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As the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., cancer affects millions of Americans. Over a million people rely on medical professionals to accurately diagnose their cancer and initiate treatment each year. However, when medical professionals like physicians and pathologists negligently misdiagnose patients, people suffer.
You might qualify for compensation if you or a loved one suffered from cancer misdiagnosis because of another party’s negligence. At Zayed Law Offices, our Chicago cancer misdiagnosis lawyers know how to help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact us for more information.
Table of Contents
What Does a Cancer Misdiagnosis Involve?
People who experience cancer symptoms turn to skilled physicians and other experts for an accurate diagnosis. It is essential to diagnose and treat cancer as early as possible for a chance of remission.
Unfortunately, medical professionals sometimes misdiagnose cancer, harming patients who receive the wrong treatment or no treatment due to the misdiagnosis. Even if a doctor eventually makes a correct diagnosis, it may be too late—cancer spreads quickly.
Common misdiagnosis scenarios include:
- Failure to Diagnose: In some cases, medical professionals may fail to identify and diagnose cancer in their patients. They may misinterpret test results, refuse to order a screening test due to certain factors such as the patient’s age, or fail to conduct the appropriate tests.
- Diagnosing the Wrong Type of Cancer: Medical professionals may diagnose patients with one type of cancer when the patient is suffering from another.
- False Positives: Patients may also receive a cancer diagnosis when they do not have cancer or have another condition.
An improper diagnosis can lead to further complications, declining health, and other losses. If a negligent diagnosis hurt you or a loved one in Chicago, contact Zayed Law Offices. Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers help victims determine whether negligence affected their health and advise them on how to seek compensation for their losses.
How Common Is Cancer Misdiagnosis in Chicago?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.6 million people receive cancer diagnoses each year. Although many of these diagnoses are accurate, about 15 percent of new cancer diagnoses involve a misdiagnosis. These numbers indicate that cancer misdiagnosis is a problem in the U.S.
Some of the most common cancers involved in misdiagnoses:
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Brain and central nervous system cancers
- Breast cancer
What Leads to a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Physicians and other medical professionals may be liable for cancer misdiagnosis when they act negligently. They may fail to diagnose cancer based on the patient’s symptoms or diagnose the wrong type of cancer, preventing proper treatment.
Some errors that can lead to a cancer misdiagnosis include:
- Failure to thoroughly assess the patient and their symptoms
- Failure to order the appropriate tests to identify and diagnose cancer or other conditions
- Failure to obtain the patient’s accurate and complete medical history
- Failure to refer patients to qualified specialists
- A lack of the resources required to make a proper diagnosis
- Failure to collect genetic information about patients
- Failure to correctly interpret test results
- Failure to properly communicate medical information to patients
Regardless of the specific error or individual involved in a misdiagnosis, the attorneys at Zayed Law Offices can help determine what caused the misdiagnosis and identify the parties responsible.
The Types of Damages Involved in Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases
Depending on the case and the degree to which victims suffer, a Chicago cancer misdiagnosis case may include several types of damages, like:
These damages are quantifiable costs that patients face due to a cancer misdiagnosis. They depend on the kind of misdiagnosis that took place. For instance, cases involving a false diagnosis of cancer that a patient does not have could lead to steep costs for unnecessary cancer treatment.
If a patient receives a delayed or wrong diagnosis, damages can include the cost of additional treatment required to compensate for improper and untimely treatment. Additionally, future treatment costs may count toward economic damages.
Specific economic damages involved in cancer misdiagnosis cases could include:
- Medical bills, including past and future expenses for medication, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and physical therapy, among others
- Lost wages from time off work to receive treatment and recover
- The cost of transportation to and from hospitals and cancer treatment centers
- Expenses for home modification, such as installing ramps and railings in the home
- Child or nursing care costs resulting from the patient’s inability to care for children or themselves
- Funeral costs in the event of a person’s death resulting from a cancer misdiagnosis
Unlike economic damages, these damages are difficult to calculate because they compensate victims for the physical and psychological suffering they experienced after a cancer misdiagnosis.
