The last thing any New Yorker who needs medical treatment would want is being misdiagnosed by a doctor. However, as two recent studies and several in the past decade found, a significant percentage of medical malpractice claims against physicians involved misdiagnosis. Analysis of claims showed that the failure to assess the entire clinical picture by analyzing all of the available information appears to be the primary cause of diagnostic errors. This includes the patient’s medical history, the symptoms he or she reported, the physical examination and all test results.
One recent study reports that medical malpractice claims filed from 2013 through 2017 showed that almost half of them were diagnosis-related. Nearly half of those cases resulted in the death of the patient. The second study by another malpractice carrier looked at malpractice claims involving the treatment of children from 2008 through 2017, and the outcome showed 38 percent of those claims resulted from misdiagnosis.
A study conducted in 2017 analyzed almost 63,000 medical malpractice claims against hospitals and concluded that about one in five was diagnosis related. Here, too, the majority of the misdiagnosis claims led to death or disability. Prior research that was done in 2015 suggests that misdiagnosis is number three on the list of leading causes of death among patients in the care of hospitals.
Patients in New York who have reason to suspect their health conditions to be the result of misdiagnosis or diagnostic errors might have questions about their legal options. An attorney with experience in this complicated field of the law can provide answers. A lawyer can assess the details, assist with obtaining medical evidence and documents and advocate for the client throughout a medical malpractice claim seeking the full recovery of all documented monetary damages.