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Our attorneys have seen how a delayed lung cancer diagnosis can severely harm a family whose loved one has already been dealing with difficult symptoms. You already know how serious and time-sensitive the disease is, and you may be rightfully upset at the physician who caused your delayed lung cancer injury.
When your doctor’s negligence causes you to suffer an injury or death, you are eligible for compensation. Keep reading if you are struggling with the question, “What do I do if my lung cancer diagnosis was delayed?” We will inform you of your legal options for your delayed lung cancer diagnosis.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer begins in the lungs before spreading to other parts of the body. Two identified types of lung cancer have been identified based on the appearance of the cancer cells. These include small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancer is usually found in those who have smoked heavily and is the less common of the two general lung cancer types. Non-small cell lung cancer refers to the rest of the more specific types of lung cancers, including large cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.
The appropriate treatment for your lung cancer will depend on the type of lung cancer you have. If your doctor misdiagnosed the type of lung cancer you have, it can delay your diagnosis. If this has happened to you, contact a personal injury attorney to help you determine whether your doctor was negligent in misdiagnosing your lung cancer.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Patients might downplay the seriousness of their symptoms. If you are reading this and you have not consulted a doctor about your persistent symptoms, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Symptoms of lung cancer can include:
- chest pain
- unintentional weight loss
- persistent cough
- difficulty breathing
- vocal changes
- bone pain
- bloody phlegm
Lung cancer patients wait an average of 21 days after the onset of symptoms to see a doctor and an additional 22 days before completing investigations. They rely on doctors to provide a speedy and accurate analysis to begin potentially life-saving treatment as soon as possible. If your doctor failed to recognize your symptoms—delaying your lung cancer diagnosis—consider enlisting the help of a lung cancer injury medical malpractice lawyer.
Causes of Lung Cancer
While smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer, it is a prevalent one. Even those with prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke are at risk of developing lung cancer. There is no clear cause of lung cancer in those who do not smoke and have not had prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke.
It is believed in the medical community that the substances in cigarette smoke damage the cells that line the lungs and that over time, your body can no longer repair that damage. The cells then begin to act abnormally over time and cancer cells start to form.
Delayed lung cancer diagnosis faqs
The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) directed at explaining what to do if your lung cancer diagnosis was delayed. However, the only way to fully understand your next steps after your delayed diagnosis is to get the opinion of a medical injury lawyer. A medical malpractice attorney will be able to listen to your unique case and customize a solution for your legal goals.
What Causes a Delayed Lung Cancer Diagnosis?
There are many ways that a doctor’s negligent actions can cause him or her to delay your diagnosis, including:
- Delaying testing
- Delaying referral to a specialist
- Failing to recognize the cause and seriousness of your symptoms
- Failing to follow up on abnormalities found during testing
- Misinterpreting or misreading test results in a critical way
- Misdiagnosing lung cancer as other conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or COVID-19
A doctor who begins treating a patient based on a misdiagnosis subjects the patient to even more harm through the side effects of the treatment that the patient does not need. No matter what caused your doctor to delay a correct diagnosis of your lung cancer, you must still suffer the consequences. With help from a Zinda Law Group attorney, you may at least receive some relief from some of the financial stress you are suffering.
How Would Things Be Different If I Were Diagnosed Earlier?
Lung cancer is a progressive disease, and every day counts. Over just the course of about 54 days, a non-small cell lung tumor increases by an average of 19%; small cell lung cancer has an average doubling time of 86 days. While there is no guarantee that you would be able to recover from your lung cancer if your doctor had recognized it sooner, it certainly would have increased your chances of long-term survival.
What Do I Do If My Lung Cancer Diagnosis Was Delayed?
The delay may have been because of your doctor’s negligence, but this is not automatically true. Doctors—though they are professionals—are human like the rest of us and make mistakes. In order to make a good legal case against your physician, you must be able to show that your doctor was negligent under the law.
You might think that your doctor was negligent and wish to file a lawsuit against your doctor. Alternatively, if the time and money that you will need to spend on the case are not worth the amount you could receive in compensation, it might be better not to file suit.
Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer for My Lung Cancer Injury?
A personal injury attorney can help you determine whether your case could produce enough compensation to make entering the legal process worthwhile. Also, if the sense of being validated under the law is just as important to you as financial compensation, you might weigh your priorities differently.
When you call a medical malpractice attorney, he or she listens to your story and evaluates it based upon the elements that must be met in a medical negligence case; they also consider results from past cases that he or she has taken in the past. From there, the personal injury lawyer can give you his or her best advice about how you should proceed. A brief explanation about medical malpractice might help you decide whether you should contact a personal injury attorney.
medical malpractice overview
You may have gathered from reading this article that medical malpractice occurs when a doctor acts negligently, but what does that mean? There are four elements that you must prove in order to show that your doctor was medically negligent.
1. You must show that doctor owed you a duty of a standard of care.
2. You must show that the doctor’s actions violated (breached) that duty of care.
3. You must have received a compensable injury.
4. You must be able to link your injury to the doctor’s breach of duty.
Any personal injury lawyer knows these elements well and, more importantly, knows how to prove them to win a settlement or trial.
Proving the elements of medical malpractice
In order to prove that your doctor owed you a duty of a particular standard of care, you should discover the basic guidelines and procedures for doctors in that field. These will depend upon whether the negligent doctor was your family physician who brushed off your symptoms and failed to refer you to a specialist or whether the negligent doctor was the specialist who misread your test results. It is crucial to have an expert witness to testify on your behalf; their testimony will help determine what the average doctor in your doctor’s field normally does to treat patients like you; if your doctor failed to meet the established standard, then he or she has breached the duty of care.
The final two elements relate to your injury. First, you must have received an injury for which you can receive compensation in the form of damages, usually economic (financial) or noneconomic (relating to your pain and suffering) damages. Finally, you must show that it was your doctor’s negligent actions that specifically caused your injury.
A zinda law group Personal Injury attorney wants to hear your story
A doctor who has delayed a lung cancer diagnosis has also delayed potentially life-saving treatment for his or her patient. We want to help repair your doctor’s wrongdoing and get you the compensation that is rightfully yours. Our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys could represent you at every stage of the legal process to help you achieve your goals.
If you or a loved one has experienced injury or death from a delayed lung cancer diagnosis, call the Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyers at (800) 863-5312 and schedule your free consultation. A lung cancer diagnosis is never pleasant, but it is far worse when you could have been treating the cancer earlier if it were not for your doctor’s negligence.
If you want compassionate, professional representation for your lung cancer injury, the medical malpractice lawyers at Zinda Law Group have experience with delayed lung cancer diagnosis cases like yours. Our firm also has a No Win, No Fee Guarantee as our promise that you do not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.