Damages Claims for the Negligent Failure to Diagnose Cancer
Everyone has seen or heard the public-service ads encouraging people to prevent cancer through regular checkups and early detection. But what if you go in for a checkup and your doctor doesn’t order the right tests? Or if the radiologist misses the signs of a tumor on your film?
Cancer metastasizes and kills people when it spreads over time and attacks inoperable tissues or circulatory systems. If you’re faced with the possibility that the negligent failure to diagnose cancer in time for effective treatment led to a death or disability in your family, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
It’s not strictly accurate to discuss medical malpractice claims involving cancer in terms of misdiagnosis. An accurate diagnosis of a serious malignancy eventually arrives in nearly every case. The legal question is whether the diagnosis would have been made in time to save the patient if the physician had observed applicable standards of care.
At Miller & Wagner, we work closely with doctors from many specialties to determine whether the failure to diagnose cancer soon enough to make a difference represented negligence that could support a claim for damages as opposed to an unfortunate medical outcome that’s nobody’s fault.
If we obtain expert opinions indicating that the failure to make a timely diagnosis did in fact represent negligence on the part of a medical professional, we still need to show — once again, through qualified medical experts — that the delayed diagnosis played a crucial causal role in the patient’s death or serious injury. This isn’t always obvious, especially in cases where the patient had multiple health problems or other complications.
Our experience with the investigation and proof of both the liability and damages issues in medical malpractice cases can make the decisive difference across the range of misdiagnosed cancers:
- Squamous-cell skin cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
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From our offices in Portland, our medical malpractice trial attorneys represent plaintiffs in medical negligence claims against physicians and health care providers throughout Oregon and Washington. For your convenience, we have a satellite office in Eugene.