If you’ve been misdiagnosed with cancer, you may be feeling scared, angry, and uncertain about what’s next. Cancer treatment is painful and expensive, so finding out that it was all avoidable is devastating. Your trust is broken, your heart is aching, and you may feel helpless.
But just know, you’re not alone. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you receive compensation and hold negligent parties accountable.
In this article, we’ll outline the steps to follow after you’ve been misdiagnosed with cancer.
How Common is Cancer Misdiagnosis?
The American Cancer Society found that specific types of cancer can be misdiagnosed at surprising rates, up to 61 percent. The National Library of Medicine reports that 76% of misdiagnoses involved errors in clinical judgment, such as forgetting to order a test.
It’s okay and encouraged to respectfully challenge your healthcare professionals and seek second opinions, especially for a life-altering diagnosis.
What Happens After You’re Misdiagnosed with Cancer?
After being diagnosed with cancer, you may undergo months of chemotherapy and treatment. So, confirming your diagnosis or finding out if they misdiagnosed you is a good idea.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed with cancer, you will need to take action to ensure you receive compensation for the emotional, physical, and financial trauma you’ve endured.
Step 1: Get a second opinion.
If you suspect your diagnosis is wrong, don’t take one doctor’s word for it. Consult another doctor (and maybe one more for good measure). Choose a doctor who specializes in the cancer with which you were misdiagnosed.
Ask the specialist to rerun the tests or screenings and equip them with as much of your and your family’s medical history as possible. Keep a log of critical information, like appointments, doctor’s notes, expenses and bills, and symptoms.
Step 2: Gather medical records and documents.
Then, collect all records — emails, bills, medical documents, prescriptions, and more. These records will help you and an attorney build a strong case for medical malpractice.
If you’re still not confident about your diagnosis, keeping records can help you identify inconsistencies or incorrect information.
Step 3: Consult with your legal team as soon as possible.
Once you confirm that you were misdiagnosed with cancer, consult a medical malpractice attorney to help you build your case and begin fighting for compensation.
After a consultation, your attorney will review your case and discuss your options.
Seek legal advice as soon as possible. The statute of limitations may start at the time of the original diagnosis, not when you discover the misdiagnosis. Therefore, filing deadlines may be shorter.
We understand it can be hard to think about getting an attorney while facing a cancer diagnosis. However, don’t wait to seek legal help, or you may lose your claim.
Step 4: Protect and advocate for yourself.
Cancer misdiagnosis is devastating, so remember to prioritize and advocate for your health. Educate yourself so you’re informed enough to be in your own corner. Don’t forget to take care of other areas of your life, like your mental and overall health. Finally, check in with your support system to maintain your sense of self.
Recovery for Cancer Misdiagnosis
If you and your attorney prove medical malpractice, you can recover:
- Past and future medical costs
- Workers’ compensation, lost wages, and lower earning potential
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing pain and suffering
- Reduction in life expectancy or chance for cure.
In Indiana, people misdiagnosed with cancer can recover compensation for a decreased life expectancy or chance for cure and the emotional distress caused by the misdiagnosis.
For example, if you would have had an 85% chance for a successful outcome if diagnosed correctly but now only have a 35% chance because of the misdiagnosis, you can recover damages for the 50% difference.
You’re Not Alone
A cancer misdiagnosis can change your life. Being misdiagnosed with cancer is traumatic, expensive, and scary.
If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed with cancer, you’re not alone. Golitko & Daly, P.C.’s experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve. We’ll hold the responsible parties accountable.
*Free consultation; no retainer fee. You don’t pay a fee until we obtain a settlement for you. All attorney fees are based on the amount of your recovery.