Late Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis, and Failure to Diagnose Disease


How do the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New York approach a case?

Early detection of the most severe diseases and health conditions, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and various infections, is of utmost importance for several reasons. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the greater the chance of successful treatment. Also, the treatment is the most effective with most diseases if diagnosed early and adequately. Testing for the diseases and health conditions mentioned above should be done thoroughly and swiftly. Regardless of where it takes place, proper and prompt testing can mean the difference between life and death for the patient. In an ideal world, all doctors should be able, sufficiently knowledgeable, and willing to order life-saving tests (such as mammograms, biopsies, CAT scans, and blood tests), but they don’t. The instances in which doctors fail to detect and diagnose a potentially deadly health condition happen very often. The reasons for this are many and varied. Still, the most common ones are negligence, fatigue, understaffing, time pressure, ignorance, cost cuts, or doctors failing to follow up on test results or wrongly interpreting them.

According to a recent study published in the BMJ Quality & Safety Journal, each year, close to 12 million people in the United States are misdiagnosed. This amounts to one in twenty adult patients. In half of those cases, late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose a disease or health condition can result in severe harm and even death. Common diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, gallstones, and urinary tract infections are often misdiagnosed. The sad truth is that despite their frequency and impact, such diagnostic errors have been ignored for the most part. In most extreme cases, misdiagnosis can mean a treatable illness becoming fatal. Although misdiagnosis is preventable, the truth remains that approximately 20% of all diseases that result in death are misdiagnosed at first.

These are the most common diseases where late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose occur pretty frequently:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Depression
  • Celiac disease
  • Stroke
  • Lyme disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Meningitis
  • Lupus

Late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose a disease or medical condition that results in severe harm and even death constitutes medical malpractice, which, in turn, gives the injured patient or the deceased patient’s loved ones the right to bring a late or misdiagnosis lawsuit against the healthcare provider.

A 25-year summary (1986–2010) of US malpractice, analyzed by the National Practitioner Data Bank, concluded that “diagnostic errors appear to be the most common, most costly and most dangerous of medical mistakes.” Out of 350,706 paid claims, those relating to late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose accounted for the highest share in total settlements (35.2%). In contrast, the most frequent outcomes of late and misdiagnosis were death and permanent injuries.


Late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and failure to diagnose lawsuit

Under the laws of the state of New York, damages can be sought in the following cases;

  • A deteriorating prognosis
  • Unnecessary medical treatments
  • Overly invasive or complicated treatments
  • Death or injury resulting from late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose

Because the US law does not hold doctors legally responsible for every single diagnostic mistake they make, to bring a medical practice lawsuit successfully, patients need to prove three things:

  • That a doctor-patient relationship existed
  • That a doctor or other medical professional was negligent
  • That a doctor’s negligence resulted in death or injury to the patient.


Statute of Limitation In Medical Malpractice Cases

If you wonder whether it is too late to sue your doctor for medical malpractice, here’s the information to help you. In the New York state area, the statute of limitations (the period in which a medical malpractice claim should be filed) is two and a half years from the time the case of malpractice occurs or from the last date of continuing treatment following a medical error.


New York Medical Practice Lawyers With An Edge

Suppose you are seeking justice for yourself or on behalf of someone who has died or suffered injuries because of medical malpractice, and you live in the New York state area. In that case, you will need an adequately trained, experienced, and uncompromising lawyer. We at Gurfein Douglas pride ourselves in being just that. Apart from law degrees, our firm’s principals, Richard Gurfein and Preston Douglas, also have degrees in engineering and biochemistry, giving them an edge over other medical malpractice attorneys in New York. Preston Douglas is an expert in medical malpractice and severe injury cases, and in the last 27 years, he has cross-examined over 2,000 doctors in the course of trials and depositions.

At Gurfein Douglas, you can rely on the scientific training of our two partners to uncover the often hidden technical details of your medical malpractice lawsuit that the untrained eye might miss. Our attorneys are not afraid of a challenge. On the contrary, they relish it. No matter how complicated the case or how formidable the defendant may be, Gurfein Douglas will do everything in their power to get you or your loved one the justice and the compensation you deserve.

Our experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys will carefully review all medical records to find out whether the patient’s death or a severe injury was a result of a human error, defective medical or lab equipment, inaccurate test results, or other errors in the medical system.


Top Medical Malpractice Lawyers NYC

$7,400,000.00 settlement on behalf of a 60-year-old woman who became paralyzed in both legs and one arm after her doctors failed to diagnose an infection in her spine.

$5,750,000.00 verdict on behalf of a 20-year-old woman who was discharged from the hospital after giving birth to her second son, even though she had a very aggressive infection in her uterus and abdomen.

$4,000,000.00 was awarded after a top neurologist had him undergo four years of agonizing treatments based on the wrong diagnosis.


At Gurfein Douglas LLP, you can rely on our scientific and engineering knowledge and years of experience to uncover the story that the untrained eye might miss. Developing the theory of the case and understanding the medical details and standard of care resulted in this case record and just outcome. In the video, learn more about why Richard Gurfein and Preston Douglas are the Lawyers With An Edge. If you feel, the negligence of a doctor or hospital has severely injured you.


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