Can I Sue a Doctor That Misdiagnosed My Cancer?
The number of people battling cancer in the U.S alone is massive, with an estimated 1.7 million new cases recorded in a year, and over half a million people dying from the disease. With such figures, it can be infuriating to learn that a doctor might have misdiagnosed your condition. Knowing that you have cancer is not a death sentence, and when doctors diagnose cancer in its initial stages, patients stand high chances of healing. However, most patients who learn that they have cancer when it has already spread to other parts of their body have a tough fight ahead.
Realizing that a doctor’s negligence might be the reason your chances of recovering from cancer have diminished justifies you wanting to seek justice. Nonetheless, before you take any legal action, read this article to gather some vital information you need regarding cancer malpractice lawsuits.
Reasons Why Doctors Sometimes Misdiagnose Cancer
There are many reasons why doctors misdiagnose cancer. One primary reason is that cancer is a tricky illness that is not easy to detect. Other reasons for misdiagnosing cancer include;
- Symptoms of cancer imitating those of other diseases, thus leading doctors to wrong conclusions.
- A doctor confusing a patient with another.
- A doctor failing to conduct all required tests.
- A doctor misinterpreting test results.
The above actions can potentially lead to death when a patient loses their chance to treat cancer from its initial stages. However, not all doctors’ mistakes are medical malpractices.
Which Mistakes Are Considered Medical Malpractices?
Before filing a lawsuit against a doctor, you need to find out whether their deeds equal medical malpractice. Here are some of the actions that constitute medical malpractices.
- A doctor ignoring a patient’s grievances.
- A doctor using the wrong procedures to test patients.
- If after receiving test results, a doctor ignores another doctor’s recommendations that a particular patient requires more tests.
After confirming that a doctor engaged in one or all of the above malpractices (or another malpractice not mentioned above), you need proof that another doctor would have acted differently and treated the disease.
The Proof You Need When Filing a Cancer Malpractice Lawsuit
As a patient, if you think a doctor did not meet the standards set by the Florida Law, you have the right to sue them and receive monetary compensation. However, like in any other lawsuit, you need proof. To prove that a physician negligently failed to diagnose your condition, you must show that another doctor, if presented with the same situation, would have acted differently and correctly diagnosed your condition. If you can prove that another hypothetical doctor would have acted differently and helped you treat your cancer at an earlier stage, then you have a case. Once you can show this, you need to find an expert witness.
Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractices Claims
With the help of a lawyer, you need to find an expert witness who can testify in court that another doctor would not have acted like the doctor who misdiagnosed you. According to Florida Law, if an individual is not a healthcare provider, they cannot provide expert testimony concerning your malpractice case. Therefore, you need to find a physician who can prove that your doctor could have acted differently. This law is necessary because the members of the jury in such a case do not have to be in health care. If the members are not in health care, it means that they have little to no knowledge of how another doctor would have tackled your situation; therefore, they need an expert to explain things to them and the court in general.
The expert witness you identify must;
- Specialize in the same specialty as the doctor that misdiagnosed your condition.
- Have spent time over the last three years practicing or teaching medicine in the same specialty.
The above are legal requirements that expert witnesses must meet. However, expert witnesses must also be efficient witnesses, just as they are qualified professionals.
- An expert witness needs to be an individual that can describe to jury members the errors the doctor who misdiagnosed you made.
- An expert witness also needs to be one that can clearly explain to the jury members the suffering the misdiagnosis caused you.
Contact a Qualified Naples Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice that led to cancer misdiagnosis, contact The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. today at 239-649-8050, and schedule a free consultation with a skilled Naples personal injury attorney.