Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the country, second only to heart disease. For treatment to be effective, it is vital that people receive a timely and proper diagnosis. Making the wrong diagnosis or failing to make the diagnosis in time can result in significant harm to the patient and often results in death. If you are suffering from cancer and believe that a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis may have played a role, you may be entitled to compensation and should reach out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney for help.
You Will Need to Prove Your Case
One of the key challenges for cancer patients in medical malpractice cases is proving that they would have suffered less if they had received a proper and timely diagnosis. When faced with a medical malpractice claim, most doctors and insurance companies will argue that the outcome would have been no different if you had been diagnosed sooner or been given a different diagnosis. While in most cases you still would suffer the effects of cancer, the harm would perhaps be less if you had been properly diagnosed.
In order to prove your case, you will most likely have to engage an expert witness to testify that you would have likely suffered less, required less invasive treatment, or had a shorter period of recovery. From there, you would then prove that you would have had lower medical expenses, less lost wages, and experienced less pain and suffering.
For patients whose diagnosis is terminal or family members who have lost a loved one to cancer, you will have to prove that the chances of survival would have been significantly higher had you received the proper diagnosis.
Lastly, there are some patients who receive a false positive diagnosis. They can suffer extraordinary harm if they begin treatment. These patients may be entitled to significant damages if the treatment was completely unnecessary and they suffered significant harm.
These cases are almost impossible for non-lawyers to pursue. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will know what needs to be done to prove your case so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Indications That You May Have a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim
Patients are at a disadvantage because they have no way of knowing whether or not they were misdiagnosed. We trust that our medical providers will take the appropriate steps to ensure that we receive a timely and proper diagnosis. That said, you may be the victim of medical malpractice if you experienced any of the following:
- Your doctor failed to order the appropriate tests to screen for cancer despite the presence of symptoms that suggest you may have cancer
- Your doctor ignored cancer risk factors
- Your doctor failed to identify symptoms that were reasonably apparent and would suggest the presence of cancer
- Your doctor failed to follow up on test orders
- Your doctor misinterpreted test results
- Your doctor ignored recommendations to conduct additional testing
- The laboratory mishandled test samples leading to an invalid result
- The laboratory failed to properly conduct the test
It is unlikely that either your doctor or the laboratory will admit that they made a mistake. If you suspect that you should have received a more timely or accurate diagnosis, contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
You May Be Entitled to Damages
If you have suffered harm as a result of your cancer misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. You may be entitled to damages for the following:
- The medical expenses incurred as a result of your misdiagnosis
- Your lost income due to being unable to work while undergoing treatment and recovering
- The physical pain and mental and emotional anguish you experienced as a result of your diagnosis and treatment
- Loss of future earnings if you suffer a permanent disability or receive a terminal diagnosis that could have been avoided
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can provide you with an estimate at the initial consultation. In addition, medical malpractice lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will never pay any legal fees out of your own pocket. Instead, the attorney’s fees will be paid as a percentage of the compensation you are awarded. In other words, you do not owe any legal fees unless your case is successful.
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis? Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney at Ragain & Clark
The first step in moving forward is to get the help you need. Take control of your situation by contacting Ragain & Clark. Call us today at 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney who give you the help you need.