What Damages Can You Collect After A Cancer Misdiagnosis?
There are many competent doctors in Pennsylvania who always strive to provide quality care to their patients. Unfortunately, however, some doctors are reckless or negligent and fail to deliver competent care. If your doctor misdiagnosed your cancer, you might wonder whether you have grounds to file a medical malpractice case and how much can you sue for misdiagnosis. You also might wonder, “Can doctors be sued for misdiagnosis?” Here is what you need to know about suing a doctor for medical malpractice and the damages that might be available from the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn.
Can Doctors Be Sued For Misdiagnosis?
Doctors can be sued for misdiagnosis when their actions rise to the level of malpractice. Not all diagnostic errors will support a malpractice claim. Instead, your doctor’s actions must have fallen below the expected standard of care and directly caused your injuries. You must also have suffered calculable losses as a result of the misdiagnosis.Filing a lawsuit against your doctor for a cancer misdiagnosis might allow you to recover compensation or damages to repay you for the losses you have suffered as result. You might also wonder what the average payout for a cancer misdiagnosis is. However, the value of your case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. No two cases are alike, so it is not possible to tell you what you might expect to recover without properly valuing your case.
To prove that your doctor committed malpractice, you will need to present evidence showing the following elements:
- The doctor owed a duty of care to you to provide care that met the expected standard of care that a reasonably competent doctor would have provided under similar treatment conditions.
- Your doctor’s care violated the standard of care he or she owed to you.
- The doctor’s breach of the duty of care caused your injuries or worsened condition.
- You suffered calculable damages as a result.
Your attorney will work with a medical expert to determine the expected standard of care and whether your doctor’s care failed to meet it. He or she will also work to establish causation and help you to understand your damages.
How Misdiagnoses Occur
It might be difficult to understand how a doctor can misdiagnose cancer, but cancer misdiagnoses are fairly common.
Some of the reasons why a doctor might misdiagnose cancer include the following:
- Failing to get a thorough medical history
- Failing to listen to your report of symptoms
- Failing to order the proper diagnostic tests
- Misreading lab test results
- Failing to notice something during a physical examination
Types Of Damages
As previously mentioned, it is not possible for an attorney to tell you over the phone what your case might be worth. However, the following types of damages might be available.
Economic damages are the out-of-pocket losses that you have suffered and will suffer as a result of your misdiagnosis. If you were diagnosed with cancer when you didn’t have it, it can include the costs you incurred for unnecessary treatments and procedures. If your diagnosis was delayed, you might be able to recover damages for the costs of additional treatments that were required to compensate for the passage of time and appropriate treatment.
The following types of economic damages might be available to you:
- Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Past and future lost wages
- Home health care if needed
- Transportation costs to and from treatment
- Funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death case
Non-economic or general damages are damages that are meant to compensate you for other types of losses.
Some of the types of non-economic damages that might be recoverable include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are reserved for particularly egregious cases, which means that they are not awarded in most cases. They are damages that are designed to punish defendants rather than compensate the victims, and they are payable on top of the compensatory damages victims might recover. Pennsylvania caps punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. However, there is no limit on your economic or non-economic compensatory damages. For punitive damages, an award cannot be more than 200% of your total compensatory damages. For example, if you are awarded $200,000 in a malpractice case in compensatory damages, you could not receive more than $400,000 in punitive damages.
Speak To Raynes & Lawn
If you are considering filing a malpractice lawsuit for your cancer misdiagnosis, you should reach out to the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn. We have decades of experience and can provide a free case evaluation. Call us today at 1-800-535-1797.
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