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Failure to Diagnose Cancer in Children

Baltimore Lawyers Representing People in Medical Malpractice Cases

Cancer rarely occurs in children. Nonetheless, certain types of cancer are among the leading causes of death in children, in part because they are not diagnosed until they have progressed past the point where treatment will be beneficial. The failure to diagnose cancer in children is often the result of incompetence, and negligent doctors should be held responsible for the grave harm they cause. If your child suffered injuries due to the carelessness of a physician, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should contact an attorney to assess your possible claims. The capable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the devastation the missed or delayed diagnoses of childhood cancers can cause, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome.

Identifying Cancer in Children

The symptoms of cancers that affect children are often the same as common illnesses; as such, cancer in children often goes undiagnosed until it has progressed into later stages. For example, complaints of headaches, migraines, and vomiting are often signs of cancer and of viruses or conditions that typically affect children. Similarly, doctors often misdiagnose epilepsy as the cause of seizures that are actually brought about by bone cancer. In some instances, the signs of childhood cancer can be subtle, such as uneven pupils, strabismus, and other vision issues, fatigue, decreased appetite, and regular fevers. If a doctor does not conduct exhaustive testing, a serious childhood cancer may be misdiagnosed as an everyday ailment.

Pursuing Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Cancer in Children

The failure to diagnose cancer in children often irreparably alters the lives of the affected children and their families. As such, many people harmed by such carelessness will attempt to hold the doctor who neglected to provide a proper diagnosis accountable. Most plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases will assert negligence claims against the defendants. In Maryland, in order to establish negligence, a plaintiff must first show that the defendant had a duty to provide medical care that meets the applicable standard. The standard of care is based on what a competent professional working in the same specialty would provide in a similar situation.

The plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s behavior constitutes a breach of the relevant standard. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to hire an expert to explain what duties were imposed on the defendant under the standard of care and to illustrate the manner in which the defendant departed from the standard. The plaintiff then has to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, that the plaintiff would not have suffered harm absent the defendant’s acts or omissions. This typically requires expert testimony as well.

It is important to note that while children harmed by medical malpractice and their parents each have the right to pursue damages, different statutes of limitations apply to their claims. For adults, the statute of limitations is three years from the date the harm occurred or five years from the time the cause of the harm became apparent. For children, the statute of limitations is three years as well, but it does not begin to run until a child reaches the age of eighteen. In other words, children have until their twenty-first birthday to pursue medical malpractice claims.

Contact a Skillful Baltimore Attorney Today

Childhood cancers can cause lifelong detriments, and an early diagnosis is often key to a successful outcome. As such, the failure to diagnose cancer in children often causes permanent harm. If you suffered losses because of a doctor’s ineptitude, you should contact an attorney to evaluate your possible claims. The skillful Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to pursue the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us by calling us at 410-889-1850 or via our online form or to set up a conference.