People visit their doctors with a belief that they will be properly cared for and correctly diagnosed if they are showing unhealthy symptoms. This is especially important if you are concerned about a recent lung cancer scare. However, there are situations in which a doctor is negligent and fails to diagnose a patient’s lung cancer, creating a drastic delay in starting treatment.
It is crucial to receive fast treatment for lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, Rhode Island has the 7th highest rate of lung cancer cases, with 71 cases per 100,000 people. The Harvard Medical School confirms that lung cancer can be treated effectively with surgery, or even cured if it is caught at an early enough stage.
If you or a loved one have suffered because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis and wish to take legal action, a Rhode Island lung cancer lawyer from the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Contact us today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation.
Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
There are many different risk factors that can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. As a result, if you are exposed to these factors, you should be adamant about seeking medical help.
Being exposed to hazardous materials at home or at work can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. One example of hazardous material is asbestos. This material, which is composed of naturally occurring minerals, was widely used in the past for its fire and heat resistance and can be very dangerous when inhaled. Asbestos particles cause severe damage in your lungs and can eventually result in cancers like mesothelioma.
Being in contact with dangerous chemicals is another risk factor for lung cancer. Radon is one example of a chemical that can pose a severe risk to many people. Radon is odorless, colorless, and radioactive, which makes it difficult to realize when you are being exposed to it and how long your exposure has lasted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), radon is responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
Cigarettes and Secondhand Smoke
Most people know that cigarettes pose a risk to their health, particularly the health of their lungs. However, it is not just smokers who need to be mindful. People who are constantly around smokers are also at a higher risk of lung cancer due to secondhand smoke. Most exposure to secondhand smoke takes place in homes, workplaces, cars, and public places such as bars and restaurants.
Indicators of Lung Cancer
There are several indicators that can warn you about potential lung cancer. These include:
- Unexpected and violent coughing fits
- Blood and mucus coming up when coughing
- Considerable wheezing when coughing or breathing
- Chest pains
- Drastic weight loss
- Constantly feeling fatigued
Unfortunately, many of these indicators are the same or close to those for other diseases, such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. However, these similarities are not a valid excuse for a doctor to misdiagnose you.
Lung cancer should not be difficult for a medical professional to identify when it is analyzed under a microscope and when they conduct proper bloodwork.
Medical Malpractice in Rhode Island
A lung cancer misdiagnosis will likely be considered a medical malpractice lawsuit in Rhode Island. Because of this, there are some important statutes and policies that you must abide by. A Rhode Island lung cancer lawyer can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your case meets all these requirements, allowing you to focus on your treatment.
Statute of Limitations
Rhode Island has a longer statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases than many other states. In Rhode Island, you have three years from the date of the malpractice to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. After those three years, you generally will no longer be able to do so.
However, there is one exception known as the “discovery rule.” This rule states that those who could not have reasonably learned they were mistreated are exempt from the normal three-year statute. Instead, they will have three years from the date that the malpractice should have been discovered if standard diligence had been followed. A Rhode Island lung cancer lawyer can help you either get your case filed within three years or show that you could not have reasonably discovered your cancer diagnosis on your own.
Rhode Island does not require that you submit any type of proof when filing your case. However, Rhode Island General Laws (R.I. Gen. Laws) §9-19-41 states that only those who “by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education qualify as experts in the field of the alleged malpractice” can give expert testimony in your case.
It is crucial to have expert witnesses to add more validity to your case and help explain to the jury how and why the treatment you received was negligent. A Rhode Island lung cancer lawyer can work to find an expert witness whose experience and knowledge best matches the needs of your case.
Rhode Island does not place any caps on either economic or non-economic damages, meaning that you can recover as much compensation as possible. Working with a Rhode Island lung cancer lawyer can help you get enough compensation to cover the damages stemming from your lung cancer misdiagnosis.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Suffering from lung cancer due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis can be a difficult ordeal. This difficulty can only get worse when you attempt legal action on your own. The Rhode Island lung cancer lawyers with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are ready to fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 217-6099 to speak with a member of our team.