Doctors often recommend that individuals of a certain age receive particular check-ups and screenings. Amongst these screenings are those that search for cancer. Many times, when detected early, cancer can be treated quickly and efficiently. Yet, if a doctor misses a diagnosis, the result can be tragic, and, in some cases deadly. These instances of a missed diagnosis typically constitute medical malpractice and compensation can be recovered.
A recent lawsuit serves as an example. There, a woman is suing her doctor for failure to diagnose cancer. According to the plaintiff, she went to her doctor in 2005 concerning a lump in her breast. No thorough testing was conducted on the lump until 2009 when it was found to be cancerous. Because of this delayed diagnosis, the plaintiff has had multiple surgeries and a double mastectomy. In her lawsuit, the woman claims she has lost the chance for a better outcome.
When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition that should have been detected, medical malpractice has likely occurred. If a victim feels she has been wronged, she can file a lawsuit against the doctor for her damages. To succeed on such a claim, the victim must prove the doctor owed her a duty of care, that duty was breached, and injuries resulted.
Once these elements are satisfied, the victim can obtain compensation. These recoveries can be used to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Then, the victim can receive the best care available so that life can move back to as close to normal as possible.
In addition to getting victims the compensation they need and deserve, a successful medical malpractice lawsuit punishes errant doctors and puts other negligent medical professionals on notice. Maybe then doctors will double check their work to ensure all their patients receive the quality care they expect.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Doctor sued for not finding breast cancer diagnosis over a four year period,” Kyle Barnett, Feb. 7, 2013