In spite of the medical advances that make many types of cancer quite treatable if detected early, receiving a cancer diagnosis is still frightening. The thought of having cancer misdiagnosed is typically even more frightening since it may mean delayed, incorrect, or unnecessary treatment, any of which can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a cancer misdiagnosis, you should seek legal, as well as medical, guidance. Many victims of cancer misdiagnosis are entitled to substantial monetary compensation.
Cummings Law is a premier medical malpractice law firm with an excellent track record of success in cancer misdiagnosis cases. We not only have a comprehensive knowledge of cancer misdiagnosis law, but we are also deeply empathic regarding the trauma you are experiencing, worsened by the awareness that serious negligence is to blame. Remember, your initial consultation is free and we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win your case.
Cancers Most Commonly Misdiagnosed
Although any cancer can be misdiagnosed, the following types are misdiagnosed most frequently:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
It is empowering to you as a patient to be aware of this if, for example, you are dealing with ongoing respiratory, abdominal, or digestive issues, or if you have any unusual swellings, skin lesions or unexplained symptoms.
Important Things You Should Know About Cancer Misdiagnosis
At Cummings Law, we are committed to seeing you through the maze of medical malpractice law. Though we are here to take over all necessary logistical matters, we also want to clarify the process so that while you concentrate on dealing with your medical issues, you understand the basic underpinnings of the legal process. For this reason, you should know that:
- Not all cancer misdiagnoses are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit; there has to be negligence involved, substantiated by the testimony of a medical expert in the specialty.
- To have a valid medical malpractice claim for cancer misdiagnosis, we must be able to prove that the doctor who made the mistake did not live up to “the standard of care.”
- In order to receive damages, we must also be able to prove that you suffered harm as a result of the doctor’s misdiagnosis, e.g unnecessary surgery, disfigurement, loss of income, or avoidable progression of the disease.
- After a free consultation, Cummings Law will only take your case if we feel we can win.
- The responsible party may be someone other than your doctor, such as a healthcare worker who administered a diagnostic test incorrectly or mistakenly reported its results, a lab technician who contaminated a specimen, or a facility that failed to keep its equipment working properly
- In Hawaii, damages for non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering), are, with some exceptions, capped at $375,000.
Types of Cancer Misdiagnosis
A cancer misdiagnosis may occur in a number of ways, including if your doctor:
- Performs an incomplete or careless examination
- Ignores symptoms
- Fails to eliminate all other possible causes of your symptoms
- Fails to order appropriate diagnostic tests
- Misinterprets diagnostic test results
- Fails to consult with, or refer you to, a more knowledgeable specialist
Statistics show that cancer misdiagnoses are far too common, but that the majority of physicians mistakenly believe they occur rarely.
Damages Cummings Law Will Fight To Obtain for You
At Cummings Law, we will make sure to hold the right party accountable for your misery. We will fight vigorously to obtain economic compensation for costs, such as medical expenses, loss of income, household help and nursing care and non-economic compensation for intangibles such as pain and suffering, disability, or disfigurement. In rare cases, we may be able to win you punitive damages if the cancer misdiagnosis resulted in egregious suffering, such as the fatal metastasis of cancer which would have been, had it not been misdiagnosed, easily curable or an unnecessary amputation.
Tests Your Primary Care Doctor Should Be Sending You for Routinely
In order to avail yourself of modern medical advances you have to be aware of necessary preventive tests; your primary care doctor should be reminding you of these during annual checkups. These tests include:
- Complete blood count (CBC) — starting at an early age as part of a regular check-up
- Skin checks with a dermatologist early on, especially if you’re at high risk
- Mammography — starting at age 45 to 50, earlier if you’re at high risk
- Colonoscopy — starting at 50, earlier if you’re at high risk
- Digital rectal exam — starting at age 50 for men (prostate); for women (ovaries & uterus)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) — starting at age 45 unless you’re at high risk
- Pap smear — for women from age 21 to age 70
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for males starting at 50, earlier if you’re at high risk
You should also be aware that, if one of these tests shows any abnormality, your primary care doctor should refer you for further diagnostic testing and/or to a specialist. Examples of further diagnostic tests are biopsies, X-rays, ultrasounds, stress tests, CT or MRI scans. If your primary care doctor fails to recommend a cancer screening, she/he is being negligent since a great many types of cancer will only be detected by diagnostic tests.
Contact Our Honolulu Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a cancer misdiagnosis, you owe it to yourself and your family to consult with Cummings Law. Our lead attorney, Brian Cummings, has outstanding credentials and a well-earned reputation for skillful negotiation, aggressive litigation, and deep compassion. He also has over 20 years of successful experience, both in and out of the courtroom. Brian is dedicated to protecting your rights and your family’s future. Contact Cummings Law today to win the significant compensation you deserve. Act quickly because the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Hawaii is two years.