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A Cancer Misdiagnosis Can Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Updated August 23, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

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. How do you know if you have a case? Keep this information in mind.

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 there are some fairly good indicators that you have a medical malpractice case on your hands:

Missed or Delayed Diagnosis

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.

Cancer Misdiagnosis

A misdiagnosis, whether determining that a patient has cancer when they don’t or misdiagnosing the cancer altogether. This misdiagnosis can result in unnecessary surgeries or treatments, and in some cases there might be 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.

Failure to Recognize Complications

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

Failure to diagnose any other related or unrelated diseases.

Other Mistakes

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
  • 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 they 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 them to have and use the knowledge and tools at their disposal to treat you. If a doctor’s mistake caused you harm, whether it’s because they didn’t order the right tests or didn’t collect the information needed to make a proper diagnosis, you might want to consider filing a medical malpractice claim.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice such as a cancer misdiagnosis, contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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