I Received A Cancer Misdiagnosis. Is It Medical Malpractice?

February 2, 2023
I Received A Cancer Misdiagnosis. Is It Medical Malpractice?

I received a cancer misdiagnosis. Is it medical malpractice? A cancer misdiagnosis can prove catastrophic. If your doctor diagnoses you as having cancer when you do not, you may go through invasive, harmful treatments, including chemotherapy, for no reason. Worse, if your doctor diagnoses you with another condition when you really have cancer, you may find that your condition worsens because you did not receive treatment for it in a timely manner. Reach out to a failure to diagnose lawyer.

Is a Cancer Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis can, in many cases, constitute medical malpractice. That includes cancer misdiagnosis.

I Received a Cancer Misdiagnosis. Is It Medical Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis may mean you receive the wrong treatments, which may lead to other serious side effects. Chemotherapy and radiation, two of the most common treatments for many types of cancer, can mean substantial side effects, which a patient who does not have cancer should not have to suffer.

Some patients may face a misdiagnosis of another condition when they really have cancer. While they receive treatment for those conditions, they may end up with side effects from those treatments, and their conditions may worsen.

Misdiagnosis may mean substantial worries. Some types of cancer, for example, could require highly aggressive treatment or may have a very poor prognosis. Patients who receive a misdiagnosis of those types of cancer may end up struggling with substantial emotional trauma.

Misdiagnosis can erode a patient’s trust in care providers. A patient who has received a devastating misdiagnosis, especially one that led to substantial complications, may struggle to trust care providers in the future or may have difficulty accepting future information from a care provider.

In many cases, patients who have received a cancer misdiagnosis may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.

What Do I Have to Establish to File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?

To file any type of medical malpractice claim, you must establish several key pieces of information. A lawyer can help you determine whether your cancer misdiagnosis fits the criteria for a medical malpractice claim.

You had a doctor/patient relationship with the care provider who committed the misdiagnosis error. To file a medical malpractice claim, you must show that you had a doctor/patient relationship with that care provider. Without that relationship, you cannot show that the care provider committed an act of negligence in your treatment.

You might, for example, have an established doctor/patient relationship with a care provider who has provided treatment for your condition and symptoms long-term or with a hospital where you pursued testing and treatment for symptoms potentially related to cancer.

You cannot file a claim against a doctor with whom you did not have a doctor/patient relationship, including a care provider who may have consulted briefly on your case or may have seen the results of your test.

The doctor deviated from the standard of care in your case. To file a medical malpractice claim, you must show that your doctor deviated in some way from the standard treatment protocol expected in the case of most cancer diagnoses.

The diagnostic procedure associated with cancer can take time. You may need to go through several tests to determine what condition you have, the severity of your cancer, and what treatment will likely work best. A misdiagnosis can occur because your doctor does not take the proper steps to diagnose your condition, especially if your doctor does not confirm the diagnosis before beginning treatment.

Misdiagnosis can also occur because your doctor does not perform the full testing required based on the cancer symptoms you have presented, which can result in you getting a diagnosis for something besides cancer when you have cancer.

To show that your doctor deviated from the standard of care in your case, your lawyer may ask one key question: how would another doctor, presented with the symptoms you have listed and the conditions you have had to deal with, deal with your condition? What treatment would that doctor provide, and how would that doctor diagnose your condition? A lawyer may also want to examine whether your doctor ignored obvious symptoms or even misread scan results.

Sometimes, care providers may offer the highest possible standard of care based on the symptoms reported and the results of your tests but may not be able to diagnose your cancer or non-cancerous condition based on the reported symptoms. In that case, the doctor would not have committed an act of medical malpractice against you.

You sustained damages because of the cancer misdiagnosis. To file a medical malpractice claim, you must show that you sustained financial or physical damages because of a misdiagnosis.

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, you may end up receiving incorrect information. For example, a doctor might temporarily mix up test results but quickly realize that you did not get your results. If the doctor corrects the error before any treatment begins or before you miss out on needed treatment, you would not have any need to move forward with a malpractice claim.

On the other hand, sometimes, you may suffer significant damages, financial and otherwise, because of the error committed by your medical care provider.

YOU MIGHT SUFFER THROUGH TREATMENTS YOU DO NOT NEED.

