Most types of cancer respond well to treatment if they are detected promptly. Usually, there is a small window of time within which to treat cancer and avoid progression of the disease. Once cancer metastasizes and spreads, however, the treatment options are less likely to be effective and may be more difficult to undergo. And the chances of the cancer going into remission will decrease as time passes. Failing to diagnose and treat cancer within the window in which treatment could result in remission or recovery may result in serious harm or even death. If you were harmed by cancer malpractice, you should call the Atlanta cancer malpractice lawyers at Van Sant Law. Medical malpractice cases can be challenging and complex. It is important to have an experienced attorney by your side.Cancer Malpractice
When you come in with concerns or symptoms, your doctor should take an appropriate medical history and determine whether you are at risk for cancer or another illness. They should use differential diagnosis when appropriate. Differential diagnosis is the process whereby a doctor lists multiple conditions that may be responsible for patient symptoms. The doctor bases the list on self-reported symptoms and physical exams. Diagnostic testing allows a doctor to rule out each condition until only one condition is left on the list. Often, treatment must begin immediately after diagnosis. However, there are situations in which it is possible to take a wait-and-see approach. It is important to hire an attorney who works with reputable doctors and oncologists when bringing a cancer malpractice lawsuit.
In Georgia, a cancer malpractice lawsuit must be brought within two years of the date on which an injury or death resulting from a negligent or wrongful act occurred. A cancer malpractice lawsuit usually cannot be brought more than five years after the date of a negligent or wrongful act, but there are exceptions that a cancer malpractice attorney in Atlanta can explain.Liability
Under O.C.G.A. section 51–1–27, doctors are supposed to use a reasonable degree of skill and care when practicing medicine. As a patient, you can recover for any injury that results from your doctor’s want of such care and skill. To establish liability for cancer malpractice, you will need to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant owed you a professional standard of care, the defendant breached the professional standard of care, and the breach caused your injuries and damages. A defendant may breach the professional standard of care in many ways, such as failing to conduct a differential diagnosis, failing to use diagnostic testing appropriately, failing to take a patient history, misdiagnosing a patient, delaying a diagnosis, or failing to treat cancer. The professional standard of care in a cancer malpractice lawsuit hinges on what a reasonably competent doctor in the same specialty would do when faced with a similar patient and circumstances.
Under O.C.G.A. section 9–11–9.1, your Atlanta cancer malpractice attorney will need to file an affidavit prepared by a qualified medical expert with the initial complaint. The affidavit should set forth a sworn opinion about at least one negligent act perpetrated by the defendant health care provider, along with the factual basis for that opinion.Damages
Once we establish liability for cancer malpractice, we will be able to recover damages for you. In most cases, damages are compensatory; that is, they compensate for losses sustained as a result of the malpractice. Both economic and non-economic losses may be pursued. Sadly, in some cases, cancer malpractice results in the death of the patient. It may be appropriate to pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.Retain a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you were harmed by cancer malpractice, you should talk to the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law. We are an adapting and safety-conscious law firm, so we can sign up your lawsuit electronically without face-to-face interaction when needed. However, we can visit you in your home if you prefer. We maintain offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville, and we represent clients across Georgia. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form for a consultation with a cancer malpractice lawyer in Atlanta or beyond.