New Jersey Misdiagnosis Attorney
Misdiagnosis describes a doctor’s failure to provide a patient with an accurate diagnosis. Failure to properly diagnose a patient can lead to delayed treatment, ineffective treatment, improper treatment, or no treatment at all. Doctors who deliver misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses commit malpractice and face liability for a patient’s resulting damages. Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, has the experience to handle medical malpractice claims. Contact us for an appointment with a qualified New Jersey misdiagnosis attorney to review your claim.
The Diagnostic Process
Medicine is an uncertain field, and many medical conditions share symptoms with other conditions, making an accurate diagnosis more difficult. Doctors use a “differential diagnosis” process to determine a patient’s condition. After an initial review of the patient’s condition, the doctor will compile a list of possible diagnoses based on the patient’s symptoms and then eliminate each possibility to reach a conclusive diagnosis. As the doctor attempts to rule out each possible diagnosis, he or she will ask the patient questions about his or her medical history and conduct tests to confirm various aspects of the patient’s health.
Filing a New Jersey Misdiagnosis Lawsuit
In any medical malpractice claim for a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, the plaintiff and his or her New Jersey medical malpractice attorney must prove that another similarly skilled doctor in the same situation would have provided an accurate diagnosis. Plaintiffs can generally accomplish this by proving one of two things: the doctor failed to include the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list, or the doctor included the correct diagnosis but failed to confirm it with specialist intervention or necessary lab tests.
Some factors completely outside of a doctor’s control can lead to misdiagnosis, such as negligent lab technicians, compromised patient samples, faulty lab equipment, or mismanagement of patient documents by support staff and nurses. Ultimately, the deciding factor in whether an incident of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis warrants a medical malpractice lawsuit is whether the incident caused patient harm.
Compensation for Victims of Misdiagnosis in New Jersey
Some misdiagnoses are easily correctable. Since doctors generally want to avoid medical malpractice claims, it is common for doctors who make minor diagnostic errors to correct the mistake at little to no charge to the patient. However, doctors who make more substantial errors will likely not have this opportunity. A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can lead to serious complications for patients, including significant expense.
Damages in a medical malpractice claim hinge on the extent of the patient’s injury and other losses following a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. A plaintiff in a medical malpractice case for a diagnostic error can secure several types of compensation, including:
- Medical. Medical expenses resulting from remedial procedures or prolonged treatment caused by the diagnostic error.
- Pain and suffering. A delayed or incorrect diagnosis can cause a patient to lose treatment time for his or her actual condition. This can cause physical pain and psychological harm. The jury will assess the extent of the patient’s physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish following a diagnostic error to award an appropriate figure. Unlike some other states, New Jersey does not cap pain and suffering compensation in medical malpractice claims.
- Lost income. A diagnostic error may force a patient to spend more time in the hospital and recovery than originally expected, and the patient can sue for income lost during that time.
- Punitive damages. In cases involving gross negligence or willful misconduct, a jury may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future. New Jersey caps punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits at $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complex civil actions, so plaintiffs need reliable and experienced legal representation to handle their claims – look no further than the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP.
Free Consultation with a Skilled New Jersey Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, has more than 30 years of combined experience handling all types of civil actions, including medical malpractice claims. We offer contingency fee billing, so our clients pay nothing in legal fees unless we win their cases. Contact us in New Jersey today to schedule a free consultation with one of our team members. We’ll review your misdiagnosis claim and let you know what to expect from a lawsuit.