Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers handle a specific kind of medical malpractice. Cancer misdiagnosis can include false negatives, where cancer is missed. It can also include false positives, where cancer is incorrectly diagnosed.
1. Elements of a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit
Cancer misdiagnosis lawyers will evaluate your case like any other medical malpractice case, at least at first. The elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit include 1) a duty of care, 2) a breach of the standard of care, 3) causation, and 4) damages. In cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits, causation is usually the trickiest part. In order to prove causation, our cancer misdiagnosis attorneys will examine the timing of the misdiagnosis. Timing is critically important in these cases, as we explain below.
If a doctor ignored or missed the symptoms of early stage cancer, they probably failed to do a blood test, X-ray, pap smear or CT scan that might have prevented a missed diagnosis. Even if these tests were run, it is possible that the doctor or radiologist is responsible for failure to diagnose cancer. Many types of cancer including breast, prostate, cervical, lung, ovarian, brain, kidney, skin cancer (melanoma), throat cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease can be diagnosed in their early stages if a doctor or oncologist is alert.
2. Cancer misdiagnosis lawyers handle false negative cancer diagnoses
“A false negative result reports inaccurately that a condition is absent. These are usually due to sampling errors or missing the lesion with the biopsy.” False negative results can be devastating. In the typical false negative situation, the medical provider “misses” the cancer. Later on, as the patient’s condition worsens, a subsequent test reveals the patient has cancer. Then the question becomes, how much worse off is the patient now, because of the lapse of time? This is where a cancer misdiagnosis lawyer will hire appropriate experts and closely examine the medical records. To prove causation, we will have to prove that the lapse in time caused an injury that would not have otherwise occurred. So the timing and staging of the cancer at the time of the misdiagnosis is critically important.
A cancer misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider incorrectly diagnoses a patient with cancer. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Inadequate testing: The healthcare provider may not have performed all of the necessary tests to rule out other conditions.
- Misinterpretation of test results: The healthcare provider may have misinterpreted the results of a test.
- Failure to follow up on abnormal test results: The healthcare provider may have failed to follow up on abnormal test results.
The consequences of a cancer misdiagnosis can be serious. If you are wrongly diagnosed with cancer, you may undergo unnecessary treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This can have serious side effects, including hair loss, nausea, and fatigue. You may also lose time from work and experience emotional distress.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You should also speak with an experienced Nashville cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.
3. False positive cancer results can be catastrophic, too
A false positive test result “indicates that a person has a specific disease or condition when the person actually does not have the disease or condition.” Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyers have seen some catastrophic examples of this kind of medical malpractice. As an example, we once handled a case where a young child had his leg amputated after a negligent diagnosis of terminal bone cancer. Come to find out, the child didn’t have cancer at all. Even in less extreme misdiagnosis cases, the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Patients may undergo chemotherapy and other invasive treatments. They may miss time at work and incur other expenses. All these sorts of damages can be recovered in a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.
What to do if you have been wrongly diagnosed with cancer
If you believe that you have been wrongly diagnosed with cancer, there are a few things you should do:
- Seek medical attention immediately. You should see a different healthcare provider to get a second opinion.
- Document everything. Keep a record of all of your medical records, including test results, doctor’s notes, and any other relevant documentation.
- Speak with an experienced Nashville cancer misdiagnosis lawyer. A lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights and options, and can represent you in a lawsuit against the healthcare provider who made the mistake.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, call the cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at DRS Law Personal Injury Lawyers today.
What To Know About Cancer Misdiagnosis Cases in Tennessee?
Limits on Non-Economic Damages
In cancer misdiagnosis cases, the plaintiff is generally entitled to economic, such as medical bills or lost wages, and non-economic damages for the pain and suffering resulting from the misdiagnosis. In Tennessee, all non-economic damages awards in cancer misdiagnosis cases are capped at $750,000.
Collateral Source Rule
Under a traditional collateral source rule, a defendant may not seek to reduce its liability by introducing evidence that the plaintiff has received compensation from other sources, such as the plaintiff’s own insurance coverage. In Tennessee there is a mandatory offset, except for private insurance or for assets purchased by the plaintiff.
Rules for Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses must be licensed in Tennessee or in a contiguous state, and must have been in practice for at least one year prior to the date of the plaintiff’s injury.
Statute of Limitations
Under Tennessee law, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within one year of the date of the injury or discovery of injury but in no event more than three years from the date of the accident or occurrence (except in the case of foreign objects or fraudulent concealment).
Limits on Attorney Fees
Contingent attorney fees are limited to 1/3 of the recovery.
Tennessee law provides for voluntary arbitration.
Why Use a Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice law is a highly technical field of law, and malpractice lawsuits tend to be fiercely defended by well-funded defense firms. Medical malpractice lawsuits involving cancer misdiagnosis can be exceptionally expensive to pursue, with costs often exceeding $50,000.00. Finally, there are many technical requirements specific to medical malpractice cases in Tennessee, making it essential that you hire an attorney who has the technical skills and experience to win your case. Inexperienced lawyers may not be sufficiently conversant with the medical issues, or they might make a technical error could cause you to lose your case.
The Nashville medical malpractice lawyers at DRS Law have the experience and knowledge to help you with your cancer misdiagnosis case. Call today or click here for a free and confidential case review.