Finding out that you receive a cancer misdiagnosis can leave you feeling infuriated. Whether you were diagnosed as having cancer and didn't or you had cancer and the doctors missed it, you may be wondering what your legal options are. It's a good idea to look at your potential case the same way that cancer misdiagnosis attorneys likely would. Here are three things most cancer misdiagnosis attorneys look for when they're presented with cases.
Formation of a Patient-Provider Relationship
Sometimes also referred to as a doctor-patient relationship, this is the legal notion that a medical services provider has to choose to enter into a relationship where they're expected to help a patient. Suppose your next-door neighbor is an oncologist. Merely asking them a few things about cancer wouldn't establish a legally binding relationship.
What forms the provider-patient relationship is formally taking on the medical case. If a hospital, for example, admitted you into the ER, that forms such a relationship until you are released. Similarly, billing someone for services like diagnostics, tests, and screenings forms such a relationship. If possible, try to collect the bills you've received since these function as admissions of providing the medical services listed in the billings.
Negligence Relative to a Professional Standard of Care
One of the biggest things cancer misdiagnosis attorneys are looking at is the accepted professional standard of care in the field. Medical professionals and institutions are held by the law to the prevailing standard in their industry.
For something to be considered medical negligence, it must fall outside the acceptable standards. If other cancer doctors, working from a reasonable understanding of the field, would be upset by another's failures, that starts to build a case. For example, if a person's symptoms indicated a risk that they had cancer and a doctor overlooked them, that may be an example of negligence.
Two types of harm can occur in these sorts of cases: economic and personal injury. Economic harm can arise from the money you spent dealing with the misdiagnosis and trying to correct the problem after it was discovered. Similarly, workdays that were missed in going to appointments may count.
Personal injuries arise from the direct harm that was done to the patient's body. For example, many kinds of anti-cancer medications cause things like hair loss, loss of energy, and infection risks. Consequent injuries would also be compensable, such as the amputation of a foot due to infection.