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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Can You Sue a Doctor for Failure to Diagnose?

Patients count on medical professionals to accurately diagnose and treat their ailments. However, what happens when that diagnosis is missed or delayed? Can you hold a doctor accountable for failing to diagnose your condition? As a personal injury law firm serving the people of New York City, we understand the complexities surrounding medical malpractice cases, particularly those involving failure to diagnose

Below, the experienced NYC medical malpractice lawyers at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo help you understand your rights and options.

What is Failure to Diagnose?

Failure to diagnose occurs when a medical professional fails to promptly identify a patient’s medical condition, leading to either a delay in treatment or no treatment at all. This negligence can happen for many reasons, but the medical condition goes unnoticed or inaccurately identified for so long that it leads to a delay in treatment or no treatment at all. 

Failure to diagnose can result in:

  • A patient’s health condition worsening
  • Progression of the disease to more advanced stages
  • Complications
  • Death

Examples of Failure to Diagnose Cases

Medical professionals can fail to diagnose medical conditions for many reasons, including misinterpreting symptoms, making errors in medical testing or the interpretation of test results, inadequate patient evaluation, or insufficient consideration of the patient’s medical history. Some of the most common examples include:

Cancer Misdiagnosis: Certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer, are commonly misdiagnosed. A failure to diagnose cancer can lead to delayed treatment, allowing the disease to progress to more advanced stages and making it more challenging to treat.

Heart Attack or Stroke Misdiagnosis: Symptoms of heart attacks and strokes can vary widely among individuals and may be mistaken for less severe conditions, but failing to recognize the signs of a heart attack or stroke can lead to serious, life-threatening consequences.

Infections: Infections, especially those that affect the bloodstream or internal organs, can be challenging to diagnose, resulting in systemic complications and sepsis.

Starting the Process of Suing Your Doctor

If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice due to a failure to diagnose, here are some steps you should take to protect your rights:

  1. Document your medical records. Gather all relevant medical records, including test results, diagnostic reports, and treatment plans. Your medical malpractice attorney can use these to help you file a claim.
  2. Consult with a NYC medical malpractice lawyer. Seek legal guidance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney specializing in failure to diagnose cases. At SPBMCC, we offer free consultations to help assess the merits of your case, explain your legal options, and guide you through the legal process.
  3. Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice lawsuits in New York. This is the time limit within which you must initiate legal action. An experienced lawyer can help you meet any critical deadlines.
  4. Consider alternative dispute resolution. In some cases, mediation or arbitration may offer a quicker and less adversarial resolution than going to court. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on your circumstances.

Failure to diagnose cases can have devastating consequences for patients and their loved ones. If you believe you or a family member have been a victim of medical malpractice following a failure to diagnose, it’s essential to seek legal guidance from a reputable personal injury law firm like SPBMCC. Our team of dedicated failure-to-diagnose attorneys has decades of experience securing high-dollar settlements for our clients. 

Contact an Experienced NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer at SPBMCC Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. is a reputable, full-service personal injury law firm specializing in various areas, including medical malpractice. Our dedicated litigation support teams are committed to vigorously representing clients in 9/11-related illnesses, personal injury cases, car accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk counties, and New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.


A black and white graphic with text about the impact of missed diagnoses and legal rights. The text asks if you have experienced a worsening of a health condition, progression of an undiagnosed disease to a more advanced stage, complications arising from a delayed diagnosis, or loss of life due to a missed diagnosis. It then says you may be entitled to compensation and to contact a law firm for a free consultation.

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