If you believe that you or a loved one has been impacted by a delayed cancer diagnosis, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
A medical malpractice attorney can investigate your case, consult with experts and determine whether the delay in your cancer diagnosis resulted from the negligence of a doctor or the other medical professionals involved in your care.
If medical negligence did occur, and you have suffered harm due to a delayed cancer diagnosis, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses.
Don’t wait to initiate the investigation in your case. Call Powers & Santola, LLP, or reach us online. Our attorneys serve clients in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout New York State. We can provide a free and confidential consultation today.
Did Negligence Occur in Your Delayed Cancer Diagnosis?
When the attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, investigate your case, we will gather and analyze evidence that indicates whether your delayed cancer diagnosis resulted from negligence. This evidence may include:
Medical records such as test results
Condition of medical equipment that was used
Statements from those involved in your diagnosis.
In a New York medical malpractice case, negligence occurs when a doctor or other health care provider breaches the relevant standard of care, or fails to do what a medical professional in the same specialty would have done when faced with the same or similar circumstances.
Where a case involves a suspected error in a cancer diagnosis, a major focus is on the process that the doctor and others followed, and whether they fell below the standard of care at any point in that process. For instance:
Did the doctor get a full list of the patient’s symptoms, review the patient’s medical history and identify cancer risk factors that were present?
Did the doctor include cancer among the possible diagnoses for a patient’s condition?
Did the doctor order appropriate tests before ruling out cancer as a diagnosis?
Did the doctor correctly interpret results of tests that were done?
Would a doctor in the same position have referred you to a specialist?
Did an error occur in the testing process due to faulty equipment, contamination of tissue samples or a breakdown in communication?
Did a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Harm You?
Once it is determined that negligence led to a delayed cancer diagnosis, the focus turns to whether this delay caused actual harm to you or your loved one.
In most cases, this harm may be established by looking at what a cancer patient’s prognosis would have been if the disease had been diagnosed when he or she first went to the doctor with symptoms.
If the patient’s prognosis is worse due to the delay – for instance, the delay allowed the cancer to spread to other parts of the body – it would amount to harm caused by the doctor’s negligence.
Additionally, the evidence may establish that, due to the delayed diagnosis, a patient must now undergo more severe and costlier forms of treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy. As a result, a patient may also be exposed to a greater deal of pain and suffering.
You should know that New York is one of 22 states (and the District of Columbia) that recognizes the “loss of chance” doctrine.
Generally speaking, under this doctrine, a patient may recover compensation if it can be established that there is a “substantial possibility” that a patient would have faced a better outcome if negligence had not resulted in a delayed cancer diagnosis.
What Role Do Experts Play in a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Claim?
Experts play a significant role in a delayed cancer diagnosis case. Experts can review evidence and provide an invaluable opinion on issues that include:
What standard of care applies? A medical expert who specializes in the same area of medicine as the doctor in your case can establish what a competent doctor should have done when presented with the same symptoms, medical history and risk factors. For example, based on your symptoms, should the doctor have ordered a test for prostate cancer?
Was the standard of care breached? The expert can also determine whether the doctor in your case acted (or failed to act) in a manner that fell below the applicable standard of care. For instance, did the doctor fail to diagnose your cancer because he or she misread test results?
Did a patient suffer actual harm due to the breach? Finally, the expert can shed light on whether the delay has resulted in a poorer prognosis or the need for more severe forms of treatment.
It is important to note that, in New York, a lawyer who files a medical malpractice claim generally must certify that he or she has consulted with at least one licensed physician whom the lawyer reasonably believes is knowledge about the medical issues in the case. The lawyer must also certify that, based on his or her consultation with the expert, the lawyer believes there is a reasonable basis to file a claim.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, our lawyers work with highly qualified experts from a wide range of medical fields. We are ready to put knowledgeable experts to work on your case.
Get Help from Our New York Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a delayed cancer diagnosis that was the result of medical malpractice, you can count on the lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, to work hard for you and seek the compensation you deserve.
We have a deep background in delayed diagnosis cases, and three of our attorneys have received recognition in “The Best Lawyers in America” in the area of medical malpractice.
From our offices in Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester we serve clients throughout New York. Call or connect with us online today to get started with a free consultation.