There are few things more jarring than receiving a clean bill of health after a mammogram or biopsy, only to find out soon afterwards that an error was made during your exam or in reading the pathology report. Unfortunately, however, diagnostic mistakes are the most frequent and the most serious types of medical errors, and medical professionals must be held accountable for the harm they have caused. After a misdiagnosis, knowing what to do in the face of stress, uncertainty, and intense emotions can be incredibly difficult. However, there are specific steps you can take to hold the responsible parties accountable. I’ll tell you more below as well as when a Northern New Jersey breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates can help.
Step 1: Seek Legal Advice
As soon as possible after you discover that you have been misdiagnosed, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney. While your mind might be spinning as you wonder how you will pay for treatment or handle the legal details while you are ill, the reality is that working with a lawyer can make this process significantly less stressful.
Because breast cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits can be filed against any party that is responsible for the misdiagnosis (including nurses, doctors, pathologists, radiologists, or others), these cases can be complicated. A good lawyer will clearly talk you through the complexities so you can understand them, and explain how they will handle the details.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we will listen to the details of your experience, review the facts, clearly explain your rights, and discuss the damages you may be entitled to.
Step 2. Prove that you had a Doctor-Patient Relationship
In all medical negligence lawsuits, the burden of proof is with you, the plaintiff. This means that you are responsible for providing enough evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt. There are several things that must be proven in order to establish your lawsuit, and understanding them ahead of time can be helpful.
The first thing you must prove is that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the responsible party. While this sounds straightforward, you must have legally documented evidence that you hired the doctor to provide care to you.
3. Prove that the Doctor Acted Negligently
In order to have a malpractice case for a breast cancer misdiagnosis, you must also prove that the doctor or other medical professional acted negligently AND that the negligence was the cause of your misdiagnosis. Negligence is essentially carelessness or a lack or proper care or attention toward the patient. Once you hire a medical professional, they are legally responsible for providing you a specific standard of care.
As you can imagine, determining whether the doctor met standards of care can be somewhat blurry. In essence, the care you receive from any medical professional must meet the level of care that a reasonable doctor would extend to a patient. In the case of a misdiagnosis, your doctor’s actions will be compared to those of another doctor within the same area of specialization, with a similar skill and knowledge level in the same area of specialization.
In a breast cancer misdiagnosis case, overlooking a breast lump during an exam, failure to order proper tests after noticing a suspicious symptom, misreading radiographs, or diagnostic errors by the pathologist could all be examples of potential negligence. Again, if your doctor failed to do something that another reasonable doctor would have done, and it led to your misdiagnosis, they may be found negligent.
Proving negligence is incredibly complex, and working with a breast cancer misdiagnosis lawyer in Northern New Jersey is among the best ways to ensure that you have a solid case. Buttafuoco & Associates has been assisting clients in the area with medical malpractice lawsuits for over 35 years and we may be able to help you too.
4. Prove that the Misdiagnosis Caused You Harm
The final piece of proof you’ll need in a breast cancer misdiagnosis case is that the act of negligence not only led to the misdiagnosis, but that the misdiagnosis caused you harm. This could include damage to your health, but also economic damage. Excessive medical bills, lost time from work, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life are all potential losses the medical professional could be responsible for. Again, working with a lawyer to establish the connections between all parts of your case is typically the best way to recover the maximum damages you are entitled to.
Contact a Northern New Jersey Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer
If you have been misdiagnosed with breast cancer, a Northern New Jersey breast cancer misdiagnosis attorney may be able to help. Buttafuoco & Associates is dedicated to fighting for your rights and getting the justice and compensation you deserve. Consultations are always free.
Get in touch with us today to tell us more about your case at 1-800-NOW-HURT.