Houston Missed and Failed Diagnosis of Cancer Attorney
The process of diagnosing cancer and telling a patient about the diagnosis can be extremely stressful for a doctor as well as a patient. Many physicians are cautious when telling patients they have cancer because hearing the words “you have cancer” can completely change their life. However, some doctors do not work hard enough to reach that diagnosis, potentially allowing a patient to suffer additional harm and a worsened condition as they linger without a diagnosis.
If you or a loved one had cancer that was not diagnosed in time, you may be entitled to sue your doctor to seek compensation for the worsened condition and additional medical care you needed because of their failure to diagnose you. For help filing a lawsuit and fighting for financial compensation in your case, contact the Houston missed and failed cancer diagnosis lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. To schedule your free legal consultation, call our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
How Failure to Diagnose Cancer Cases Happen
Most non-medical people would think that cancer would be simple enough to diagnose. TV shows and movies constantly show people being diagnosed with cancer, typically through a biopsy that is later tested at a lab. In some cases, cancer is indeed easy enough to diagnose, but this usually means that the cancer is already severe. Cancer develops in stages from I to IV (sometimes including stage 0 cancer). Stage IV cancer is the most severe form of cancer and usually indicates that the cancer has metastasized – that is, it has entered the bloodstream and begun spreading to other body systems. Cancer is easier to diagnose in this stage, but it is far harder to fight.
Most failure to diagnose cases occur in earlier stages of cancer. In these stages, there may not be a large enough tumor to biopsy, and spotting evidence of cancer might be difficult. However, many early screening tools can catch cancer even in the early stages, and your doctor should use these tools and tests when indicated.
Many people with a personal history of cancer or a family history of cancer should be tested regularly to screen for cancer. This can include using regular pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, and other screening tools. Some of these are recommended for people of certain ages or with certain health conditions even if there is no history of cancer for that patient.
Suing a Doctor for Failing to Diagnose Cancer and Delayed Diagnosis
If your physician fails to find and diagnose signs of cancer, they may be considered negligent. “Negligence,” as a legal term, describes a situation where someone fails to fulfil a legal duty they owe someone. In the case of a doctor-patient relationship, negligence involves medical care that falls below the standard of care applicable in the case at hand. The standard of care in any medical malpractice case is typically defined by looking at what a “reasonable” physician would do in the same situation, using other medical experts to help explain what that means for your care.
If your doctor’s care fell below the standard of care, they should be held responsible for any resulting harm. In cases of failing to diagnose cancer, negligence would typically apply to any case where the doctor should have been able to diagnose the cancer – or should have taken further steps to investigate and screen for cancer.
If your doctor was negligent, you may be able to take them to court and fight to get the court to order them to pay you for any damages resulting from the untreated cancer.
Damages in Missed Cancer Diagnosis Lawsuits
If your doctor did not diagnose your cancer, the condition would have likely continued to get worse. In some cases, you may seek a second opinion, and the cancer may be found within months or weeks of the initial failure to diagnose. If this happens, you may not face worse conditions or a reduced chance of recovery. However, if your doctor’s statements that you did not have cancer lull you into a false sense of security, the cancer might not be discovered until you need emergency medical treatment or your condition gets much worse. By that point, fighting the cancer might be impossible or unlikely. Either way, you are entitled to claim any damages resulting from the failed diagnosis, no matter how severe those damages are.
You can usually claim damages for any additional medical care you need from a failure to diagnose you with cancer. In the early stages of cancer treatment, quick chemotherapy or radiation may get you to remission quickly. However, if the cancer is left to grow, you may need aggressive chemo, intense radiation treatment, disfiguring surgeries, and other procedures that could have been avoided by quick action from your first doctor. Damages for each additional procedure should be paid by the negligent physician.
Similarly, if your condition was treated early, it may have let you avoid a lot of pain, suffering, disfiguration, missed work, and other harms. You can claim damages for all of these harms as well, holding your doctor responsible for paying for the emotional and mental harm you faced from intense cancer treatment and the missed work that could have been avoided.
Talk to a lawyer about what other additional damages you may be entitled to claim if you suffered from untreated cancer or if a loved one passed away because of the lost chance of recovery from undiagnosed cancer.
Call Our Houston, TX Failure to Diagnose Cancer Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one suffers from cancer that went undiagnosed despite signs and symptoms that your doctor should have recognized, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Especially if undiagnosed cancer caused irreversible harm or killed a family member, the compensation you receive may be substantial. For a free legal consultation on your case, call The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston failure to diagnose cancer attorneys today. Our number is (817) 476-1797.