When a person seeks routine medical care or goes to a physician to address specific medical concerns, he or she rightfully expects that the doctor will properly identify any adverse medical condition that may exist. This is particularly true for cancer, which can often be treatable when it is addressed early enough.
Even in particularly aggressive cases of cancers, early identification can have a significant impact on a patient’s overall prognosis.
For this reason, it is extremely important for anyone who has been impacted by a physician’s failure to identify or delay diagnosing cancer to seek legal services as soon as possible from an experienced attorney.
How Often Is Cancer Misdiagnosed as a Different Condition?
According to the results of a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Hospital, cancer misdiagnosis is a serious issue that affects a substantial number of people. The research concluded that one in every 71 cases of cancer is misdiagnosed, and a full 20 percent are misclassified. Of course, this number may well be higher as many physicians may be reluctant to admit they made a mistake in a cancer diagnosis.
What Information Will Help a Doctor to Timely Diagnose Cancer?
Many people wonder what patients can do to avoid a misdiagnosis. For patients, the best thing that they can possibly do to ensure that any health condition that they may have is properly addressed is to communicate with their doctor as much as possible.
While a relatively small physical issue that does not cause any real discomfort may seem inconsequential, it may well be a sign or symptom of a much more significant issue such as cancer. For this reason, it is important for patients to be fully open about their physical condition when talking with their doctor and to report any issues that may have arisen since their last visit.
WebMD provides some specific tips for helping your doctors to avoid a misdiagnosis, including:
What Can You Do If a Doctor Failed to Diagnose Your Cancer?
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a physician or other medical professional fails to use the degree of care that would have been ordinarily exercised by a physician of similar skill and experience in the same or similar circumstances.
Many cases of a missed diagnosis involve medical malpractice. So, it is important for anyone who believes that their cancer went unrecognized to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
In many cases, people who are affected by this and other forms of medical malpractice can recover significant compensation from their physician or their physician’s employer.
Some of the more specific steps that victims should take include the following:
- Keep detailed notes regarding your conversations with your doctor. These notes should indicate the date that the conversation took place and details regarding your discussion.
- Always keep personal copies of and medical records or test results that you receive. Doing so may help prevent the destruction of evidence.
- Engage in any recommended course of treatment.
How Can A Lawyer Help You to Seek Justice?
After a missed cancer diagnosis, there are many ways that an attorney can help victims. Some of the most common include the following:
An attorney will fully evaluate your case and determine whether you have a legal claim.
Not every medical mistake is legally actionable. When you retain one of our medical malpractice lawyers, he or she will thoroughly investigate your case and determine whether you may be able to recover compensation. Your lawyer will compare the conduct of your physician with the conduct that would ordinarily be expected from a doctor in the same or similar circumstances and will consult with experts who may be able to testify to the fact that your physician was medically negligent.
Your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement offer on your behalf.
Many medical malpractice cases are resolved long before anyone steps foot into a courtroom. This is because, in many instances, a physician or his or her insurance company concedes liability, meaning that the only issue that needs to be resolved is the amount of compensation one party will pay to another.
However, just because a case is not litigated does not mean that a patient does not need to retain legal counsel. The fact that a person who has been injured by medical malpractice has retained an experienced attorney often results in a significantly greater financial recovery than he or she would have been able to achieve alone. This is because the mere fact that an attorney has become involved makes the possibility of litigation much more realistic, significantly strengthening a victim’s bargaining position.
Your attorney will represent you in any court proceedings that may occur.
In some medical malpractice cases involving a delayed or missed cancer diagnosis, it may become necessary for victims to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation. This may occur for a number of reasons.
Generally, filing a lawsuit becomes necessary when insurance companies refuse to pay a victim the compensation he or she deserves.
If this occurs in your case, your delayed cancer diagnosis lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court and within any statute of limitations that apply in your case. Additionally, your lawyer will represent you in court and make any appropriate legal arguments in order to maximize your chances of recovering compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you have incurred.
Contact a New York Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Lawyer Today to Discuss your Legal Options
It is important for victims to take steps to avoid a misdiagnosis. However, responsibility to make the correct diagnosis ultimately falls on the physician from whom you are receiving treatment.
Individuals who have been affected by a delayed cancer diagnosis should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. In many cases, a delayed diagnosis can result in a once-treatable disease becoming a serious issue that may threaten a person’s life. At the very least, missing a cancer diagnosis can cause significant emotional and physical pain and suffering that can have a substantial impact on both a victim and his or her family.
The attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, are dedicated to helping people who are injured by a delayed cancer diagnosis to recover for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, contact us online or call our offices in Albany or Syracuse today.