Can You Sue for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
You want to believe that your doctor will always make a timely and accurate diagnosis, especially with something life-threatening like cancer. Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes, and you could be a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis. According to the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal, about 28 percent of cancer cases are misdiagnosed.
If you are a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, chances are you’ll want to sue. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Cancer Misdiagnosis?
A misdiagnosis means that a qualified doctor gave either a delayed or incorrect diagnosis to a medical condition, illness or injury. Due to this mistake, a patient might get delayed or incorrect treatment or no treatment at all, which leads to the patient’s condition being worse, or even could result in an untimely death.
You should know that just a diagnostic mistake by itself usually isn’t enough for a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is because the law doesn’t hold doctors responsible for all mistakes in diagnosis.
Instead, you as the patient would have to prove three things to establish any claim. You’d need to prove there was a doctor-patient relationship, and that doctor was negligent and did not provide treatment skillfully, competently and or responsibly. You’d also have to prove that the doctor’s negligence caused injury to you.
The key to a misdiagnosis case is determining if the surgeon or physician acted with competence. Meaning the full procedure the doctor used would have to be evaluated as well as differential diagnosis methods before they reached a final conclusion.
Here are some common misdiagnosis errors, you could sue for:
Diagnostic Test Errors
Sometimes doctors fail to properly diagnose a condition properly because they are relying on inaccurate test results from a radiology clinic or a pathological laboratory.
This can occur because of faulty diagnostic equipment or simply human error. When this happens, the diagnostic clinic or laboratory might be considered to be negligent.
Misdiagnosis and Harm Caused to the Patient
You will also need to be able to prove that your doctor’s negligence either worsened your condition or caused an injury. You should also be able to prove that this wouldn’t have happened if you got a correct diagnosis in a timely manner.
If your physician gives you a clean bill of health when really you have an illness or disease. This is considered a missed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis error.
This is when a correct diagnosis is finally made, but it’s very much delayed. This is typically the most common diagnostic mistake.
Failure to Diagnose Complications and Related Diseases
This is when your doctor diagnoses your condition properly but doesn’t identify factors that can make your condition or illness worse. He or she might also diagnose one disease, but doesn’t identify another related condition which might have a higher risk to you.
Misdiagnosis of Unrelated Disease
This happens when your physician diagnoses your primary disease properly but doesn’t diagnose an unrelated secondary disease.
Misdiagnosis In Emergencies
Misdiagnosis is the most common in emergency situations. This is because there isn’t enough time to do the proper investigations before reaching conclusions. When this happens, more often than not, the patient is harmed.
A heart attack, for example, could be misdiagnosed as a gastric problem. So are strokes, pulmonary embolism, meningitis, and appendicitis. If you think you were misdiagnosed in an emergency situation, be sure to consult with a legal team today.
Liability for Incorrectly Diagnosing a Patient with Cancer
This is another common cancer misdiagnosis when a doctor determines a patient has cancer when he or she actually does not have cancer. If this misdiagnosis was a breach of the professional standard of care, then the doctor would be liable for any damages that happened due to the unnecessary treatment or surgeries.
In these cases, the doctor could also be found liable for any anguish or fear that the patient suffers, under the false impression that he or she has a possibly fatal disease.
Claiming for Misdiagnosis of Cancer
Your cancer misdiagnosis claim would depend on if your doctor didn’t refer you to a specialist, even though you had obvious symptoms. Or it could be that your doctor didn’t perform or advise for you to get a biopsy. It could also mean that your doctor didn’t properly look at your symptoms and or didn’t advise for you to get the necessary CT or MRI scans.
Claiming for a Late Diagnosis of Cancer
You also could have late or delayed cancer treatment, and this would be because of your doctor’s failure to diagnose your condition on time. Meaning you were left with delays in treating your condition, or the doctor could have diagnosed your condition but didn’t act quick enough.
In these cases, you could claim to be compensated for delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment if you experienced more suffering. This is because the law says that once a diagnosis is made, your doctor is legally bound to give you the appropriate treatment.
If your doctor fails to do this, then he or she would be guilty of negligent delay. Late diagnosis also means there was an insufficient action taken to promptly treat a medical condition. This could also be cases where even though the diagnosis was quick, the physician didn’t refer the patient to the proper specialist quickly enough.
This also includes situations where medication wasn’t given fast enough, or the proper tests weren’t done. With both cases, there could be serious consequences that lead to your suffering and you would have grounds to claim compensation in these situations.
If a late diagnosis has been proven, you will want to get in touch with a competent lawyer as soon as possible so you can get the cancer misdiagnosis settlement you deserve. You can find out more information about that here.
Get a Lawyer Today
Now that you know if you have grounds to sue for cancer misdiagnosis, it’s time you team up with the right lawyer. A competent and qualified lawyer can get you the settlement you deserve, so don’t wait. Find a lawyer to handle your cancer misdiagnosis case today.
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