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Can I Sue a Doctor for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer?

Updated December 20, 2023.

When faced with the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis, trust in your healthcare provider’s competence is paramount. Unfortunately, there are instances when that trust is broken due to a delayed or failed diagnosis. At Lacy Katzen, we understand the turmoil and pain caused by such medical oversights. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Rochester medical malpractice lawyer from our firm to learn more about what may be valid grounds for a failure to diagnose claim, and how we can help you get the justice you deserve. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a Failure to Diagnose Cancer?

Failure to diagnose occurs when a medical professional does not identify a condition that should have reasonably been diagnosed. It’s a breach of the medical standard of care, which is determined by the level of expertise and attention expected of a healthcare professional under similar circumstances. Cancer, often an aggressive adversary, demands early detection; hence, the consequences of a missed or delayed diagnosis can be life-altering.

Is Misdiagnosis Considered Malpractice?

Misdiagnosis itself does not always equate to malpractice. Medical science isn’t infallible, and not all diagnostic errors are due to negligence. For malpractice to be present, the healthcare professional must have failed to do something that their peers would have done under the same conditions. A key element in such cases is whether a reasonably competent practitioner would have made the correct diagnosis using the same information available at the time.

How Do I Prove Negligence in a Failure to Diagnose Case?

Proving negligence in a failure to diagnose cancer case involves several legal and medical complexities. To establish malpractice, Lacy Katzen’s experienced attorneys will help demonstrate the following points:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship, establishing a duty of care.
  • The doctor breached that duty by failing to diagnose cancer appropriately.
  • This breach directly caused harm to the patient.
  • The harm led to specific damages, including suffering, loss of income, and medical expenses.

Evidence plays a crucial role; thus, obtaining medical records, expert testimonies, and other relevant documentation is imperative.

What Are the First Steps to Take?

If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of a failed cancer diagnosis, time is of the essence. Firstly, secure a complete copy of all medical records pertinent to the case. Consulting with an attorney who has extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims is the next step.

Can Lacy Katzen Help Me with My Case?

Lacy Katzen’s legal team brings decades of experience to the table, coupled with a deep understanding of New York’s healthcare laws. Our attorneys can effectively guide you through each stage of the legal process, ensuring your rights are upheld.

What If the Cancer Was Rare or Hard to Detect?

Even in cases involving rare or difficult-to-detect cancers, doctors are still expected to follow certain protocols. They should consider all possibilities when diagnosing a patient, and a failure to do so may constitute negligence. Each case is unique, but at Lacy Katzen, we are committed to examining every detail to ensure justice is served.

Confronting a cancer misdiagnosis is challenging, yet you don’t have to face it alone. The attorneys at Lacy Katzen champion the cause of those wronged by medical negligence. Contact us to discuss your case.


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