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Can You Sue for Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis of Cancer?

If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice regarding cancer from a doctor, nurse, physician, or hospital you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. At the top-rated Normandie Law Firm, our skilled Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys can help you sue the party responsible for the damages that you have endured. You should not have to suffer alone for a doctor’s error or a lab mistake; let our team of expert legal consultants guide you through the process of filing your lawsuit, fighting for your claim, and earning you the compensation that you deserve. Contact our top Los Angeles law offices today and receive a free consultation with a lawyer who has experience handling medical malpractice claims.

Cancer & its Various Forms
Cancer is considered by and large the second deadliest disease in the world. Currently, 7.6 million people die worldwide every year from this debilitating illness. It is fair to say that cancer is a widespread and devastating disease that, if left treated or diagnosed poorly, can have dangerously adverse effects on the well being of a patient. If cancer is misdiagnosed, mistreated, or wrongfully diagnosed by a health care professional, said medical professional should be held liable for the damages that the patient has to endure.

Cancer is a disease that involves the uncontrolled reproduction of abnormal cells within in the body. In most forms of cancer, the cells divide without stopping, and the continue to spread into the surrounding tissues. Cancer is a twisted version of the natural cell division process wherein new cells are made as needed, replacing other damaged or dead cells throughout the body. Cancerous cells, however, have no real function, and often do not go on to replace damaged cells. Instead, they continue to grow in the body and develop one of two kinds of tumors, benign tumors and malignant tumors. Malignant tumors will typically spread and multiply, as the more the tumor grows, the more cancerous cells break off and form new malignant tumors far from the original tumor site. Malignant tumors are often considered life-threatening as the removal of the original tumor does not always mean cancer will recess altogether. Benign tumors however usually do not spread. When benign tumors are removed, they usually don’t grow back. While for the most part, benign tumors in other regions of the body can be treated, a benign tumor in the brain can be incredibly life-threatening.

The cause of cancer varies from strain to strain, although, for the most part, the two leading causes are a genetic disposition to the development of cancer cells and an overexposure to chemical substances like tobacco smoke and ultraviolet radiation.

Below is a list of some of the more common forms of cancer a person can be diagnosed with:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal/Colon Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Lymphoma

These are just a few of the forms of cancer an individual can be diagnosed with. All of these forms occur differently, and for varying reasons. Some are more treatable than others, but almost all of them require treatments that can be both expensive and life-threatening. This procedure is called Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment that involves the use of one or more anticancer drugs to damage and slow the reproduction of cancer cells. It is considered the most effective cancer treatment as many cancer cells are extremely sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy. The side effects of chemotherapy can be quite severe, however, and are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss
  • Easy Bruising and Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores that develop on the mouth, tongue, and throat
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Urine and bladder changes
  • Kidney problems
  • Weight changes
  • Limit ability to concentrate or focus
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Fertility Problems

While these are not all of the possible side effects of chemotherapy, these are just a few of the more regular ones. Some patients do not experience all of these symptoms, while others may experience a varying severity of all of them. In many ways, some consider the treatment worse than the disease, as chemotherapy can disable a patient both physically and financially.

Treatment of cancer is also more effective the sooner it is diagnosed. For this reason, a missed diagnosis failed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis can be incredibly harmful to a patient who has cancer. A proper and timely diagnosis can sometimes determine whether or not a patient lives or dies. If a doctor shows medical negligence and fails to diagnose a patient accurately or administers the incorrect dosage of chemotherapy treatment that nurse, doctor, lab, hospital, or emergency room should be sued for damages. A qualified attorney who has experience in medical malpractice claims can help bring you compensation.

