A pathologist is a physician that studies tissues and bodily fluids to assist your doctor in making a diagnosis with regard to your medical condition. Those who have chronic conditions also depend on pathologists to monitor their health. Like other types of doctors, pathologists may make mistakes that cause harm to patients. If you believe you may have been the victim of pathology malpractice, you may be able to hold the pathologist accountable for your damages. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can evaluate the facts of your situation and determine the viability of your claim.Pathology Malpractice
Pathologists examine tissue samples as well as the cells in bodily fluids in order to diagnose. For example, a pathologist may examine a breast lump under a microscope to determine whether it's cancerous. Or a pathologist might read a Pap smear to determine whether there is cervical cancer or suspicious cells that might mean there is cervical cancer. Pathologists don't usually provide direct care to patients, but even so, pathology malpractice can result in serious injuries.
If, for example, a pathologist misdiagnoses cancerous cells as benign, cancer may progress untreated until it becomes too late to successfully treat the cancer. Conversely if a pathologist misinterprets benign cells as being cancerous, patient may undergo expensive and painful chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation, as well as pain and suffering and mental anguish.Liability for Pathology Malpractice
Numerous errors can occur in connection with biopsies and lab work that pathologists do. For example, a pathologist's error in interpreting a biopsy result can result in delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer. A pathologist may misread tests, fail to find proof of a disease that exists, or falsely find a medical condition where there isn't one. However, there can also be communication mistakes. For example, a pathologist may not properly send or receive a lab result. Sometimes other doctors can be liable in connection with test results when they don't follow up on the results of tests or don't timely notify the patient of the results.
A pathologist can be held liable for malpractice when you can show: (1) the pathologist owed you a professional duty of care, (2) the pathologist breached the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Proving these elements requires you to consult expert pathologists, and an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to help you arrange this. The expert can review the slides and medical records, and provide an opinion about whether these elements exist. If they determine that there was a pathology error that fell below the professional standard of care, we can bring a lawsuit.Damages
You may be able to recover damages for pathology malpractice. These are intended to make you whole again by giving you compensation for losses. You may be able to recover economic and noneconomic compensation. Economic damages are awarded to compensate an injured patient for more concrete losses arising out of the defendant's negligence, and they can include amounts such as lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs. Noneconomic damages are those that compensate patients for intangible damages like pain and suffering or loss of consortium. New York doesn't have medical malpractice caps, but usually, damages in medical malpractice cases are compensatory. Punitive damages are usually awarded for willful or malicious acts, and in most cases, pathology malpractice is the result of professional negligence rather than intentional acts or malice.
There are situations in which pathology malpractice can result in a patient's death. You may be able to sue for damages arising out of a wrongful death. Survivors are not allowed to pursue damages for their own grief, but they can recover economic losses, such as lost wages.Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorneys Representing Victims in Syracuse
If you were injured as a result of pathology malpractice, it may be possible to recover damages through a lawsuit. The skilled lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Lyons, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Cooperstown, Utica, Oswego, Watertown, Oneida, Cortland, Delhi, Lowville, Herkimer, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Binghamton, Norwich, Auburn, and Elmira. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.