A cancer diagnosis immediately changes your life. And as bad as being diagnosed with cancer is, it’s better to obtain an early diagnosis because it provides you with the most options. However, sometimes, doctors miss common signs of cancer, leading to a missed or delayed diagnosis.
Those who were misdiagnosed can pursue a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare professional responsible for the mistake. Often, these cases end in settlements, where the patient agrees to accept a certain amount of money in exchange for their promise not to pursue the case any further.
Be aware that it is difficult to come up with an average settlement for cancer misdiagnosis because these cases are so fact-specific. But for those looking to learn more about cancer misdiagnosis average settlement figures, a good place to start is by understanding what goes into the doctor’s decision to settle a claim.
At the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated Louisville medical errors lawyer has over a decade of experience successfully resolving a wide range of cases on behalf of his clients. Contact us today.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation
If you experienced a cancer misdiagnosis, average settlement information might be hard to come by. This is because every cancer misdiagnosis case is unique and depends on the facts of the case. Below are some of the considerations that doctors and their insurance companies take into account when making settlement offers in cancer misdiagnosis cases.
Cost of Medical Expenses
One of the most straightforward types of damages in a cancer misdiagnosis case is medical expenses. When calculating your damages related to medical expenses, you can’t necessarily count on recovering all of your medical costs. Instead, the relevant question is, what medical fees did you incur because of the misdiagnosis? Importantly, you can recover for both your past and future medical expenses.
Lost Wages and Decrease in Earning Capacity
Often, if doctors catch cancer in time, they can either eliminate the cancer from a patient’s body or at least extend a patient’s life. However, in the case of a misdiagnosis, a patient’s options often become much more limited. Thus, patients can recover for their lost wages, which are measured by the difference between the amount of money they would have otherwise been expected to earn had doctors properly diagnosed their cancer and their current forecasted income.
In a cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit, non-economic damages are crucial. Non-economic damages compensate you for the emotional and psychological harm you experienced as a result of the doctor’s negligence. For example, pain and suffering, loss of familial relationships, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life are all non-economic damages.
The Strength of Your Claim
Doctors and their insurance companies frequently choose to settle cases because they fear taking the case to trial and losing. Thus, the stronger a case you can make, the more incentive doctors and insurance companies have to settle. This usually results in a higher settlement offer. However, cancer misdiagnosis cases can be difficult to prove because patients must not only prove that a physician should have diagnosed their cancer but also that they would have had a better prognosis if the cancer had been diagnosed earlier. An experienced medical errors lawyer can help patients understand their rights and effectively prepare a claim against negligent medical providers.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Based on a Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Under Kentucky Revised Statutes §413.140, patients have one year to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor. However, determining when this one-year period begins is not always straightforward. For example, it wouldn’t be fair to require a patient to bring a claim within a year from the moment the doctor should have diagnosed them with cancer, as the patient may not even learn of their diagnosis until well after a year.
Thus, in most cases, courts allow patients to file a claim up to one year from when they learn that they may have a claim against their doctor. Often, this is when another doctor properly diagnoses a patient with cancer.
What Are the Types of Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Generally speaking, there are two types of cancer misdiagnosis. The first occurs when a patient is told that they do not have cancer, but it turns out that they did. In these cases, a patient’s cancer continues to grow. This is because doctors are not taking any measures to control its spread or remove it from the patient’s body.
The other type of cancer misdiagnosis involves diagnosing a patient with the wrong kind of cancer. Sometimes, doctors can determine that a patient has cancer but are unsure which type. This frequently occurs when a patient has a rare form of cancer and is diagnosed as having a common form. In these cases, patients may receive cancer treatment not targeted at the kind of cancer they actually have. The incorrect treatment may not help fight the form of cancer they have. And incorrect treatment can also decrease their quality of life, as cancer treatment can be extremely hard on the human body.
In either type of cancer misdiagnosis, a healthcare professional may be held financially liable. However, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney before filing a cancer misdiagnosis claim due to the extreme complexity of these cases.
Did You Suffer a Cancer Misdiagnosis in Kentucky?
If you’re interested in learning more about the Kentucky average settlement for cancer misdiagnosis, contact the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. Seth Gladstein is an experienced medical errors attorney. He has extensive experience helping patients and their families recover significant compensation from negligent healthcare providers. Over the years, he’s recovered millions of dollars on his client’s behalf. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, give us a call or connect with us through our online contact form.