Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis
Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States today,
killing approximately 158,000 people in 2016, making it the top cause
of cancer death. Only about 18% of people who get lung cancer survive
five years after diagnosis according to
CNN Health. Due to the high fatality rate associated with lung cancer, successful
treatment relies on the cancer being identified in its earliest stages.
Early and accurate diagnoses often make the difference between life and
death. As a result, it is important that patients don't hesitate to
visit a doctor when they experience any lung cancer-related symptoms.
Unfortunately, seeing a doctor doesn't necessarily ensure that a patient
will have their cancer properly identified. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon
for doctors to misdiagnose their patient's cancer symptoms. In many
cases, a doctor's misdiagnosis of a patient's lung cancer may
be the result of negligence. If negligence was the cause of the lung cancer
misdiagnosis, the sick patient may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Was a Doctor's Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis of Lung Cancer the
Result of Negligence?
When a doctor is diagnosing a patient, they are legally obligated to use
the same degree of care as another physician in the same field. When a
doctor fails to uphold the medical community's accepted standard of
care, they have acted negligently. The failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
of lung cancer, however, is not necessarily the result of negligence.
For instance, when a doctor misreads test results, they have not been
negligent if another competent physician in the same field would not have
been able to make a conclusive diagnosis either.
A misdiagnosis may have been the result of negligence if it occurred due
to any of the following:
- The doctor failed to order the proper tests. In order to properly diagnose
lung cancer, doctors may order numerous tests, such as a chest X-ray,
MRI, or lung biopsy.
- The doctor failed to properly interpret test results. Failing to properly
analyze test results can constitute negligence if another reasonably competent
physician in the same field would have come to an accurate diagnosis.
- A physician diagnosed their patient's symptoms as a different, less
- The doctor failed to account for the patient's personal and family
medical history. A patient's medical history may be able to give a
physician a good idea whether they are susceptible to cancer.
Sick patients should keep in mind that the combination of negligence and
a misdiagnosis is not necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In order to have grounds to recoup compensation, the sick patient must
be able to show the misdiagnosis had an adverse effect, resulting in either
economic or non-economic damages. For instance, if a patient's lung
cancer is initially misdiagnosed, but it is still in its first stage upon
being identified, they may not have grounds for a lawsuit as the cancer
did not cause further illness.
What can a Lawyer do for You Following a Delayed Diagnosis of Lung Cancer?
Due to the complexity of medical malpractice lawsuits, patients who have
had their lung cancer misdiagnosed should retain a skilled malpractice
lawyer. Medical malpractice cases can be difficult because they require
the plaintiff to show that their doctor acted negligently and caused them
further harm. As a result, it is in the best interest of injured patients
to hire an attorney with experience handling medical malpractice cases.
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our attorneys have been
defending victims of medical malpractice for over 50 years. Our lawyers
understand the difficulties posed by a medical malpractice lawsuit. As
a result, we hire medical experts who are esteemed by their peers to review
our clients' medical records. After reviewing medical records, our
experts will testify on our clients' behalves to help prove their
doctors acted negligently and caused further damages. Our firm's ability
to secure top of their field, board-certified, physicians has led to numerous
favorable verdicts and settlements in medical malpractice cases.
Are you or someone you love suffering from lung cancer? Did the doctor
initially misdiagnose the cancer? If so, you may be able to recoup compensation
for your hardships. For a free review of your legal options, call 212-406-1700 or
contact us online.