Atlanta Delayed Cancer Diagnosis Attorneys
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
The day you or someone you love receives a cancer diagnosis is the day your world changes forever. You enter a world of biopsies, radiation, chemotherapy, and endless doctor and hospital visits. Depending on the type and severity of the cancer, you begin counting the time you have left with your loved ones in months instead of years.
The best outcomes in cancer cases start with early diagnosis, regardless of the type of cancer you have. The earlier cancerous or pre-cancerous cells are identified, the better the chances of extending life or eliminating the cancer entirely. When a cancer diagnosis is delayed due to negligence, precious time is lost. The treatments that remain available may be more invasive, causing additional pain and suffering. If you've suffered due to a delayed cancer diagnosis, please don't hesitate to contact the Grant Law Office to learn more about your legal rights. For a free consultation, you can reach us at (404) 995-3955.
What Causes Delayed Diagnosis?
A delayed diagnosis can occur for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include the following:
- The initial screening did not reveal cancer, and the doctor chose not to re-screen despite ongoing or worsening symptoms that would call for a re-screening.
- The doctor assumed that the patient's symptoms had a cause other than cancer, and therefore did not check for cancer.
- One or more symptoms were treated as if they were the whole condition. For instance, a doctor might treat a patient with anemia as if he or she only has anemia, without checking whether an underlying condition like cancer was causing the anemia.
- The doctor relied on less-than-definitive test results. For example, a doctor might assume that mammogram images don't reveal cancer, instead of ordering a biopsy to check unclear or suspicious-looking areas in the mammogram images.
- Tests were performed or interpreted incorrectly. For example, a biopsy that comes back with "normal" results may have been read incorrectly, skipping cancerous or pre-cancerous cells evident in the sample.
Not every situation that delays a cancer diagnosis rises to the level of medical malpractice. However, situations that clearly fall below the standard of care may involve malpractice.
"Loss of Chance" Doctrine
Georgia is one of several states whose courts have adopted the "loss of chance" doctrine in at least one medical malpractice case. Under traditional medical malpractice rules, a doctor may only be held liable for a patient's death due to malpractice if the doctor's malpractice was a "substantial" factor in the patient's death. This rule made it difficult for many families who lost a loved one to a delayed cancer diagnosis to recover, since the chance of surviving many cancers is quite low even if the cancer is diagnosed early.
Under the "loss of chance" doctrine, the family of a patient whose chances of survival dropped due to a delayed diagnosis may seek to hold a medical professional liable for the lost chance, even if the delayed diagnosis was not a "substantial" factor in the patient's death. The rule improves the chances that the family will receive compensation, because it factors in the loss of life that resulted from the delay.
Help After a Delayed Diagnosis
After a cancer diagnosis, every moment loved ones can spend together matters more than ever. When a delayed diagnosis robs you of time with those you care about, you have the legal right to seek compensation. The compassionate Georgia delayed cancer diagnosis attorneys at Grant Law Office can lead the fight for compensation on your behalf, so that you can focus on your loved ones. For a free and confidential consultation, contact our office today.