Illinois Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney
Beginning in the 1990s, cancer survival rates began increasing dramatically. That’s mostly because the components of the standard treatment for cancer, radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, became increasingly sophisticated. For example, today’s radiation treatments are much more targeted than they were forty years ago. Therefore, doctors can use higher doses without damaging nearby internal organs.
Usually, however, these treatments are only fully effective if doctors promptly and properly diagnose this disease. As outlined below, such prompt and proper diagnosis is often elusive, usually because doctors take shortcuts at some point.
In contrast, a diligent Illinois cancer misdiagnosis attorney at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman never takes shortcuts. We also never take the easy way out by agreeing to a quick settlement. Instead, we thoroughly prepare your claim. This process begins at your initial consultation. We do not just build a solid, evidence-based claim. We also offer solid legal advice every step of the way, so you can make the best possible decisions.
What Causes Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Initial misconceptions and subsequent evidence issues often combine to cause cancer misdiagnosis in Illinois.
Many doctors believe that cancer is a genetic, age-related, and/or lifestyle condition. So, they never diagnose cancer if the patient has no obvious family history or other similar risk factors. These same doctors also frequently never consider cancer if the patient is younger than about 40. Additionally, many doctors fundamentally believe that only women get breast cancer, only smokers get lung cancer, and so on.
Next, to confirm or rule out cancer, according to their gut feelings, doctors often order tests. However, they usually do not order a full range of tests. Frequently, doctors are afraid that the insurance company will not pay for multiple or overlapping diagnostic tests.
As mentioned, doctors typically use these test results to confirm their initial suspicions. So, they often disregard any evidence to the contrary. As a result, the patient receives a one-sided diagnosis.
On a related note, many doctors over-delegate test result interpretation chores to less-qualified professionals. People like nurses are well-qualified healthcare professionals. But when it comes to diagnostic test result interpretation, they are outside their fields.
The correct approach in an Illinois cancer misdiagnosis case usually depends on the nature of the error.
If the error lies with the doctor, as is usually the case, a victim/plaintiff must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.
Negligence is basically a lack of care. Since doctors have such a high duty of care in these cases, it’s usually easier to establish a lack of care. Typically, a medical negligence case compares the car that the patient received with the care the standard of care requires. Then, jurors can easily see where the doctor’s diagnosis fell short.
A preponderance of the evidence means “more likely than not.” Although that’s a rather low standard of proof, attorneys still need to collect as much evidence as possible. Insurance companies often dispute the standard of care in these claims. Furthermore, there is usually a direct relationship between the proof presented and the damages awarded.
In a medical malpractice claim, these damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are usually available in these matters as well.
If the cancer diagnosis error lies with a diagnostic machine, manufacturers are usually strictly liable for resulting injuries. So, there is no need to prove a lack of care. As long as victim/plaintiffs establish cause, the manufacturer is liable as a matter of law, at least in most cases. Roughly the same damages, including punitive damages, are available in defective product claims.
Contact a Dedicated Chicago Cook County Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago cancer misdiagnosis attorney, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman by going online or calling 410-567-0800. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.