Friday, July 28, 2017

What Happens When Someone Dies of a Misdiagnosed Treatable Illness?

Cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses have the potential to go undetected or undiagnosed, sometimes until it is too late. The earlier a serious illness is detected, the greater the chance of being able to treat it successfully. In the case of cancer, for example, early detection will allow for timely chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and the ultimate effects of the disease may be significantly lessened. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed – or undiagnosed treatable illnesses and diseases include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Despite all of the recent advances in medical technology, these illnesses are still all-too-often misdiagnosed – or not diagnosed at all until it is too late. Cancer is still one of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses and a delayed diagnosis and treatment allows cancer cells to multiply rapidly, potentially wreaking havoc on a person’s body and ultimately resulting in further injury or an untimely death.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis at the hands of a healthcare provider, or if a loved one has died as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. The knowledgeable and skilled St. Petersburg medical misdiagnosis lawyers at Dolman Law Group will be able to review all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and can take the necessary legal actions.

In Florida medical malpractice cases, a medical expert must be able to testify that the treating doctor acted outside the established medical standard of care. Our experienced St. Petersburg misdiagnosis attorney will also be able to obtain and review all of the pertinent medical records, MRI’s, mammograms, and other imaging studies, and retain a knowledgeable medical expert who can testify in the case.

If a family member dies as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. A wrongful death action allows a decedent’s surviving family members to receive monetary compensation for the decedent’s injuries, pain, and suffering sustained at the hands of a negligent health care provider. Our experienced Florida medical misdiagnosis lawyers can assist you with filing a wrongful death action in your case.

Types of Cancer Misdiagnoses

Cancer misdiagnoses usually occur when healthcare providers fail to notice or take action on various warning signs and symptoms – or when they fail to follow proper medical protocols and  

testing procedures. The most common types of cancer misdiagnoses include the following:

  • Misreading lab or biopsy results
  • Failing to follow up on questionable test results or mammograms 
  • Failing to perform adequate or regular cancer screenings and tests
  • Misdiagnosing a cancerous tumor as benign
  • Failing to observe physical symptoms upon examination
  • Failing to order the proper tests or blood work
  • Failing to provide proper follow-up care or testing

The following types of cancers are commonly misdiagnosed:

  • Breast
  • Lung
  • Ovarian
  • Prostate
  • Testicular
  • Colon
  • Skin

Florida Statute of Limitations in Medical Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice Cases

A St. Petersburg medical misdiagnosis attorney will be able to file a claim or a lawsuit within the Florida statute of limitations time period for medical negligence cases. In a Florida medical misdiagnosis case, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the misdiagnosis – or from the discovery of the misdiagnosis.

Florida, unlike many other states, requires that prior to filing a lawsuit, another doctor (i.e. an expert) provide a sworn statement, under oath, that there was, in fact, a cancer misdiagnosis.

If a medical malpractice lawsuit is not filed within the applicable statute of limitations time period – or if the sworn statement is not provided in a timely manner, you may be forever barred from filing a lawsuit or from seeking monetary recovery for injuries and damages suffered by the decedent. Therefore, it is best to contact a knowledgeable medical misdiagnosis lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be aware of these notice deadlines and will be able to take the necessary legal actions to safeguard your rights, as well as your potential recovery.

In order to prove medical malpractice, or medical negligence, on the part of a treating healthcare provider in a Florida medical misdiagnosis case that involved wrongful death, the decedent’s estate must prove that the healthcare provider breached the applicable standard of care. In other words, the healthcare provider must have failed to act as a “reasonably prudent doctor” would have acted under the same or similar circumstances. Again, under Florida law and prior to filing a lawsuit, another doctor (i.e. an expert) must provide a

sworn statement, under oath, that there was a misdiagnosis.

The wrongful death plaintiff must also be able to prove that the doctor’s breach of the standard of care proximately resulted in the decedent’s death.

Potential damages recoverable in a misdiagnosis wrongful death case are slightly different from damages that are recoverable in a run-of-the-mill medical malpractice case. In a wrongful death case, the potential damages are geared more towards compensating the decedent’s surviving family members for loss of the decedent’s companionship and support. Some of the most common types of damages that are awarded in medical malpractice cases involving a wrongful death include the following:

  • Loss of support of the decedent
  • Loss of services (income) of the decedent
  • Lost prospect of inheritance
  • Decedent’s medical expenses up to the time of death
  • Funeral expenses

In short, the damages recoverable in a wrongful death case must be ‘fair and just compensation’ for the pecuniary losses that resulted from the decedent’s death.

Contact a St. Petersburg Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyer Today

Medical malpractice and medical misdiagnosis cases can be very difficult to prove, as healthcare providers are oftentimes given the benefit of the doubt when treatment issues arise. Therefore, it is essential that you have a Florida medical misdiagnosis attorney representing you throughout your case every step of the way.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg medical misdiagnosis lawyer, please call us or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

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