The Doctor’s Standard of Care
In any medical malpractice suit, the most important question is whether or not the doctor breached his or her professional standard of care. This means simply, did your doctor do what another doctor, with similar training, would have done in the same circumstances. In cases of cancer misdiagnosis, your attorney will obtain your medical records and also recruit experts to provide testimony as to what a reasonable physician would have done.
In addition to proving that your doctor breached the standard of care, in cases of cancer misdiagnosis, your attorney will also have to prove that you were harmed. It isn’t enough just to prove that the doctor was wrong. Mistakes happen, and sometimes a benign condition, like a cyst, can be mistaken for cancer. Of course, it can be argued that simply believing you had cancer caused you emotional harm, but if the mistake was reasonable under the circumstances, it might not meet the standard for medical malpractice.
The Consequences of the Misdiagnosis
In order to find a doctor liable, you must have suffered harm that, if the doctor had not breached the standard of care, would have been avoided. Cancer misdiagnosis cases are complicated, and an attorney can often have his or work cut out proving that the consequences weren’t essentially the same as if the diagnosis had been correct. For instance, if you were diagnosed wrongly with one type of cancer, and it turned out that you had another type of cancer that would have killed you just as quickly, the breach isn’t the cause of harm.
If, on the other hand, your life was shortened because of the cancer being improperly diagnosed, or you suffered a diminished quality of life, your cancer misdiagnosis attorney will likely be successful in proving malpractice.
These sorts of arguments are complex, and could succeed or fail. This is why it is extremely inadvisable for you to attempt to bring a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit on your own. Many cancer misdiagnosis cases are dismissed, simply because they were too speculative.
When It’s Not Cancer
One of the most egregious examples of malpractice due to cancer misdiagnosis occurs when a patient is subjected to painful, expensive treatments when in reality, the cancer simply doesn’t exist. In cases like this, the plaintiff may be entitled to damages for emotional suffering in addition to the cost of unnecessary treatments. In such a case, it’s vital that you retain the services of an experienced cancer misdiagnosis attorney who can convince a judge or jury that the fear of dying from a fatal disease caused you emotional pain and diminished your quality of life.
You Need a Lawyer
It would be disingenuous to suggest that every single personal injury case requires the services of an attorney. But when it’s a matter of medical malpractice, you can count on the doctor bringing the full force of his insurance company’s legal team against you. Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and you need someone on your side who has your best interests at heart. Under no circumstances should you ever try to handle your case without a cancer misdiagnosis attorney.