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Failure to Diagnose Metastatic Cancer

Baltimore Attorneys Helping Medical Malpractice Victims

Cancer diagnoses typically cause stress, anxiety, and fear regarding the chance of recovering. However, cancer patients often have good prognoses if they receive a prompt and accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. When a doctor fails to properly identify the origin of a cancer or determine whether it has spread, however, the harm suffered is usually catastrophic. If you or someone you love suffered injuries because of a physician’s failure to diagnose metastatic cancer, you could be owed substantial damages, and you should speak to a lawyer promptly. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping victims of medical malpractice protect their rights, and if you hire us, we can help you to seek the full amount of compensation recoverable under the circumstances.

Diagnosing Metastatic Cancer

Metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from the original tumor to other parts of the body. Some cancers are more likely to spread to specific areas, like the lungs, liver, brain, and bone. In order to diagnose metastatic cancer, a doctor must first identify the primary site and perform tests to determine where else in the body cancer is present. If a doctor fails to conduct necessary test, though, the cancer will typically continue to grow and spread untreated. In many instances, undiagnosed metastatic cancer is fatal.

Establishing Fault for the Failure to Diagnose Metastatic Cancer

Patients count on their doctors to provide knowledgeable and thorough treatment, and when they fail to do so, they can be held civilly liable for any damages caused by their carelessness. Generally, patients harmed by malpractice will assert medical negligence claims against the physicians that caused their losses.

In Maryland, a plaintiff alleging a defendant should be held liable for medical negligence must first show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. In malpractice cases, the duty owed is to abide by the applicable standard of care, which means that the defendant must provide the plaintiff with the treatment that a reasonable doctor working in the same specialty would offer in the same situation. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant departed from the standard of care. For example, if the standard requires a defendant to conduct an MRI on a patient with a diagnosed cancer and the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a breach of the standard.

The plaintiff must not only show that the defendant breached the standard but also that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the plaintiff has to prove that if the defendant had performed in accordance with the standard of care, the plaintiff would not have suffered injuries. Generally, testimony from a medical expert is needed to prove both that the defendant failed to provide the plaintiff with proper treatment and that the defendant’s actions or omissions caused the plaintiff’s harm.

Damages Recoverable for Medical Malpractice

Plaintiffs that successfully prove defendants committed medical malpractice may be awarded compensation for the cost of any necessary medical care, including hospitalization, medication, and assistive care. They may also be able to recover lost wages and loss of earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition to damages for their economic losses, they may also be compensated for the emotional and mental trauma and suffering they endured due to their illnesses.

Meet With an Assertive Attorney in Baltimore

Generally, the earlier metastatic cancer is identified and treated, the better a patient’s prognosis will be, and therefore, when doctors delay or fail to provide a patient with a proper diagnosis, the ramifications are often devastating. If you were harmed by a doctor’s careless failure to diagnose metastatic cancer, you have the right to seek damages, and you should speak to a lawyer. The assertive attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping victims of incompetent health care fight to protect their interests, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. We routinely represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.