Cancer. The word itself can be shocking. Most people can only imagine how shocking it is to hear it from their doctor. And as bad as that is, imagine how much worse it would be if your doctor initially failed to accurately diagnose your condition.
Unfortunately, this happens. Given that cancer is a progressive disease and early treatment is critical to effectively battle it, a wrong diagnosis or diagnosis that was missed completely may end up literally being about life or death.
If you believe a doctor may have failed to properly diagnose your disease or that of a loved one, it is probably time for you to see a failure to diagnose cancer attorney.
A failure to diagnose cancer attorney can evaluate all the factors that exist in your situation to determine if the physician, diagnostician or some other health care provider has made a mistake that rises to the level of medical malpractice. Be aware, however, that health care is not an exact science and that not every error made by a healthcare professional constitutes malpractice.
To win a personal injury lawsuit based on medical malpractice, a failure to diagnose cancer attorney must be able to establish:
Substandard Standard of Care
The standard of care (in this case, medical diagnosis) was substandard. What this means is that the health care professional deviated from the standard of care a competent practitioner would have provided in the same or similar situation.
An example would be a doctor who failed to order or employ a certain diagnostic tool which another competent physicians would have used when presented with the same symptoms.
Harm Due to Misdiagnosis
The failure to correctly diagnose the condition resulted in a degree of harm that would not have existed had the cancer been diagnosed correctly. If it can be shown that early detection and treatment could have prevented the cancer from reaching a more advanced stage, such harm will probably be found to exist.
The harm suffered because the missed diagnosis was significant and/or had long-term consequences. This element is often the most difficult to establish, not because the resulting harm wasn’t significant but because attributing the degree of severity to the failure to diagnose can be difficult to measure. Simple dissatisfaction with treatment results absent actual harm isn’t enough to support a medical malpractice case.
If your situation includes these factors, a failure to diagnose cancer attorney may be able to help you.
But why a failure to diagnose cancer attorney? After all, medical malpractice is just one of many areas of personal injury law and there are many lawyers competent to handle general personal injury cases.
That may be true, however, there are multiple reasons why you or your loved one needs a failure to diagnose cancer attorney. Here are 5:
1. Not all personal injuries are created equal.
Many illnesses or injuries are pretty obvious, easily observed and, therefore, easy to diagnose. For example, a broken leg, is probably not going to be confused with some other type of injury (sprain, strain, bruise) unless the break is minor. Symptoms of pneumonia are quite different from those of a simple chest cold and a competent physician is not likely to confuse one with the other.
Cancer, on the other hand, is insidious. It is not easily detected (with the possible exception of mouth or skin cancer). A person can have cancer for years without any noticeable symptoms, a factor which only increases the possibility of a missed diagnosis.
Ironically, it’s the difficulty in finding cancer that makes proving medical malpractice for a failure to diagnose it so difficult. This is why having a failure to diagnose cancer attorney is so much more advisable than simply relying on a general personal injury practitioner.
2. Cancer is complicated.
Evaluating facts and circumstances to determine whether a good case exists is usually difficult for any attorney. A case involving a missed cancer diagnosis presents extra layers of complexity best left in the hands of an attorney who knows what to look for.
Medical concepts and terminology are not things many people understand. Jargon, technical language, complicated diagnostic examination techniques and detailed medical reports are just some of the things that make failure to diagnose cancer cases so different from others that involve personal injury matters. An experienced failure to diagnose cancer attorney knows the things that matter.
3. The right evidence is critical to the success of your case.
No matter how strong your case might be, it won’t matter if all the evidence in your favor isn’t presented to the other side (in settlement discussions) or in court (should the matter go to trial). Given how complex “med mal” cases are, it takes a trained mind to sift through all the information available to identify not only what’s important but also the info that may weaken your position.
Regardless of whether your case is heard by judge or judge and jury, its success depends on the strength and credibility of the testimony and other evidence submitted by your failure to diagnose cancer attorney. If you put your faith in a lawyer who lacks the necessary experience to handle this kind of case, you are literally gambling not only your financial future but that of your family as well.
4. A qualified failure to diagnose cancer attorney knows how the system works and how to use that knowledge to advance your cause.
There are different types of courts. Some deal solely with criminal matters, others with wills and estates. There are family law courts and traffic courts and tax courts. Then there are civil courts, those where cases involving contracts, personal injury cases and other matters are heard.
It is in this civil court arena that a failure to diagnose cancer attorney earns his or her keep. As the saying goes, with experience comes knowledge and with knowledge comes wisdom. A lawyer who routinely deals with the civil court system knows the procedures to follow, which court employees are helpful (compared with those who aren’t) and, most importantly, becomes familiar with the judges generally assigned to hear such cases.
Such “inside knowledge” permits your attorney to develop a strategy for presenting your case tailored to the preferences, biases and quirks of the specific judge assigned. Your representation can, therefore, be more effective.
5. A failure to diagnose cancer attorney has the expertise to weigh your odds of success and identify the deficiencies your case must overcome.
A lawyer experienced in this area requires no “on-the-job training”, so to speak, to assess the strength of your case or ascertain what additional facts or evidence are necessary to make it stronger. Just because a lawyer is successful in handling simple personal injury cases doesn’t automatically mean that lawyer would be as successful in a medical malpractice case.
Think of it this way: If your medical malpractice case is based on a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer, why would you choose an attorney who has no experience in “diagnosing” medical malpractice?