Cancer is diagnosed in millions of people every year. It is a well-established fact that it is critical to catch cancer in its early stages in order to mitigate its effects or cure it. Unfortunately, delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer is a common problem nowadays, and it can be a case of medical negligence. When a doctor fails to diagnose or makes an error during the preliminary examination, it can lead to incorrect or delayed treatment, causing the condition to worsen gradually as the time passes. If you have been a victim of delayed or misdiagnosis, you or your loved ones can file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party, such as the doctor or hospital, to receive compensation for damages you have suffered.
Situations Leading to Medical Malpractice Claims
You can hold a medical professional or institution liable for medical malpractice, if any of the following is true in your situation:
- The doctor did not advise proper tests to diagnose cancer based on your symptoms and medical state.
- The medical practitioner failed to appropriately investigate your symptoms in a way that another doctor of the same caliber would have done.
- The doctor did not follow the standard follow-up procedure to assess the efficacy of their prescribed treatment.
- The healthcare professional was unable to interpret or read the test results, leading to misdiagnosis of your condition.
- The doctor was unable to analyze the cancer indications in a timely manner.
- The doctor intentionally ignored disclosing the bad news to you, and failed to suggest proper treatment for your condition.
- The doctor failed to refer you to another specialist, if they did not have the required qualification or skill set to diagnose or treat your symptoms or condition.
- The healthcare professional did not carry out tests or prescribe a treatment that would have been recommended by other doctors.
Grounds for Establishing Medical Malpractice
For you to prove that the negligence of a medical practitioner or institution aggravated your condition, you must establish that:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The healthcare professional was careless or negligent in their diagnosis, and hence was not able to hold the standard of care
- The delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer was a result of the negligence, causing your disease to worsen over time.
Who can be Held Responsible for the Medical Malpractice?
Mostly, a medical malpractice claim can be made against any medical practitioner whose negligence resulted in a delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer. It may include a general physician who failed to prescribe proper tests or referred the patient to a specialist; a lab technician, like a radiologist, who did not conduct the x-rays properly or misinterpreted the results; a surgeon, who failed to properly remove a tumor or did not refer to a specialist who may have better handled the patient’s condition. In some cases, faulty equipment can also be the reason for delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer, which can lead to liability against the hospital for not maintaining the equipment or manufacturers.
Establishing fault in medical malpractice cases is difficult, as you need evidence and expert witnesses to prove your claim. It is imperative that you work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.