Have You Been Misdiagnosed With Cancer?
A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event for not only the patient, but for their loved ones and support system as well. To find out that your diagnosis was erroneous might seem like a joyous event, but it still means that you have undergone significant pain and suffering, both in an emotional sense and also, often, in a physical and financial sense. Alternatively, a failure to diagnose cancer that could have been detected earlier is also a misdiagnosis in sense; it causes pain and suffering and may even lead to one’s health failing earlier than it might have before. You may be able to seek compensation for your suffering – however, it may not be obtainable in all cases.
Is It Medical Malpractice?
To be able to recover for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your misdiagnosis, you must be able to show that the medical professional who diagnosed you was negligent, meaning that he did not act according to the prevailing standard of medical care required for his profession. You must also show that those actions were the cause of your injuries.
It can be difficult to establish that a medical professional breached his duty to exercise reasonable care. However, it is very possible to establish that your doctor committed malpractice, especially with the use of expert testimony. If no reasonable doctor would act as yours has, the chance of your establishing malpractice is usually solid.
The Misdiagnosis Itself Is Not Enough
Data from 2014 estimates that up to 5 percent of outpatient encounters end in misdiagnosis, and it is plausible to assume that the percentage has increased over time. One wonders how many of those are cancer misdiagnoses, given that the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal estimates worldwide that as many as 28 percent of cancer patients are either wrongly diagnosed with something else, or their cancer diagnosis was missed for a period of time that might have affected their quality of life. These are only estimates, but one can still see, the margin for error is potentially very wide.
It is a frightening thing to think that your doctor has such a high chance of being wrong about a cancer diagnosis. However, it is important to keep in mind that the mere fact of their making a mistake is not generally enough to carry a lawsuit for personal injury or medical malpractice. Medical providers are human, and generally, unless you are able to show that the doctor’s (or nurse’s, or other medical professional’s) mistake violated the prevailing standard of care that doctors must exercise with their patients, you have a very low chance of prevailing in court. A mistake may, depending on the circumstances, be seen as ‘acceptable risk’ or ‘harmless error’ when it is anything but.
Call A Scranton Personal Injury Lawyer
If your doctor has made a mistake, either in telling you that you had cancer when you did not, or failing to diagnose cancer when you have the condition, it is somewhat of an uphill road toward holding them liable for malpractice in Pennsylvania. However, it is very possible to do, especially with an experienced Scranton cancer misdiagnosis lawyer on your side. The Needle Law Firm is a plaintiff’s firm, and we fight for plaintiffs who have been harmed by negligence and error. Contact our offices today for a free consultation; we serve Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg, and most of northeastern Pennsylvania.