If a doctor failed to follow up on sound evidence, such as your medical history, or physical evidence, such as a biopsy, and delayed treatment caused you serious harm, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. First, you may wish to seek a second opinion from another clinician or practitioner.
In some cases, it could take weeks, months, or even years to discover that you were misdiagnosed.
To help prove your case, your misdiagnosis lawyer will hire an expert witness — typically a physician who practices the same line of medicine as the doctor in question — to investigate your claim. He or she will determine whether your doctor violated the standard of care governing that field. The standard of care is based on what the average doctor would do if he or she had been faced with the same circumstances.
If the expert witness concludes that your doctor deviated from the accepted standard of good medical practice, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim. The amount you may be awarded varies, depending on the extent of your injury, the related economic losses, and non-economic damages.
MISDIAGNOSIS & FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE CLAIMS WE HAVE HANDLED
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on July 28, 1995, Chris and his former partner settled a wrongful death claim for $2.4 million after a 54-year-old woman’s doctor failed to diagnose leukemia. She died of a blood infection five days after hemorrhoid surgery.
A Cuyahoga County jury awarded another 54-year-old client $4.1 million “because her doctor misread [uterine cancer] symptoms,” the Plain Dealer stated on October 15, 1999. In that case, the doctor blamed the pathologists, even though one recommended further evaluation, and the pathologists blamed the doctor for providing pen tip-sized tissue samples.
This is why it’s always a good idea to hire an attorney who can determine who’s at fault for the misdiagnosis. If you file a claim on your own and sue the wrong person, you could lose your case. As a tactical maneuver in this instance, Chris and his former partner filed a claim against the doctor’s employer “because a faceless corporation makes a less sympathetic defendant than a lone doctor,” Chris told reporters.
Over the past 30 years, Chris has helped victims who’ve been harmed by the following misdiagnoses:
- Colorectal cancer
- Heart attack
- Melanoma or squamous skin cell cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Failure to recognize blood infections
- Kidney failure
- Pneumonia confused with bronchitis or other ailments
- Gangrene in diabetics
WRONG DIAGNOSIS DANGERS & STATISTICS
In 2004, a Health Grades study revealed that failure to treat a patient’s condition was the most common patient safety incident. Years earlier, in 1997, the National Patient Safety Foundation conducted its own study, which revealed that failure to treat a patient’s condition accounted for 40 percent of the 42 percent of participants who’d reported a medical mistake.
A recent BMJ Quality & Safety study estimated that doctors misdiagnose cancer 28 percent of the time.
Many illnesses and diseases, such as heart disease and breast cancer, can be detected early. Proper treatment can save or extend a person’s life. As Bloomberg writer Virginia Postrel noted on August 18, 2013, “New drugs, not early detection, account for at least two-thirds of the reduction in breast cancer mortality.”
When symptoms are overlooked or dismissed as something else, the consequences can be devastating. For instance, a woman whose breast cancer is detected at stage 0 has a 93 percent five-year survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. If a malignant lump goes undetected, that percentage begins to drop. The difference between diagnosis at stage I and diagnosis at stage IV amounts to a 73 percent decrease.
Although nearly 250,000 breast cancer cases are diagnosed each year, doctors still misdiagnose the disease, which leads to delayed treatment, prolonged suffering, and, in some cases, wrongful death.
WHY CONTACT THE MELLINO LAW FIRM?
First, Chris Mellino is respected for his ability to dig below the surface to make sure nothing is overlooked. In fact, Chris has been involved in several landmark cases. Our firm’s success results from a dedication to our clients and a commitment to protecting the rights of those who’ve been injured by others’ negligence.
Our client testimonials are a testament to this commitment.
We combine specialized medical knowledge, exceptional trial skills, and notable negotiating talent to obtain full and fair compensation for clients and to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. In the last three decades, we have established a network of resources to help analyze cases and make sure our clients get full compensation for their injuries.
Second, we are the only firm in the state to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.
Last but not least, by limiting the number of cases we accept, The Mellino Law Firm is able to give wrong diagnosis claims the attention they deserve to make sure nothing else goes overlooked. When you call us, you’ll speak to an attorney, not a case manager.