People trust that their doctors will accurately diagnose them when they show signs or symptoms of illness. This expectation becomes especially pertinent if you fear a possible lung cancer diagnosis. However, situations arise where a doctor or other medical professional fails to diagnose your cancer, which can drastically delay getting proper treatment.
In South Carolina, getting proper treatment for lung cancer is crucial. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths in the state, and South Carolina ranks 16th nationally in lung cancer cases.
As such, if you feel that you were the victim of medical malpractice, you might wish to take legal action. You do not need to handle your case by yourself. Instead, you can work with a South Carolina lung cancer lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You can call our team at (800) 217-6099 for a free case review to learn how we can support you.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Several different risk factors can increase your chances of developing lung cancer. If you experience exposure to these factors, you should be careful regarding your health.
Exposure to dangerous or hazardous materials can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. One extremely dangerous material is asbestos. This material, composed of fibers from naturally occurring minerals, can cause significant damage when inhaled. The particles can severely inhibit your ability to breathe and eventually result in cancer forming in the lungs.
Being around certain hazardous chemicals also poses a major risk factor you should avoid whenever possible. In the United States, radon is one chemical that can present a severe risk. This chemical element is odorless, colorless, and radioactive, meaning you might have difficulty determining when and where your exposure occurred and how long your exposure period may have lasted.
Cigarettes and Secondhand Smoke
Many people know of the risk cigarettes pose to their health, especially regarding their lungs. However, it is not just smokers who must be careful. Those who live or work around smokers also face a significant risk of developing lung cancer because of their exposure to secondhand smoke.
Signs of Lung Cancer
There is a multitude of lung cancer signs for you and your doctor to monitor. According to the Mayo Clinic, indicators of this disease include:
- Sudden and violent coughing fits that don’t go away
- Blood coming up when coughing
- Wheezing when coughing or breathing
- Chest pains, especially around the lungs
- Drastic weight loss and an inability to gain weight
- Bone pain
One issue with diagnosing lung cancer is how many of these symptoms resemble other diseases, like pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. However, these similarities do not excuse a doctor for misdiagnosing you. Lung cancer is not difficult to identify when analyzed under a microscope and after a thorough blood test.
Medical Malpractice in South Carolina
Your lung cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit will fall under medical malpractice in South Carolina. As such, your case will need to follow some medical malpractice statutes and rules. You might find it difficult to fully grasp all these legal requirements, which is another reason why you might want to work with a South Carolina lung cancer lawyer.
Statute of Limitations
South Carolina has a somewhat longer statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases than other states. South Carolina (SC) Code §15-3-545 states that you have three years from when the malpractice took place, or when you reasonably could have discovered the malpractice, to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A South Carolina lung cancer lawyer can help you file your case in time and demonstrate that when you discovered your cancer falls within a “reasonable” period should three years have passed.
Expert Witness Affidavit
SC Code §15-36-100 states that when you file your medical malpractice lawsuit, you also must file an “expert witness affidavit” that provides professional backing for your case. This affidavit shows that another medical professional in the same or similar field believes that the defendant acted negligently based on standard practices. This expert must have the following qualifications:
- Licensed and board-certified for the type of practice they perform.
- Have actively practiced their proficiency for at least three years out of the last five.
- Believes that the plaintiff has a good-faith basis for their claim and the evidence provided.
It is important to have a reliable expert witness to add validity to your case. This witness can also be an essential piece of your argument inside the courtroom. An attorney can seek an expert witness who has the relevant experience and knowledge that best matches your case’s needs.
South Carolina also differs from other states in terms of caps placed on potential damages. There are no damage caps on both economic (e.g., medical bills and lost wages) and noneconomic (like emotional pain and suffering) damages in South Carolina. A South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of your losses and compile the necessary documentation to fight for the compensation that covers the damages stemming from your lung cancer misdiagnosis.
Work with Pintas & Mullins on Your Case
Suffering from a lung cancer misdiagnosis resulting from a doctor’s medical malpractice can be extremely difficult. You should not compound your stress by trying to take legal action on your own. A South Carolina lung cancer lawyer can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve after a misdiagnosis or mistreatment exacerbated your condition.
You can work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to build your case and negotiate with the at-fault medical provider, insurance companies, and defense attorneys. We do not back away from tough cases and want to get you the compensation you deserve based on the injuries you’ve suffered. Call our team today at (800) 217-6099 to learn more about how one of our lawyers could help you.