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Negligent Referrals and Medical Malpractice

Many medical malpractice cases focus on a doctor’s competence, alleging that the doctor failed to perform to the reasonably-expected standard of care in diagnosing or treating a condition or performing surgery. It may seem ironic, therefore, that a physician could also be liable for recognizing his or her own limitations and referring the patient to another doctor who is better qualified to diagnose, treat or operate.

The problem occurs when the referral is made to a doctor who is not in fact properly qualified and who makes a mistake which injures the patient. The injured patient may have a medical malpractice claim against the treating physician as well as a negligent referral claim against the referring doctor. At the New York City personal injury law office of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., we explore all available legal theories and responsible parties in our quest for justice and seeking the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.

The following may be examples of negligent referrals, if made by a doctor who knew or should have known of the underlying problem:

  • referral to a doctor who is not qualified
  • referral to a doctor with a known disciplinary record of
  • referral to a doctor who is too busy to make a timely appointment
  • a delayed referral that should have been made sooner

New York City Medical Malpractice and Negligence Lawyer

It is an acceptable practice, and a highly appropriate one, for a doctor to refer a patient to a specialist or other physician who can better treat the particular condition than the referring doctor can. In fact, for a doctor to diagnose or treat a patient for a condition the doctor is not qualified for would probably make the doctor liable for medical malpractice. However, doctors also have a duty of care when they refer a case, and it would also be considered medical malpractice for a doctor to make a negligent referral, when the doctor either knew or should have known that the other physician would not be able to treat the patient competently. If a referral to another doctor has resulted in further personal injury, from a failure to treat, misdiagnosis, improper course of treatment, botched surgery or other procedure, please contact New York City medical malpractice attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free consultation regarding your rights to compensation.