When a person feels that there is something wrong with their breathing and suspects they have lung cancer, then they may go to a doctor for treatment. Doctors and other medical professionals are trusted by others to properly diagnose their illness and recommend proper treatment. However, sometimes a doctor fails to recognize the disease correctly or suggests improper treatment.
A misdiagnosis of lung cancer can be quite dangerous and cause you to not receive proper treatment. According to the American Lung Association, Tennessee has a high rate of lung cancer, ranking fourth highest in the nation with 75.5 new cases per 100,000 people.
If you were diagnosed with lung cancer and wish to pursue a medical malpractice case, then you may want to work with a Tennessee lung cancer lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our team takes on tough cases, and you won’t pay unless you are awarded compensation. Call (800) 217-6099 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.
Causes of Lung Cancer
There are many different factors and hazards which can cause a person to develop lung cancer. Being exposed to carcinogens may increase your chances of being diagnosed with lung cancer. Some of these carcinogens are:
Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke
Research has shown that smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can increase a person’s chances of developing lung cancer, as does being exposed to the secondhand smoke that these products give off. It is important for doctors to not dismiss the concerns of those who do not smoke, as they may have been extensively exposed to secondhand smoke in their lifetime.
Radon is a major contributor to lung cancer cases in the United States. This chemical is odorless, colorless, and radioactive, which makes it very hard for someone to detect unless they have the proper equipment. While many people are inadvertently exposed to radon in residential areas, it is also possible to be exposed to it in certain jobs.
Asbestos is a unique material composed of many different naturally occurring minerals. It was used extensively in the past due to its superior resistance to fire. For example, many homes made use of asbestos for fireproofing purposes. Other industries, like the auto industry, also used the material for certain car components. However, research eventually showed that asbestos was highly dangerous when inhaled, as the particles cause serious damage to the lungs and can eventually cause lung cancer. While many homes and other industries no longer use asbestos, it is possible to still be exposed to it depending on when your house was built and what sort of work you do.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Many different symptoms can indicate lung cancer, and many are related to your ability to breathe. Some symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
- A very wheezy, violent, or constant cough
- Persistently coughing up blood
- Sudden weight loss
- Chest pains
- Feelings of nausea
- General fatigue
Many of these symptoms are similar to those seen in other illnesses, like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. However, a doctor should be able to recognize the difference between these illnesses and lung cancer, especially if blood work and microscopic analysis are used.
Lung Cancer Suit in Tennessee
Besides a medical misdiagnosis, you also may be eligible for compensation in the case of radon or asbestos exposure. A landlord or employer may be held liable if they knowingly exposed you to these dangerous carcinogens.
In order to pursue a lawsuit over a lung cancer misdiagnosis or radon or asbestos exposure, it is important to understand Tennessee law. Trying to understand legal matters while also managing treatment for your cancer can be difficult. This is why you may want to work with a Tennessee lung cancer lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A lawyer can assist you by:
Working within the Statute of Limitations
According to Tennessee Code § 29-26-116, you have one year from when you discovered your injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, you also have a maximum of three years from when the initial malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit. Similarly, Tennessee Code § 28-3-104 states you have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit (in the case of radon or asbestos exposure). A lawyer can help you ensure your case is properly filed before the statute of limitations prevents it from being brought to court.
Handling Expert Witness Testimony
Tennessee requires that within the first 90 days of a medical malpractice lawsuit being filed, the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney file a “certificate of good faith,” which states that an expert who could provide key insight to the case has been consulted and concluded that there is a good-faith basis for the case to continue.
Additionally, any experts who testify in the trial must be licensed in either Tennessee or one of its neighboring states, must be licensed in a field relevant to the case, and has practiced their profession during the same year the malpractice occurred. A lawyer can ensure that the right kind of expert is brought up to testify on your behalf and sign off that your case is brought in good faith.
Fighting for Compensation
Tennessee does not have damage caps for economic costs incurred because of your lung cancer misdiagnosis, like lost wages or medical costs. However, there is a cap of $750,000 for noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering. Therefore, it’s important to get as much compensation as possible to properly cover your costs. A lawyer will be able to fight to accomplish this.
Working with a Lung Cancer Lawyer
You do not need to navigate the complex matters of a lung cancer and medical malpractice case on your own. Rather, you can make the decision to work with a Tennessee lung cancer lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our team operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no legal fees until we win compensation for you. Do not hesitate in calling (800) 217-6099 to learn more about why our lawyers can be a help for your case.