There are more than 200 different types of cancer. Each type is identified based on where the tumor originates within the body, such as breast cancer or skin cancer. If identified early, many cancers have a cure rate of close to 100 percent. Unfortunately, without prompt treatment, the cancer can progress and become fatal.
Because timely treatment is so important for cancer patients, a misdiagnosis resulting in delayed treatment can be devastating. If you or a loved one experienced a missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer, the lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. can help you to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim under the laws in Illinois.
Our attorneys can answer important questions including:
- Who is responsible for a misdiagnosis of cancer?
- How does a misdiagnosis occur?
- What legal steps can you take to obtain compensation?
- What types of damages can result?
We serve clients in Chicago and across Illinois. Contact us today for a free case review.
Who is Responsible for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Many medical care providers may be responsible for misdiagnosing cancer, including:
- Primary care physicians
Primary care physicians and specialists can both be held responsible. If you received care from any physician who failed to recognize symptoms, or if any mistakes were made with lab test results, you should have your records reviewed by an experienced attorney in the Chicago area who focuses on malpractice claims.
How Does a Misdiagnosis Occur?
Your attorney can help you to obtain your medical records, which should be reviewed by an expert who will look for indicators that your physician or caregiver provided substandard care resulting in your missed or delayed diagnosis. Some indicators that your physician or provider may have made unacceptable errors include:
- A physician failing to order or follow up on test results in response to symptoms
- A dentist failing to recognize or alert patients to symptoms of mouth or throat cancer
- A dermatologist failing to identify signs of skin cancer or to order testing of irregular moles
- A lab’s failure to accurately report test results to a physician in a timely manner
- A radiologist misreading a mammogram or a pathologist misreading a biopsy
- Mishandling of lab samples, including contamination of your sample
- Reading the wrong test results or reporting the results to the wrong patient
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist for treatment
- Failure to recommend or provide appropriate screenings for high-risk patients
- Failing to recognize symptoms of cancer, especially when patients do not fit the normal demographic profile for a particular cancer type
Commonly, cancer misdiagnoses result from a series of process breakdowns within the medical care system.
What Legal Steps Can You Take to Obtain Compensation?
If you or a loved one had a missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer, you have the right to pursue a malpractice claim against the care provider. Medical malpractice compensation can be obtained through the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Often, a case can be resolved through negotiating an out-of-court settlement.
To file a civil suit, Illinois requires an affidavit that a medical professional has affirmed your claim has merit. Typically, it is also necessary to have an expert witness testify in trial unless the actions of the physician are so clearly negligent that a layperson can determine that the physician provided unacceptable care.
To prevail in a malpractice lawsuit, you will be required to demonstrate that the physician, hospital or laboratory offered a level of care below what a reasonable provider with the same background and experience would have provided. You also must show that the error and misdiagnosis was the direct cause of compensable harm.
What Types of Damages Could Result from a Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?
A claim based on a misdiagnosis could result in compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost income and other damages.
A settlement would result in you receiving this compensation in exchange for giving up the right to sue. Settlement negotiations can occur concurrently with the progression of your civil trial. You may settle up to the point when the jury has returned its verdict.
A malpractice attorney with experience handling claims in the Chicago area should guide you through the settlement and litigation process. Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. can help. Call or contact us online today to set up your free consultation.
For More Information
- The Six Early Detectable and Treatable Cancers, Friends of Cancer Patients
- Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims for Missed Cancer, Heart Attacks, CBS News