Due to medical advancements, many cancers are treatable if caught before they reach a certain point. However, a medical professional’s failure to properly diagnose cancer in the early stages can have life-threatening consequences.

If you believe that your condition was made worse due to a doctor’s incorrect diagnosis, you should speak with a knowledgeable failure to diagnose attorney today. A Columbia cancer misdiagnosis lawyer could look into your case and determine whether you have a right to pursue compensation.

How Cancer is Diagnosed

Doctors use a range of tests and medical procedures to detect cancer. The required test will depend on the type of cancer suspected and the patient’s symptoms. Some standard medical procedures used to diagnose cancer include the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Biopsies
  • Tumor marker tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or bone scans

Many signs of cancer overlap with other medical conditions, making certain types more challenging to diagnose. Properly diagnosing cancer requires a doctor to ask detailed questions about a patient’s symptoms. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Cancer misdiagnosis can happen for various reasons but often involves a doctor’s failure or delay in ordering diagnostic testing. A Columbia cancer misdiagnosis attorney could investigate your case and help pinpoint where malpractice took place.

Medical Malpractice Claims for a Cancer Misdiagnosis

Medical professionals must uphold a certain standard of reasonable care when treating patients. To have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must prove that a doctor failed to follow generally accepted medical protocol, and this led to a misdiagnosis of your cancer, pursuant to South Carolina Code Annotated § 15-79-110.

Before you can file your claim, you must provide the doctor with a notice of intent to file suit, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-79-125, that describes details about the basis for your claim. You must also undertake mediation with the medical professional within 90 to 120 days of serving the notice of intent to file suit.

You must also provide evidence or expert testimony to prove the doctor deviated from the standard of care used by similar industry professionals in that situation. A Columbia lawyer could speak with you about the type of documentation necessary to prove that a doctor misdiagnosed your cancer.

In addition, you need to file an affidavit from a medical expert that identifies a minimum of one specific breach in care by the at-fault party, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-36-100. This measure helps to discourage frivolous claims.

The Statute of Limitations For Medical Malpractice

A plaintiff has three years to file a medical malpractice action for a cancer misdiagnosis based on the date the injury occurred or two years if the healthcare professional is associated with a government entity.

Determining when the time limit begins is more complex in cancer cases since patients may see multiple doctors and specialists. A hardworking medical malpractice attorney could help you identify the potentially at-fault parties in your case.

Available Money Damages for Medical Malpractice

A plaintiff could recover various forms of damages in a malpractice claim. Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-32-210, economic damages can consist of:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Lost business and employment opportunities

Similarly, noneconomic damages do not have a definitive financial value and can include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse or domestic.

Although the state does not generally cap money damages, the limit on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims is adjusted each year for inflation, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-32-220.

Call a Columbia Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney Today

Do not hesitate to speak with a Columbia cancer misdiagnosis lawyer about your case. A court could dismiss your claim if it is not brought within the applicable statute of limitations.

The Whetstone Perkins & Fulda personal injury attorneys could advise you about state rules specifically applicable to medical malpractice actions. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with our team.

Whetstone Perkins & Fulda