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Are Doctors Liable for Misdiagnosis in NYC?

When a person believes they are suffering from some illness or medical condition, they look to the medical advice of a doctor to determine their best treatment options. Unfortunately, some doctors may fail to provide a patient with a proper diagnosis, which could lead to a number of serious issues. If a doctor misdiagnosed you or a family member, contact an experienced New York City medical malpractice lawyer. The legal team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP understand the medical issues that can result from a misdiagnosis, and we are here to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP is here to explain how a doctor can be liable for misdiagnosis in NYC.

Liability Laws for Doctor Misdiagnosis Mistakes in NYC

In New York, doctors that operate a practice or are employed by a hospital are liable for misdiagnosis errors. When rendering treatment to a patient, a doctor is required to provide them with medical care that meets the common standard in a particular field.

To determine the adequate medical standard, there are a number of factors that must be considered, like the experience of the doctor in comparison to their peers in a similar field. However, before proving that a doctor committed a misdiagnosis error, the claimant must first show they had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor that committed malpractice.

A doctor-patient relationship cannot be forged by a doctor offering informal medical advice at a social event or outside of their place of employment. Instead, a claimant must show solid evidence like payment for medical services or formal treatment instructions from a doctor.

To show that a doctor committed medical malpractice at trial, a plaintiff must prove how the doctor acted negligence. The following elements must be proven to show negligence on behalf of a doctor:

  • The doctor owed the patient a duty of care
  • The doctor breached that duty (failed to diagnose an illness)
  • The patient was injured due to the doctor’s breach
  • The patient suffered an injury that is compensable by a court of law

If a misdiagnosis error resulted in the death of a patient, the family of the patient may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible.

To learn more about how misdiagnosis errors happen, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

How Misdiagnosis Errors Occur

Doctors endure years of education and a similar amount of years training to ensure that they provide patients with the adequate medical care that they deserve. For this reason, it can be frightening to learn that errors in diagnosing a condition or disease are one of the leading causes in the accrual of medical malpractice claims. While it is true that some conditions are easily confused with others, a doctor’s negligence is also a contributing factor in diagnosis failures.

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor mistakes one illness or condition for another type of illness or condition. For example, if a doctor believes that a lump in a patient’s breast is non-cancerous, they could provide a patient with an incorrect diagnosis. As a result, the tumor may continue to grow and cause issues for the patient until a doctor correctly diagnoses the issue.

There are many factors that could contribute to a misdiagnosis error. Knowing these factors can help a doctor or patient avoid common mistakes in diagnosis.

Inaccurate Patient Medical History

A question about medical history is likely the most common question that a patient may have to answer at a doctor’s appointment. , a doctor about all the details of their medical history to ensure they receive proper medical treatment. However, some doctors may fail to account for all of a patient’s medical history when formulating a treatment plan, which could lead to misdiagnosis errors.

Additionally, when transferring medical records between doctors or hospitals, some vital information could be lost or misplaced. As a result, a doctor may be left with incomplete knowledge regarding the patient’s health.

Symptom Miscommunication

Doctors will often ask patients to describe the signs and symptoms of an illness they are experiencing. From this description, a doctor would research medical conditions that match the symptoms experienced by the patient. However, patients may have difficulty describing the full range of symptoms they are experiencing, which is why a doctor must ask the proper questions to reach a correct diagnosis.

If a doctor fails to guide the conversation regarding the signs and symptoms of an illness, they could be held liable for misdiagnosis errors.

Rushed Diagnostic Process

Many doctors will see several patients in the span of a typical day while also being responsible for other tasks. As a result, some appointments with a doctor may be rushed in order to serve as many patients as possible in a single workday. However, this is dangerous for a patient as they may not be given the necessary amount of time to diagnose a condition properly.

There are other causes of misdiagnosis errors that are not discussed above. If you were seriously harmed because your doctor failed to diagnose your medical condition, our firm could help you build a case against the parties responsible.

Contact Our Experienced NYC Medical Misdiagnosis Error Lawyers to Discuss Your Claim

If you or a family member was injured due to a doctor committing medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today. Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP is fully committed to helping residents of New York hold negligent doctors accountable for their actions. The malpractice attorneys at our firm possess decades of combined experience, and we are ready to represent you. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 843-0300. You can also contact the firm online.


Over our many years practicing personal injury law, our highly experienced legal team has earned a reputation for excellence. Our attorneys have appeared on major media outlets such as Fox News and MSNBC . Our firm’s legal accomplishments have been profiled by the New York Law Journal, the Los Angeles Times, ESPN, and the Associated Press. We have won multiple verdicts in excess of $1 million, making us proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious organization which admits fewer than 1% of all attorneys in the United States. We were named Super Lawyers in 2011, and enjoy a perfect 10/10 Superb rating on national attorney database Avvo.

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