Santa Fe & Albuquerque Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorneys

Female cancer patient sitting with monitor

Cancer can be a deadly disease, and it’s crucial that doctors accurately diagnose patients with cancer so they can receive the full benefits of treatment. A cancer misdiagnosis can prevent a patient from receiving timely, effective treatment. A doctor’s negligence in misdiagnosing cancer can cause the cancer to worsen and can even cause the patient’s death.

Without proper treatment, cancer can spread rapidly. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can fill a patient with anxiety and fear, and one of the keys to beating cancer is beginning treatment when the cancer is in its early stages. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, you may have a valid claim for compensation. The compassionate attorneys at Hunt Law Firm are here to help. We have a track record of recovering significant compensation for victims of medical malpractice in New Mexico.

The Consequences of Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis for the Wrong Type of Cancer

It’s far too common for doctors to diagnose patients with an inaccurate type of cancer. As the medical profession identifies many more specific types of cancer, it’s even more important that doctors correctly identify the specific type of cancer in patients. For example, there are multiple different types of breast cancer. Some forms of breast cancer respond to prescription medications, while others don’t. 

Inexperienced, distracted, or careless pathologists could fail to identify the subtle markers that distinguish different types of cancer when they are analyzing the patient’s biopsy under a microscope. A simple mistake could have devastating consequences on the progression of the cancer. 

Many hospitals and clinics have begun implementing procedures to double-check the first pathologist’s diagnosis to avoid misdiagnoses. Medical technologies are being developed to help limit misdiagnoses. For example, Johns Hopkins is developing a blood test that can be used in limited situations to help catch some cancers earlier and identify them more easily. 

The Consequences of Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis When There Is No Cancer

It may seem shocking because of the advancements in medical technology, but doctors can diagnose a patient with cancer when they do not have cancer. The diagnostic process still revolves around a pathologist carefully looking at slides under a microscope. Pathologists are doctors who should have specialty training that allows them to analyze biopsy specimens accurately. 

When analyzing a specimen, a pathologist could make a mistake because of inexperience, haste, stress, intoxication, or distraction. When a pathologist doesn’t have important information about the patient’s complete clinical picture, including his or her medical history, symptoms, and risk factors, they are more likely to diagnose cancer incorrectly. 

Several different medical conditions have similar symptoms as cancer. When a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient without cancer with cancer, the patient cannot receive treatment for his or her underlying condition. Cancer treatments can themselves have harsh side effects, especially radiation and chemotherapy. Patients can suffer needlessly and experience a worsening of their condition as well as additional side effects when they are misdiagnosed with cancer.

Pursuing a Cancer Misdiagnosis Case

Cancer misdiagnosis victims may have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. Misdiagnosis lawsuits fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice lawsuits. The patient or the patient’s family is referred to as the plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The defendant is the doctor or other party who was responsible for the cancer misdiagnosis. An attorney can help you identify the responsible parties, including a nurse, pathologist, doctor, or the hospital or clinic that employed the responsible medical personnel.

Dealing with the aftermath of a cancer diagnosis can be emotionally fraught, painful, complex, and time-consuming. If you’ve discovered that your cancer has been misdiagnosed, contacting an attorney as soon as possible can help you and your family. The attorneys at Hunt Law Firm are prepared to handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on your medical treatment. We will review the facts of your case and pursue an insurance claim or cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit.

Proving Liability

As with any medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove all of the elements of the case. Plan, the plaintiff is responsible for proving the following basic elements that establish medical negligence:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed between the defendant and the plaintiff
  • The defendant acted negligently or recklessly, leading to a cancer misdiagnosis
  • The negligent cancer misdiagnosis caused the patient harm
  • The cancer misdiagnosis harmed the patient in a way that caused specific damages

Proving negligence can be the most challenging aspect of recovering compensation. An attorney can help you gather evidence showing that the doctor who misdiagnosed you acted carelessly or didn’t provide you with medical treatment that meant the industry’s standard of care for a doctor in his or her field of practice. The standard of care means the level of care that all patients are reasonably expected to receive. The court will compare the actions of the doctor who misdiagnosed you to the actions of another doctor with similar knowledge, skill, and specialization.

Damages Available in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

As the plaintiff, you must prove that your doctor’s negligence caused you harm. Two main types of damages are recognized in personal injury lawsuits: economic or special and non-economic or general. In some cases, plaintiffs can recover punitive damage when they prove that the doctor acted willfully or wantonly. Cancer misdiagnosis damages may include the following:

  • Lost wages and future earning capacity
  • Additional past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium or loss of companionship 

Hiring a Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney

If you have suffered harm because of a cancer misdiagnosis, speaking to an attorney is an important first step in pursuing justice and recovering compensation. The cancer misdiagnosis lawyers at Hunt Law Firm can help you determine whether you have a valid link for compensation. 

We have the resources and skills to investigate your case and gather important medical and legal research to prove your claim. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for medical malpractice in New Mexico. Don’t hesitate to contact Hunt Law Firm to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation.