Yes, you can be misdiagnosed with lung cancer when you are suffering from another disease. Lung cancer, especially at its later stages, can share similar symptoms with other illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. These symptoms include coughing, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and weight loss. A physician might mistake these as a sign that you have cancer.
A lung cancer misdiagnosis can potentially put your life in danger. You might have already undergone cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, which kills both cancerous and healthy cells. You would be damaging your body for no reason. Moreover, you might have already spent a considerable amount of money on something you did not need.
Lung cancer can also be misdiagnosed as the other previously stated diseases. This can also end up being just as devastating for you since you would not be able to receive the proper treatment for your cancer. You might even discover your cancer only when it has significantly advanced, which could cost you even more money. It might even be too late to treat it successfully.
Whether a Misdiagnosis Is Considered Medical Malpractice
A misdiagnosis does not automatically mean that the doctor who diagnosed you is guilty of medical malpractice. After all, a reputable and proficient physician is still human. They can still mistake one disease for another even if they followed the standards of care expected from them at the time.
To use their failure to diagnose as a basis for a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that it resulted from a breach of these standards of care. For instance, the doctor might not have prescribed the proper tests for detecting lung cancer. It may also be that the test results themselves were erroneous, which could make the hospital or testing center liable. The physician may have even discovered their error later on but did not inform you about it.
Furthermore, your evidence should show that the misdiagnosis made your condition worse—even more so than if it was diagnosed correctly. For example, you may have needlessly undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy, putting your health at risk and potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
A medical expert may be required to examine your situation. They can testify if the doctor likely conducted themselves negligently and would normally not have made the misdiagnosis. They can also help you prove that your worsened health resulted from the false diagnosis and the consequent treatments. Each state may have different qualifications for medical expert witnesses, so you might need to have a misdiagnosis lawyer help check for you. The attorney can also help you get in touch with a medical witness if you have problems doing so yourself.
What You Can Recover in a Misdiagnosis Claim
If you are successful in your lung cancer misdiagnosis claim, you can get paid for the expenses it caused. These can include the cost of your cancer medications, therapy sessions, medications, and even the income you lost while undergoing these unnecessary treatments. If you are suing for a loved one who died due to a misdiagnosis, you can get wrongful death damages for funeral and burial costs.
Non-economic damages may also be available to you. These serve as compensation for the pain and suffering you endured, such as the side effects of the cancer drugs and treatments and the emotional trauma caused by your situation.
However, do note that many U.S. states have damage caps for medical malpractice claims, limiting how much you can recover. Suppose you were misdiagnosed in Texas, you may only recover up to $250,000 in non-economic damages, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.301. On the other hand, a malpractice claim in Oklahoma would have a $350,000 cap on the same type of damages. The state may only lift this restriction if the misdiagnosis resulted in the victim’s death or if gross negligence, fraud, or malice was involved.
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We Can Help You Seek Compensation
Unfortunately, you can be misdiagnosed with lung cancer while suffering from an entirely different sickness. It can lead to expensive and potentially dangerous treatments and medications that you did not need at all. You may likely lose your trust in your physician as well. If you suspect that malpractice is at play, you could take legal action and make the negligent doctor pay for the damage they have done to you.
Get in touch with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today if you have concerns about your situation. We have medical malpractice lawyers who can help you with filing your lung cancer misdiagnosis claim. They can work with you in tasks such as searching for qualified medical expert witnesses, complying with filing requirements, and negotiating with the liable party.
For over three decades, our law firm has handled medical malpractice and other personal injury cases throughout the United States. For more information on our attorney services, you can call us anytime at (800) 217-6099. We can also review your case for free if you send us its details on the form here on our website.