Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis

Syracuse Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose appendicitis is alarmingly common. Only heart attacks and breast cancer are more often subject to failure to diagnose medical malpractice lawsuits. An appendicitis attack can be an emergency that requires immediate surgery, but sometimes it is chronic and requires drug treatment. When the appendicitis is left untreated, it can cause a ruptured appendix that may fill the body cavity and other organs with toxic substances. It can cause peritonitis and sepsis. If you have been harmed or lost a loved one because of failure to diagnose appendicitis, the dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help.

Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis

When you go to see a doctor or to the hospital because of pain in your abdomen or other signs of appendicitis, your doctors, nurses, and the staff members present should listen to you and respond accordingly. Symptoms of appendicitis include abdominal pain in the lower right abdomen where the appendix is located, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes a patient with appendicitis also has pain in other areas of the abdomen, and it’s important for health care providers to pay attention in order to give an accurate, and sometimes life-saving diagnosis.

There are some common errors made by health care providers when faced when appendicitis symptoms. These include misdiagnosing appendicitis as kidney stones or colitis, failing to conduct a proper exam to locate and measure the pain, following up inadequately, failing to list appendicitis as a possible diagnosis, or failing to intervene surgically if there is a deterioration of the patient. Sometimes an initial diagnostic error can result in further misdiagnosis and later errors or additional procedures, including follow-up surgeries with their attendant risks.

You only have 2 ½ years from the time of the alleged medical malpractice to bring a lawsuit for failure to diagnose appendicitis. In a chronic appendicitis case involving an ongoing course of treatment (such as improper treatment for another condition you didn’t have), the clock would only start running when the treatment course was complete. An attorney well-versed in medical negligence claims can help you comply with your filing deadlines.

Certificate of Merit

In New York, you need to file a written certificate of merit along with a medical malpractice complaint or within 90 days of filing your complaint when you can’t comply. The certificate needs to say that the lawyer reviewed the facts of the case and consulted with at least one licensed doctor and that he concluded, based on the consultation, that there was a reasonable basis to sue for medical malpractice.

Wrongful Death

If a loved one dies in New York, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death action under Section 5-4.1 of the New York Estates, Powers and Trust Laws. Legal representatives of a decedent’s estate are allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit based on neglect, a wrongful act, or default that causes a death. Unlike some other states, in a New York wrongful death lawsuit you can only recover pecuniary losses. These may include funeral and burial expenses, reasonable medical expenses, wages and benefits, and lost inheritance. This also includes loss of support and services, where, for example, a parent is not diagnosed with appendicitis and dies, leaving behind a surviving spouse and dependent kids. The economic losses that can be recovered may include loss of services and support, but don’t include pain and suffering or loss of companionship. Conscious pain and suffering endured by the decedent due to the failure to diagnose appendicitis can also be recovered.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

If you were harmed or lost a loved one due to failure to diagnose appendicitis in Syracuse, it is advisable to consult a skillful trial lawyer with experience in medical negligence cases about the viability of recovering compensation in a lawsuit. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano is a firm that represents patients and families in Syracuse, as well as Rochester, Watertown, Oswego, Oneida, Utica, Lowville, Herkimer, Elmira, Lyons, Wampsville, Auburn, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Canandaigua, and Ithaca. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
★★★★★
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
★★★★★
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
★★★★★
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY