According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer. In Louisiana alone, an age-adjusted rate of new cancer cases was reported at 477.5 per 100,000 people in 2015.
Failing to detect cancer or misdiagnosing symptoms could prevent you from obtaining the treatment you need to mitigate and manage the effects of this deadly disease. Though healthcare professionals have improved tools at their disposal to detect and assist those with cancer, costly mistakes continue to plague the nation.
A disastrous error at best, a simple misdiagnosis may result in permanent damage to your health and future. However, help from a medical malpractice attorney could provide some measure of hope. A Lafayette cancer misdiagnosis lawyer could provide respite by fighting on your behalf to seek financial compensation for the medical error that harmed you.
Key Facts About Cancer Misdiagnoses
In Louisiana, civil cases that involve a misdiagnosis are relatively complex due various factors. Because cancer is generally evaluated in several stages, proving negligence involves a series of steps to determine when, how, and on whose watch it occurred.
For instance, if cancer could have been detected during its early stages but was not, the affected patient may have grounds to pursue a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit. However, a potential counterargument to this example is that not all types of cancer can be detected during their early stages. Simply put, if a doctor detects cancer at a later stage, it does not necessarily mean they failed to act appropriately.
The practice of medicine offers certain leeway for mistakes, misjudgments, and other human errors. However, negligence occurs when the doctor or another care provider fails to provide an expected standard of care. For example, perhaps the recognized process other doctors would have followed was to order a certain test that could confirm the cancer based on the reported symptoms. If your doctor failed to perform that test, they may be guilty of negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Potential Impact of a Misdiagnosis
A doctor’s inability to diagnose cancer often happens in a clinical setting. Because cancer is commonly detected during a physical examination and confirmed via biopsy, there are cases in which doctors treat the disease as something far less serious or miss a crucial aspect that would pinpoint the malignancy.
If multiple cancer warning signs are uncovered, such as abnormal growths or lesions, dramatic weight loss, or symptoms of fatigue, it is the doctor’s responsibility to order appropriate testing to confirm any potential diagnosis. Upon further validation that there is indeed cancerous growth, treatment options, referrals, and recommendations should then be passed on to the patient.
As a result, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer can have a dramatic negative impact on a patient’s health and even lead to death. If their cancer is not diagnosed as soon as possible, they will not receive information about treatment, including lifesaving or extending surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and more. Their cancer will go untreated for longer, allowing it to spread.
Lafayette Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Role of Accountability in Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases
In some cases, medical professionals may not refer the patient to a specialist promptly, despite the patient’s best interests, due to insurance carriers’ financial interests. The devastating repercussions of prioritizing finances above the patient’s personal health can jeopardize the patient’s quality of life – and can be considered evidence of medical malfeasance in civil court.
Provided there is significant evidence that a medical professional misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose cancer, an individual may pursue a malpractice suit to seek financial damages. A Lafayette personal injury lawyer may proceed by exploring if the physician failed to conform to the medical standard of care.
Specifically, the attorney would seek to determine whether the doctor made a mistake that an otherwise prudent doctor would not have made under similar or identical circumstances. This is the definition of medical malpractice. Many mistakes or errors do not rise to the bar set by state law for medical negligence. However, we know how to determine if malpractice occurred and prove it on behalf of our clients.
How Do We Build a Medical Malpractice Case Based on a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
The evidence in a medical malpractice cancer misdiagnosis case will likely center on your medical records, information from your current doctors and specialists, and the testimony of a medical expert witness. This expert may provide information, a written affidavit, or sworn testimony on the stand at trial.
The expert will be someone who has a similar education, experience, and physical location to the accused doctor and who can speak from experience about the usual and expected standard of care in a case like yours. They will review your medical records and determine:
- What they would have done
- What actually happened
- If the difference between the two represents a deviation from the appropriate standard of care
- If the actions of the negligent party caused or contributed to your injuries or advancing illness
We can often negotiate an out-of-court settlement in medical malpractice cases. However, we will sue a negligent doctor or facility if necessary to protect our client’s rights and help them secure fair compensation.
Timelines for Filing a Lawsuit Based on Medical Malpractice in Louisiana
There are deadlines for suing a doctor, clinic, or hospital in a cancer misdiagnosis case. In general, we only have one year from the date of the medical error to file suit in Lafayette per Louisiana Revised Statute § 5628. However, it is not unusual for months or even years to pass before the patient learns that medical negligence occurred. When this happens, the clock usually begins running on the date the malpractice is discovered.
The deadlines may be different in some cases, though. This could include:
- When the victim is a child
- When the liable party is a government facility such as a municipal hospital
Our attorneys can help you understand the timeline in your case and how quickly we need to act to seek compensation for you.
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Learn How a Lafayette Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Can Help You Today
A misdiagnosis can have severe repercussions on your life. Due to the deadly nature of the disease, failing to diagnose cancer can lead to many health concerns.
When it comes to fighting back against mistakes in the field of medicine, there is no substitute for a Lafayette cancer misdiagnosis lawyer. To learn more about your rights and how an attorney could work to protect them, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777.