Few things cause as much apprehension and fear as a cancer diagnosis. Prompt treatment is typically crucial when a patient is diagnosed with cancer or any other serious disease. As such, if a doctor fails to diagnose a patient properly, it can lead to delayed treatment, a worsening of the underlying disease, and other complications. If you suffered harm due to misdiagnosed cancer, you may be able to pursue claims against your health care provider, and it is smart to consult an attorney to examine what damages you may be owed. The seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and formulate compelling arguments to help you pursue the full amount of compensation available under the law.Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancer
There are numerous ailments that can be misdiagnosed as cancer. False positives can occur with any type of cancer if the pathologist evaluating a specimen for a biopsy misconstrues the results due to carelessness, inexperience, or other issues. Additionally, some brain tumors that are benign and typically not life-threatening may be misdiagnosed as cancer. Arthritis and osteoporosis can be misdiagnosed as bone cancer as well.
Conversely, a doctor may diagnose a patient with a relatively minor illness or condition when they, in fact, have cancer. For example, a physician may advise a patient they have a cyst or a benign mass when they, in fact, have breast cancer. Similarly, colon cancer may be improperly diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome or Chron’s disease. Lung cancer may be misdiagnosed as COPD or other respiratory ailments. In some instances, a doctor will determine that a patient has cancer but diagnose them with the wrong type.Seeking Compensation for Misdiagnosed Cancer
Whether a doctor improperly diagnosis cancer as another ailment, diagnoses the wrong type of cancer, or identifies a less severe illness as a malignancy, misdiagnosed cancer can have a devastating impact on a person’s health. Fortunately, the law provides remedies for people aggrieved by incompetent health care via medical malpractice lawsuits.
Typically, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will set forth a negligence claim against the defendant. In Maryland, negligence is made up of four parts, and a plaintiff must establish each part to recover damages. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. The duty owed by health care providers is to offer treatment that meets or exceeds the standard of care, which is the care a reasonable practitioner working in the same field would render in a similar situation. Second, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant breached the standard of care. The third and fourth elements, damages and causation, are connected in that the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. In other words, that the plaintiff would not have sustained injuries if the defendant upheld the standard of care.
A plaintiff in a medical malpractice case generally will need to hire an expert to testify regarding the applicable standard, the ways in which the defendant failed to uphold their obligations under the standard and to show the association between the defendant’s behavior and the plaintiff’s harm. It is important to note that parties harmed due to misdiagnosed cancer must act promptly if they wish to recover damages, as medical malpractice claims must be filed within five years of the date of harm or within three years of when the harm is discovered, whichever is earlier.Meet with a Capable Baltimore Attorney
When treating cancer or any other life-threatening disease, a prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical, and when doctors fail to provide patients with proper diagnoses, it can have devastating consequences. If you sustained losses due to misdiagnosed cancer, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the toll a misdiagnosis can take on a person’s health, and if we represent you, we will employ all of our resources to help you strive for justice. We regularly represent people injured by medical malpractice in lawsuits in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a conference.