One of the most common types of medical malpractice cases are those that regard the diagnosis of cancer. Often times, some forms of cancer are harder to detect than others, resulting in a misdiagnosis that can cause complications for a patient. If a patient’s cancer is diagnosed incorrectly and they are given the wrong treatments, then their condition could actually become worse. If a doctor was negligent in diagnosing a patient and they didn’t get the treatment they needed at all, they could die from lack of proper medical care. In order for a patient to be able to bring a medical malpractice case against a doctor, there are certain things they need to be able to establish first.
How to Determine a Medical Malpractice Case
When determining any type of medical malpractice case, even those that do not involve cancer, there are three things that must be determined. One, that a patient had a relationship with their doctor in the first place. Two, that the doctor was negligent in treating their patient properly. And three, that the doctor’s negligence caused harm to the patient. If someone who thinks they may have a medical malpractice case is able to prove all three of these things, then they may have a good chance of winning in court. It’s important to consult with an attorney who’s familiar with medical malpractice cases so they can figure out if you have a case worth pursuing or not.
Some things that can help a patient with their medical malpractice case is finding out their doctor’s differential diagnosis list. When a doctor is trying to properly diagnose a patient, they will come up with a list of potential diseases or illnesses. They will run tests and ask questions to eliminate things from the list. However, a doctor who eliminates something without running the proper tests is said to be negligent in their diagnosing abilities. If another doctor who practices a similar specialty would have caught someone’s illness because they would have run the appropriate testing, then a patient may have a medical malpractice case against their doctor.
Medical Malpractice Cases That Aren’t Your Doctor’s Fault
When diagnosing cancer, there are a number of tests that need to be done. All of these tests get run by laboratory technicians and then the information is sent back to your doctor. What this means is that there’s room for error in the testing that gets done by people other than your doctor. For example, a lab technician may have run the wrong type of test on your blood work, or they may have mixed up the samples with another patient. In these instances, the lab technician who made the error would be held responsible for the patient’s misdiagnosis, not the doctor.
In most cases, though, a doctor will question the results they are given and ask for further testing to be done. If, however, they did not and simply diagnose a patient based on the faulty test results, then this is where a problem is created.
A doctor is also not to blame if the equipment used in the testing was faulty. Some of the machines used to test tissue and blood samples for the presence of cancer may malfunction at times, providing inaccurate readings or those that seem fine when they are really not.
The Complete Misdiagnosis of Cancer
One of the worst types of situations a patient can deal with is being diagnosed with cancer and beginning treatment when they actually didn’t have it in the first place. Radiation and chemotherapy are intense treatments to go through, and they are only absolutely necessary for those who truly have cancer and have no other options available to them. If a doctor was hasty to diagnose their patient and ordered them to be put through chemotherapy when they didn’t actually need it, they can be held responsible for the pain and suffering they put their patient through. Nobody should have to go through chemotherapy unless they truly need it, so this is a case where the patient will easily be able to win their medical malpractice lawsuit. Also, the patient is sure to be relieved to find out that they don’t actually have cancer.
Avoiding Complicated Medical Issues
One of the best ways to catch a doctor’s mistake and avoid any unnecessary treatments is to be seen by several doctors. For example, if your primary care doctor has diagnosed you with cancer and wants to begin treatment right away, it would be best to get the opinion of a second doctor. Most insurance companies will cover these extra visits just so you can be sure of what you’re dealing with. If two, or even three doctors confirm that you definitely have the cancer in question, then it’s a safe bet that the results are sound. However, if the second doctor questions the presence of cancer at all, then it would be best to speak with an attorney about a medical malpractice case regarding the first doctor’s faulty diagnosis.
In any medical malpractice case, it has to be proven that harm was done to the patient. A doctor simply misdiagnosing a patient is not normally enough to bring to court and win. Wrong treatments, lack of medical care, and other things that caused the patient’s health to diminish can be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit, though.
If you’re in the state of Arizona and think that you may have a medical malpractice case regarding your cancer diagnosis, then be sure to get in touch with the legal professionals at Tobler Law. This is one of the top law firms for all types of medical malpractice cases, and their lawyers have extensive experience with patients who are dealing with cancer diagnosis/misdiagnosis.