Can I Sue For Cancer Medical Malpractice?
If you believe you have experienced medical malpractice by a health care professional’s treatment of your cancer, then you may be able to pursue legal compensation. Medical malpractice lawsuits are a form of lawsuit that a patient can use to get damages from the doctor, or health care professional that caused them harm. It is considered a type of personal injury case or tort lawsuit. However, winning a medical malpractice lawsuit can be quite challenging as you must be able to prove the doctor’s negligence, convince the jury that the doctor acted negligently, and you must be able to find an accomplished lawyer for your case. All of these challenges can be overcome; they just require expertise, patience, and solid determination. Fortunately, our Los Angeles attorneys with experience in medical malpractice cases are well-versed in the challenges victims face and can guide you through the process of suing the hospital, doctor, or medical facility responsible for your damages.

Listed below are some questions that we are most frequently asked by prospective clients:

  • Can I sue a doctor for giving me a cancer diagnosis when I did not have cancer?
  • Can I sue a doctor for misdiagnosing my cancer?
  • Can I sue a doctor for failing to diagnose my cancer?
  • How can I sue a hospital for failing to diagnose my cancer?
  • Can I file a lawsuit against a surgeon for diagnosing my cancer too late?

A reoccurring theme within cancer medical malpractice lawsuits is able to sue a doctor for a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer. Unfortunately, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by itself is not strong enough evidence of negligence. A skilled healthcare professional can make medical errors even when using reasonable care.

However, if you do hope to file a cancer medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to prove whether or not the doctor acted competently. In regards to a cancer malpractice lawsuit, you must look at the ‘differential diagnosis’ method the doctor used to determine your course of treatment. Differential diagnosis is a method that doctors use to identify the condition of their patients. Differential Diagnosis first involves a preliminary evaluation of the patient. From this assessment, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The doctor then tests the likelihood of each diagnosis by further examining the patient and asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history. This will typically result in the ordering of tests, or a referral to a specialist. Differential Diagnosis works under the hope that some potential diagnoses will be ruled out throughout the investigation process, and in the end, only a single diagnosis will remain. This is not always the case, however, as sometimes further investigation sheds light on other information that may skew the differential diagnostic list.

An experienced attorney will be able to give you more information.

In cancer diagnosis medical malpractice cases the patient must be able to prove that the doctor acted negligently and failed to perform this diagnostic test properly. Essentially, you must compare the actions of your doctor to that of another competent doctor within a similar field of specialty and under similar circumstance. This means you must be able to prove one of two things:

  • The correct diagnosis was not included on the differential diagnosis list, whereas a reasonably skilled doctor would have added the correct diagnosis under similar circumstances.
  • The correct diagnosis was included on the differential diagnosis list, but the doctor failed to perform the appropriate steps to investigate the viability of the diagnosis.

If a physician’s malpractice results in a diagnosis of cancer that is in fact not present in a patient, the patient must be able to prove that the diagnosis harmed them directly. For instance, if a patient is wrongfully diagnosed with lung cancer, and said patient goes on to perform chemotherapy to treat non-existent cancer, that patient can sue for the damages inflicted upon them by the doctor’s negligence. A late diagnosis of cancer is one of the more common forms of a diagnosis error, and if caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional can lead to a lawsuit resulting in a compensation of damages.

Lastly, to have a successful cancer medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the healthcare professional acted negligently. This involves a series of steps that all medical malpractice lawsuits require, and they are as follows:

  • You must be able to prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship
  • You must be able to prove that the doctor was negligent
  • You must be able to prove that the doctor’s negligence caused the damages
  • You must be able to prove that the injury led to specific damages

An attorney with expertise in medical malpractice injury lawsuits can give you more information.

Free Consultation and Zero Fee Guarantee
The misdiagnosis of cancer can be a devastating incident, and if it were caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional, you have a right to seek compensation for your damages. At Normandie Law Firm, our experienced lawyers can walk you through the, often arduous process of seeking legal action against the party that caused you harm. While we may operate out of Los Angeles, our attorneys also practice in San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield, San Jose, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Santa Ana, and throughout the state of California. As a show of commitment to you and your case, our firm operates under a zero fee guarantee policy. Under this policy, all of you do not pay for our services until we follow through and win your case. This policy also ensures a free consultation as well as free second case reviews. Call us today to speak with a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases.

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