Central New York Misdiagnosis Attorneys

Doctor consoling her patient after a misdiagnosis.

Medical misdiagnosis is a serious concern that can have life-altering consequences for patients and their loved ones. When doctors fail to diagnose a medical condition accurately, treatment for the condition can become delayed, or the patient may not receive treatment. The medical condition may worsen and become more serious. In some cases, medical misdiagnosis can lead to a patient’s untimely death.

Under New York personal injury laws, misdiagnosis is considered medical malpractice. If a doctor has misdiagnosed you or your loved one, you must speak to an experienced Syracuse medical misdiagnosis attorney. You may have a valid compensation claim. Don’t hesitate to contact Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.

What Is Medical Misdiagnosis?

A medical misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner, provides a patient with an incorrect diagnosis for his or her medical condition. Misdiagnosis can include any air on the part of a doctor, hospital, health clinic, or surgical center that involves incorrectly identifying the patient’s medical problem. 

As with most medical errors, diagnostic errors are usually preventable. Misdiagnosis can occur because of incorrect testing, the failure of a doctor to carefully examine a patient’s history, a doctor’s lack of knowledge, or faulty administrative systems. 

A medical misdiagnosis is different from a missed diagnosis. A missed diagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to recognize and diagnose a medical condition altogether. A misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional provides a patient with an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis.

Common Types of Medical Misdiagnosis

Common types of misdiagnosis claims include the following:

  • Delayed diagnosis: A healthcare professional fails to diagnose a condition in a timely manner, causing the patient harm
  • A healthcare professional provides an incorrect diagnosis for a patient’s medical condition, leading to unnecessary medication, treatment, or surgery
  • The healthcare professional fails to view a patient’s medical records thoroughly, dismisses symptoms, misinterprets diagnostic test results, or fails to order an important diagnostic test
  • A lab technician or doctor misinterprets diagnostic tests, preventing him or her from treating the patient properly
  • A healthcare professional overlooks warning signs or common red flags that should trigger more investigation for a particular medical diagnosis
  • A healthcare professional diagnoses a patient with multiple conditions, but one or more of them may be incorrect, causing the patient not to receive the correct treatment
Medical malpractice attorneys of CDH Law serving Central New York & Syracuse.

The Dangers of Medical Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can lead to delayed or incorrect treatment, causing unnecessary suffering. Nonetheless, most misdiagnoses are far too common. Millions of Americans are misdiagnosed with an incorrect medical condition every year. Some of these diagnostic errors don’t cause serious harm. Others end up causing innocent patients significant pain and suffering. The Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence at Johns Hopkins University reported that around 4 million misdiagnosed patients suffered an injury. 

Additionally, 80,000 patients die annually because of medical misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis is the most common cause of patients dying or becoming disabled because of medical malpractice. When a medical professional fails to diagnose a stroke, heart attack, or cancer accurately, the patient may receive medical treatment that does not address the dangerous condition they have. 

If the patient goes on to have a stroke, he or she could become permanently disabled and need long-term, in-home medical treatment. In the case of a heart attack, if a patient is misdiagnosed with a less serious condition, he or she may go home and have a fatal heart attack. 

Misdiagnosing Strokes

Stroke is the fourth most commonly misdiagnosed medical condition. Misdiagnosis of strokes in the emergency department is far too common. A patient may appear in the emergency room with milder conditions, such as vertigo or headache, that can be an indication of a stroke. Emergency room doctors may disregard the symptoms and rule out a stroke without running enough diagnostic tests. Approximately 9 percent of patients who arrive at the emergency room with a stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or transient ischemic attack (TIA) are misdiagnosed initially. 

Misdiagnosis Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading medical conditions prone to misdiagnosis by negligent doctors. When a doctor misdiagnoses cancer, including ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or lung cancer, the condition can become exacerbated, potentially leading to wrongful death. 

The timing of a patient’s diagnosis is crucial for cancer treatment. When a doctor fails to provide an accurate, timely diagnosis, cancer can continue to grow and spread throughout the patient’s body. Suppose a doctor misdiagnoses cancer as another less serious medical condition. If the patient would have received the correct treatment, he or she may have been able to go into remission. However, because of the misdiagnosis, the cancer could spread. Stage 1 cancer that is treatable could turn into stage 4 cancer that is inoperable.

Recovering Compensation Due to a Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical professionals, including surgeons, doctors, and nurse practitioners, are held to a higher standard when making simple errors. When a doctor is treating a patient, a single error could cause serious harm to the patient, jeopardizing his or her health and potentially putting the patient at risk of death. 

Patients will need to prove that a doctor or other medical professional owed them a duty of care and breached their duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly. They will also need to prove that the doctor’s negligent misdiagnosis directly caused their medical condition to worsen. In wrongful death lawsuits, the victim’s family members will need to prove that a negligent medical professional misdiagnosis caused their condition to worsen and resulted in their death.

Contact an Experienced Central New York Medical Malpractice Attorney at CDH Law

Proving liability can be challenging in medical malpractice cases. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner your attorney can investigate your case and gather crucial evidence. The Syracuse medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC are prepared to examine the facts in your case and develop a legal strategy for pursuing the full, fair compensation you need and deserve. Contact Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC to schedule a case evaluation with a skilled attorney.

Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC represents clients in Central New York, Syracuse, Monroe County, Jefferson County, Oswego County, Ontario County, and Onondaga County, including the towns and villages of Camillus, Cicero, Clay, Dewitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus, Onondaga, Salina, Skaneateles, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse, Fayetteville, Liverpool, North Syracuse, and Solvay.