DC Failure to Diagnose Cancer Attorney

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Failure to Timely Diagnose Cancer

Timely diagnosis of cancer is crucial, and regular health screenings are recommended to catch the disease in its early stages. But what if you’ve done everything right, and your cancer goes undiagnosed – and untreated? Failure to timely diagnose this deadly disease can have devastating consequences for you and your family.

If your doctor failed to diagnose and treat your cancer promptly when you were having symptoms, you might be entitled to financial compensation. While financial compensation can’t cure your cancer, a settlement or verdict can help pay for your long-term medical care and lost wages, which would allow you to focus on fighting the cancer and getting the best possible chance of recovery.

At Bertram & Murphy, we understand how angry and devastated you might feel. You trusted your doctors and they let you down when you most needed their attention and expertise. Our law firm has represented many patients whose cancer was either misdiagnosed or whose diagnoses was delayed and caused the patient to lose their best chance for recovery.

To learn more about how our Washington, D.C. cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

How Our DC Attorneys Help Patients Harmed by Failure to Diagnose Cancer

At Bertram & Murphy, your claim will be handled by a Washington, D.C. cancer misdiagnosis lawyer who has extensive experience with these types of cases. Here are some of the ways our legal team can help you:

  • Full Case Review – Our law firm has a nurse and doctors on retainer for medical-related lawsuits. This allows us to fully evaluate your potential case to see if you may have a valid claim. By fully reviewing your medical records and the available medical evidence in your case, we can help you decide whether you have a claim that can be pursued.
  • Thorough Investigation – If you decide to file a claim for failure to diagnose cancer, we will investigate the facts of the case. Our experts will help us determine whether the error was caused by physicians, nurses, the hospital or the manufacturer of a diagnostic testing machine, for example.
  • Aggressively Pursue Your Claim – If we determine your case has merit, we will use our firm’s resources to pursue the parties who were responsible for your injuries. Our experienced team will conduct depositions, subpoena witnesses and hire medical experts. Our legal team will work to try to obtain a settlement or verdict in your favor.

Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis, Failure to Diagnose – What’s the Difference?

Medical malpractice claims involving misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose are similar. Here’s how a cancer diagnosis may be delayed or missed completely:

  • Misdiagnosis of Cancer – With these claims, the doctor might have diagnosed the patient with a less serious condition or told a patient they have cancer when they do not. By the time the true diagnosis is made, the patient may have already suffered irreversible harm. For example, you might visit the doctor for a skin lesion and be treated only for a minor rash. If the lesion was actually skin cancer, this misdiagnosis can have long-term consequences. In other cases, a “false positive” might have led to painful and expensive treatments of a patient who did not, in fact, have cancer, including surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer – In a delayed diagnosis claim, the doctor might not immediately realize the patient had cancer. The delayed diagnosis could result in delayed treatment and could seriously impact your chances of recovery. The doctors, pathologists, radiologists and laboratories can be held accountable if it is determined that one or more should have diagnosed your cancer sooner and it would have made a significant difference for your treatment or your chances of survival. A medical expert will determine if your health care team should have reasonably suspected you had cancer, based on your complaints, history, labs, imaging or other diagnostic tests.
  • Failure to Diagnose Cancer – With this type of claim, signs of cancer were present at the time the patient was evaluated, but the doctor failed to provide a timely diagnosis. In many cases, the patient doesn’t discover the cancer until the illness progresses.

Types of Cancer That Are Often Not Properly Diagnosed

Have you received a delayed diagnosis of cancer? The most common types of cancer that are not properly diagnosed include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney or bladder cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Leukemia

These are just a few examples of the many types of cancer that could be misdiagnosed, diagnosed late, or never properly diagnosed before a patient’s death.

Who Could Be Liable for Failure to Diagnose Cancer?

When failure to diagnose cancer occurs, multiple parties may be at fault, including:

  • Doctor, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Pathologist, Radiologist, Surgeon, Lab Tech, or Other Healthcare Professional – The healthcare provider or lab who missed the cancer diagnosis may be the only liable person. However, claims might also involve several providers, including nurses, physician’s assistants, resident doctors or other healthcare professionals, as well.
  • Hospital – The cancer may not be properly diagnosed due to improper staff training, errors in the electronic medical records, or delivery of key laboratory or imaging findings or other areas that fall under the hospital’s responsibility. If this is the case, the hospital could be held liable.
  • Laboratory – Sometimes results of patients get mixed up and doctors and patients are not given the correct results from pathology or genetic testing results. This can lead to the wrong diagnosis or the wrong treatment for several patients.
  • Manufacturer – Sometimes faulty diagnostic equipment gives unreliable results, or can lead to delays in results leading to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. If this is the case, then the manufacturer of the diagnostic equipment or laboratory testing could be liable.

Types of Harm Patients Suffer When Cancer Is Not Properly Diagnosed

  • Worsened Illness – Failure to diagnose cancer can cause the condition to worsen, especially when treatment is delayed. By the time proper treatment is begun, the cancer might have already done irreparable harm to the body.
  • Delays in diagnosis can result in the patient requiring more serious and invasive treatment including surgery and radiation or chemotherapy. It can also mean the patient’s cancer was allowed to progress untreated, making treatment harder and decreasing the patient’s chances of cure or long-term survival. This can be devastating for the patient and the family.
  • Unnecessary treatment including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy – Being given the wrong diagnosis can lead to unnecessary surgeries and radiation and chemotherapy that the patient never needed.
  • Loss of Income – If cancer patients receive early treatment, they may be able to make a full recovery. But patients who receive late treatment might have to take time off from work – temporarily or indefinitely – due to their deteriorating health.
  • Death – In the worst-case scenario, patients whose cancer was never properly treated might die from their illness.

Building a Strong Claim for Failure to Diagnose Cancer

When investigating a claim for failure to diagnose cancer, several factors are considered:

  • Was it reasonable for the doctor to have done testing to diagnose the patient’s cancer based on any complaints and/or test results?
  • Should the patient have been sent to a specialist sooner to do testing given the patient’s complaints?
  • Was the diagnostic test equipment faulty or were the pathology slides read wrong?
  • Was the cancer missed on the mammogram or CT scan?
  • Was the patient actually harmed as a result of the failure to diagnose cancer?

At Bertram & Murphy, we can consult with top medical experts to determine whether your cancer misdiagnosis was caused by negligence. We can also take depositions of relevant witnesses, request important documents and medical records, and evaluate the extent of your long-term injuries.

Talk to Our D.C. Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys Now for Free

If you believe your delayed cancer diagnosis was the result of negligence, it’s important to speak with a Washington, D.C. misdiagnosis attorney promptly. Our legal team will be ready to review your claim and discuss your options for potential compensation.

To learn more about how a Washington, D.C. cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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