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 harmful disease.
- 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.