diagnosis results in a personal injury and thousands of dollars spent on unnecessary treatments, then you can certainly file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctor in question. However, medical malpractice cases like these are incredibly difficult to prove which is why you need an experienced misdiagnosis attorney on your side.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Claiming that a diagnostic error occurred is not enough to win a medical malpractice lawsuit. A patient and their medical malpractice attorney must prove that:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The doctor committed medical negligence by failing to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis
- The doctor’s negligence caused significant harm to the patient (injuries or death, unnecessary medical bills, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.)
Even the most experienced medical professionals make diagnostic errors because doctors, like most humans, are not perfect. So if you initially received a wrong diagnosis but your doctor quickly ran more tests, consulted with their medical community, offered you a correct diagnosis, and caused you no harm in the process, you likely wouldn’t have a very strong case. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you create the strongest case possible.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are very difficult to win. In fact, a 2008 study claims that medical professionals win the vast majority (80% to 90%) of cases that present weak evidence. Meanwhile, doctors only win about 50% of cases that present strong evidence. So in order to have the best chance of winning your medical malpractice case, you need strong legal representation.
An Albany misdiagnosis attorney can help you prove all the crucial parts of a medical malpractice claim by examining the doctor’s differential diagnosis method, reviewing your medical history and records, and obtaining information about your diagnostic test results. We will do all of this with the guidance of one or more medical experts.
Damages for Diagnostic Errors
Victims of medical negligence could potentially win fair compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent injury or disability from unnecessary treatment
- Funeral and burial costs if the diagnostic error resulted in wrongful death
Average Settlement Amount for Medical Malpractice Cases
The average settlement amount for medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. is $329,565 according to a 2017 JAMA study. Of course, settlement amounts will vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries and the amount of damages you suffered from the medical error.
Additionally, some states have caps on the amount of money you can receive for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Luckily, New York doesn’t have caps on settlement amounts. So if your case is worth millions of dollars, then you could win millions of dollars.
It is important to note, though, that New York has caps on the amount of money that a medical misdiagnosis attorney can receive from a settlement. According to NY Section 474-A, a attorneys can only take:
- 30% of the first $250,000 the victim wins,
- 25% of the next $250,000 the victim wins,
- 20% of the next $500,000 the victim wins,
- 15% of the next $250,000 the victim wins,
- And only 10% of a settlement amount over $1.25 million.
New York Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
Thanks to Lavern’s Law, victims of cancer misdiagnosis (or any other form of medical malpractice) only have 2.5 years from the day they discovered their misdiagnosis to sue a negligent doctor. That’s why it’s so important to pursue legal counsel from an Albany misdiagnosis attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you could miss the opportunity to receive compensation and justice for your medical trauma.
Call an Albany Misdiagnosis Attorney Today at Bailey, Johnson & Peck
Medical errors can have traumatic physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the patients involved. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose your medical condition and therefore causes you harm, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice case. The experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys at our law firm will listen to your story and help you determine the best course of action. We want to begin an attorney client relationship with you today. Call an Albany misdiagnosis attorney at 518-456-0082 for a free consultation.
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