Non-economic damages often associated with cancer misdiagnosis cases include:
- Pain and suffering resulting from symptoms and treatments
- Mental distress, including anxiety and depression
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a relationship or consortium
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, the court may award punitive damages to punish at-fault parties for their negligence. In cases involving punitive damages, medical professionals typically must have been aware of the potential harm they could cause. One example of a case warranting punitive damages could involve a physician who intentionally misdiagnosed a patient to profit from it.
The goal of awarding punitive damages is to ensure that future instances of similar negligence don’t occur again.
It is often challenging to calculate all potential damages in a cancer misdiagnosis case. The legal team at Zayed Law Offices has experience computing damages for cancer misdiagnosis cases. We ensure that our clients fully understand their options for seeking damages to make informed decisions.
Major Healthcare Providers in Chicago
Throughout Chicago, people visit multiple major healthcare providers to seek diagnoses and treatments for cancer. You may qualify for compensation if you or a loved one receives a cancer misdiagnosis at any of these or other healthcare providers in Chicago.
The legal team at Zayed Law Offices has experience handling these cases and can take on cases involving medical professionals at any of these facilities. We are not afraid to take on big names in healthcare, and our past results speak for themselves. Regardless of where your cancer misdiagnosis occurred, we can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Elements of a Cancer Misdiagnosis Case
Like other medical malpractice cases, victims of cancer misdiagnosis must prove that negligence resulted in a cancer misdiagnosis and subsequent damages. They must gather and present evidence in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Specifically, cancer misdiagnosis victims must prove:
- That a doctor-patient relationship existed
- That the doctor’s negligence led to a cancer misdiagnosis
- That the misdiagnosis directly harmed them
- That the misdiagnosis culminated in damages
The following is a breakdown of these elements:
The first step of a cancer misdiagnosis case requires the victim to prove that they had a doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional. For instance, if the patient hired the doctor through a mutual agreement. Once there is a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor accepts legal responsibility for providing a standard of care. Without establishing a doctor-patient relationship, victims may be unable to pursue compensation for cancer misdiagnosis.
Once the patient establishes a doctor-patient relationship, they must prove that the doctor acted negligently by breaching the duty of care.
After proving that negligence occurred, the victim must show that the negligence caused their losses related to the cancer misdiagnosis. These could include a combination of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Chicago Cancer Misdiagnosis FAQs
If you have additional questions about cancer misdiagnosis cases in Chicago, contact Zayed Law Offices. The following are some frequently asked questions we receive about cancer misdiagnosis:
How Long Do I Have to File a Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit in Chicago?
The amount of time a person has to file a cancer misdiagnosis case depends on where the incident occurs. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations. The time limit for medical malpractice cases in Illinois is two years after discovering the misdiagnosis.
Once the patient becomes aware of the misdiagnosis, the statute of limitations period begins. Keep in mind that the claims process can take a long time to complete, making it essential to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible upon learning of the misdiagnosis. Additionally, other factors can affect the filing period, so speak with a lawyer to ensure you do not miss any deadlines.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Compensation for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
The length of time it takes for victims to recover compensation in a cancer misdiagnosis claim depends on several factors. For example, it generally takes longer to recover compensation if a case goes to trial. Working with a qualified lawyer can help accelerate the process since they can navigate the claim efficiently.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer in Chicago?
Medical malpractice lawyers usually charge a contingency fee for their services. Unless the lawyer wins the case, their clients do not pay for representation. If the lawyer succeeds and reaches a settlement, an agreed-upon percentage will cover attorney fees.
Contact a Qualified Chicago Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Cancer misdiagnoses harm patients and can even lead to wrongful death. If a cancer misdiagnosis hurts you or a loved one, you may be able to seek compensation with the help of a lawyer.
The legal team at Zayed Law Offices is sensitive to the pain and suffering you already endured due to your cancer misdiagnosis. We want to help victims by offering legal support and helping them seek the compensation they deserve.
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Chicago, IL 60601
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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.