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A Cancer Misdiagnosis Can Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. Do You Have a Case?

December 18, 2016 Medical Malpractice

Cancer is a terrible disease, and medicine is not an exact science. Unfortunately, this can lead to life-changing mistakes in diagnosis and treatment, and even small mistakes could have big consequences.

Not every mistake is grounds for a lawsuit, though, but how do you know if you have a case? Keep this information in mind and give the medical malpractice lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham a call.

What Was the Medical Mistake?

Medical negligence and malpractice can take many forms. While it can be hard to prove certain mistakes, or prove that the mistakes were what caused your injury or illness, in general here are some fairly good indicators that you have a medical malpractice case on your hands:

  • A missed or delayed diagnosis that results in the failure to provide timely medical treatment that, in the case of cancer, would help prevent its spread or progression.
  • A misdiagnosis, whether determining that a patient has cancer when she doesn’t or misdiagnosing the cancer altogether. This can result in unnecessary surgeries or treatments, and in some cases there might be punitive damages in order for the emotional pain and suffering for believing the patient has the disease. There could also be situations where the treatment causes harm outside of the harm already being caused by the untreated cancer.
  • Failing to recognize complications of the disease or treatment. Even if the condition is correctly diagnosed, it could be treated improperly, whether because the symptoms were dismissed as not being very serious or because an unconventional treatment fails where a conventional one would have helped.
  • Failure to diagnose any other related or unrelated diseases.

There are even more mistakes that can qualify for a case of medical malpractice:

  • Your general practitioner or emergency room doctor might not have made a referral to an oncologist, for instance.
  • If there were diagnostic tests involved, there is the possibility of faulty equipment or the test results being misinterpreted or mixed up, and the technician might be liable in these cases.

These are details that you should bring to the table if you decide to talk to a medical malpractice attorney about your potential case.

What Would a Reasonable Doctor Have Done?

In medical malpractice cases, one of the biggest factors is what a reasonable doctor would have done if he or she were in your physician’s shoes. Doctors are human, and cancer in particular is a tricky disease to detect and treat. Therefore, an incorrect diagnosis does not mean that there was medical negligence or medical malpractice. However, you and your doctor have a relationship that requires her to have and use the knowledge and tools at her disposal to treat you. If a doctor’s mistake caused you harm, whether it’s because she didn’t order the right tests or didn’t collect the information needed to make a proper diagnosis, you might want to consider learning more about filing a medical malpractice claim.

Did You Experience a Cancer Misdiagnosis?

If you’ve decided that contacting a medical malpractice attorney in Indianapolis is your next move, the attorneys and staff at WKW are here to help. For a free, no-obligation consultation, you can fill out our online contact form or pick up the phone and call us at 317.920.6400.

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