Undergoing unnecessary cancer treatments can place considerable stress on your body. Chemotherapy, for example, may damage your immune system and make you weak and unsteady. If you receive radiation treatments, it can lead to fatigue or cause damage in the area targeted for treatment. Those unnecessary treatments can cause considerable damaging side effects. They may also:

Cause financial strain. Many cancer treatments prove very expensive, and many patients struggle to keep up with their medical bills while undergoing treatment.

Prevent you from working. While some patients undergoing cancer treatments can work normally, others may find that cancer treatments make it very difficult to complete their usual job duties. You may have to take a leave of absence or miss substantial time at work due to treatment.

Make it difficult for you to get the treatment you do need. In some cases, the treatments you receive for cancer may prevent you, at least short term, from receiving the treatment you need for another disorder.

In many cases, you may have the right to pursue compensation for those losses.

YOU MIGHT NOT RECEIVE THE TREATMENTS YOU DO NEED TO TREAT YOUR SYMPTOMS.

When you have a serious, devastating condition, and your doctor misdiagnoses your ailment, you may find it very difficult to get the treatment you really need. Delaying treatment for your ailment can mean a number of things.

You will continue to experience the same symptoms. If you do not receive the right treatment for your symptoms, they may continue, which can make it very difficult for you to manage your care.

Your condition may continue to deteriorate. In many cases, failure to get treatment for the conditions you have can make it very difficult for you to recover from that condition. Since you may not have received the treatment you need, your symptoms may worsen, making it very difficult for you to engage in normal activities.

You may need additional treatments in order to make a full recovery. In many cases, you may find that delayed treatment can make it very difficult to get on top of your recovery. You may need additional medical support to help you recover fully from your illness.

Talk to your lawyer about the specific challenges you may have faced because of a cancer misdiagnosis, including the financial losses that may have gone along with that misdiagnosis. Your lawyer can also help you include compensation for the suffering you may have faced because of that misdiagnosis.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?

Adam J Zayed, Founder & Trial Attorney
Adam J. Zayed, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you have a cancer misdiagnosis, you may have clear and obvious symptoms and assume that the medical malpractice insurance provider will make it right. In many cases, you may have gone through substantial suffering due to your care provider’s error, and you may assume that the malpractice insurance provider will have your best interests at heart.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice insurance companies often do not make your claim easy. You may need a lawyer for several reasons.

Care providers may not readily admit that they committed an act of malpractice. In many cases, care providers will not admit to malpractice. Instead, they will simply insist that they “made a mistake” or that “more information came to light” later.

You may need to work with a lawyer, who can contact a medical expert to help establish that your care provider deviated from the standard of care expected in situations like yours. An expert can help testify regarding exactly what symptoms you showed and how that care provider would have reacted to those symptoms compared to how your care provider reacted to and treated those symptoms.

You need to know how much compensation to expect for the damages you sustained. Calculating compensation in medical malpractice claims can prove very complicated. You may, in many cases, have to fight to lay out the full damages you have sustained.

Worse, you may not recognize the full extent of the damages you can claim following a cancer misdiagnosis, including compensation for the funds spent on unnecessary treatment, the additional cost of medical treatment because you did not receive prompt treatment for your actual symptoms, or the value of wages lost because of the cancer misdiagnosis.

A lawyer can lay out all the financial damages you suffered because of your care provider’s negligent act and pursue that compensation aggressively so that you can get reasonable compensation for your losses.

Medical malpractice claims can often prove highly complicated. Medical malpractice claims may prove much more complicated than other injury claims. You may, for example, need to go before a malpractice review board to lay out the extent of the damages you suffered and note how your care provider failed to adhere to the standard of care usually necessary in cases like yours.

You may also need to find an expert witness who will testify about that deviation. Without those standards in place, it can prove very difficult to get the compensation you deserve as part of a malpractice claim.

A lawyer can help collect the evidence you need and guide you through the claim process. Many lawyers do not handle medical malpractice claims because of their complexity, so you need a lawyer who understands medical malpractice law in your state and will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered.

Having a lawyer on your side can provide considerable peace of mind and support. 

The medical malpractice insurance provider may do several things to decrease the compensation they have to pay you after a cancer misdiagnosis. You may find yourself struggling to figure out when to listen to the insurance provider and when to continue to fight for the compensation you really deserve.

Furthermore, you may have difficulty fighting for your rights, especially if you are weakened by cancer treatments or symptoms. A lawyer can help you avoid the traps an insurance company may throw in your way, increasing your odds of a better outcome in your claim.

If you suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, a lawyer can help you determine whether you have the right to file a claim. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.