Cancer treatment and medical malpractice: Your options for recovery

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most frightening experiences in life. You trust your oncologist, hoping for a speedy recovery and remission. However, despite carefully established procedures, errors and negligence are more commonly associated than you may realize. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates discuss what you should know about cancer treatment and medical malpractice.

medical malpractice cancer treatment

What are common kinds of cancer treatment malpractice?

Medical malpractice issues can range from choosing the wrong treatment protocol to failing to recognize you have cancer. Although cancer specialists are expected to pay close attention to every aspect of their work, they may commit any of the following kinds of negligence or malpractice.

Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis

A doctor may misinterpret test or scan results and overlook signs of cancer. Likewise, if they fail to order imaging such as CT scans, MRIs, or X-rays until later, the disease could advance into a less-treatable stage. Failing to follow up with a patient or ignoring their medical history and risk factors can lead to a delayed diagnosis.

When doctors misdiagnose cancer as another medical condition, you may face treatments or surgeries that do not fight your actual disease. When tissue samples are taken, tested, or interpreted incorrectly, the physician may delay getting you into the appropriate treatment course. Similarly, if the doctor mistakes an infection for cancer, they could order chemotherapy for someone who doesn’t need it, leading to serious illness.

Surgical errors

Removing a cancerous lesion or tumor requires extreme precision and years of practice. A surgeon failing to verify your medical history, disease status, and procedure guidelines could worsen your health. By operating on the wrong site, a surgeon not only causes additional harm but leaves the cancer untreated.

Unless they take care to remove all possible cancerous tissue, they could leave remnants that spread and create more issues. Finally, a surgeon who isn’t careful may cause nerve or other tissue damage. All these errors can substantially increase your pain, expense, and emotional distress due to medical negligence.

Medication errors

Depending on the type of cancer you have, you will need a combination of drugs that not only fight the disease but maintain your health as you recover. For example, lymphoma treatment uses medications that kill cancerous cells. However, your doctor may also prescribe other medicines that boost your immune system to protect your body from other illnesses.

Failing to prescribe the right drugs or investigate potential drug interactions can leave you sicker, in more pain, and at a higher risk of relapse. If you are given the wrong dosage of your medications or your treatment appointments are delayed, your disease could progress faster than anticipated. You could face additional surgeries or pass away.

What legal remedies are available for medical malpractice during cancer treatment?

If you feel you have been the victim of medical malpractice during your cancer treatment, you have legal options to seek compensation and justice. During a free consultation, you can begin with a qualified medical malpractice attorney to discuss your concerns. Once you verify your valid claim, your lawyer will help you file a claim against the provider’s insurance or initiate a lawsuit.

Many individuals or entities may be at fault, and a competent attorney will investigate how each one contributed to your harm. They will negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement, moving to a lawsuit if these discussions are unproductive. In court, your attorney will seek to show how the liable parties were negligent or intentional in their medical negligence.

How will my attorney demonstrate medical malpractice?

Your attorney must present evidence showing how your injuries occurred, how the malpractice happened, and the reasonable standard of care for your condition. Demonstrating how the provider deviated from that standard of care is one of the most critical elements, requiring testimony from medical experts and medical records documenting your care.

You’ll need to address five elements to show how the provider, the hospital, or other at-fault parties were negligent:

  1. You had a patient-doctor relationship with the defendant.
  2. They owed you a duty of care.
  3. They breached their duty of care.
  4. You suffered injuries and damages as a result of their breach.
  5. You have expenses associated with your injuries and damages.

Gathering and preparing the necessary evidence for your case takes time, especially if there are multiple parties to your case. The Illinois statute of limitations for medical malpractice is generally two years after the date (or the date it was discovered). When you contact your lawyer quickly, you give them more time to develop your case and have the best chance of success.

Call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates at (800) 985-1819 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer today.

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