Unfortunately, some patients leave a doctor’s office worse off due to a misdiagnosis.
Studies show that medical errors, such as misdiagnosis, may be one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
If your doctor made an error in treatment or judgment, you might wonder how to prove misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Below, the skilled misdiagnosis medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima explain how to prove medical misdiagnosis for a medical malpractice case.
What Is a Medical Misdiagnosis?
Proving misdiagnosis in New York requires understanding the definition of medical misdiagnosis.
Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional, such as a doctor, makes a diagnosis based on the symptoms they’re aware of and the tests they perform—but the diagnosis is incorrect.
A medical misdiagnosis can also occur when a doctor makes no diagnosis.
Is Your Misdiagnosis Malpractice?
Misdiagnosis doesn’t always rise to the level of medical malpractice. For a medical malpractice case, you must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed and that the doctor’s negligence caused you harm.
You must first prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship for a medical malpractice case. The medical professional need not be a doctor—you can have a doctor-patient relationship with a nurse, radiologist, dentist, or another medical professional.
The doctor-patient relationship arises when you seek medical care and a provider offers you treatment.
Medical Malpractice and Negligence
To prove that a misdiagnosis is due to medical malpractice, you must show that the doctor or medical professional was negligent.
A patient must prove the following to establish negligence:
- Duty of care—The doctor owes the patient a duty to treat them according to a generally accepted medical standard of care;
- Breach—The doctor failed to meet the applicable standard of care when they misdiagnosed the patient;
- Causation—The doctor’s failure to diagnose the patient caused the patient harm; and
- Damages—The patient suffered injury or death as a result.
Proving misdiagnosis for a malpractice case requires credible evidence for each of these elements.
Medical Standard of Care
The law requires healthcare professionals to abide by a medical standard of care when treating their patients.
The medical standard of care requires that your doctor treat you in substantially the same way a reasonable, competent medical professional would treat a similar patient under similar circumstances.
Expert Witness Testimony
An expert witness is one of the most important things you’ll need to prove misdiagnosis in New York. An expert witness is another medical professional who will examine your medical records and your doctor’s course of treatment.
They’ll testify to the applicable standard of care and whether your doctor breached that standard. It would be best if you spoke with a medical malpractice attorney for more information on identifying and hiring a suitable medical expert witness.
Contact a Skilled New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
Understanding how to prove misdiagnosis requires knowledge of New York’s complex malpractice laws and procedures, but you do not have to face this task alone.
We will fight to protect your rights while you recover. Contact us online or call 516-980-3096 today.