Damages Claims for Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer in Pennsylvania

February 26, 2012

Some of the most complex medical negligence cases are those related to errors in the diagnosis of cancer. Misdiagnosis of cancer as another disease or medical condition is relatively rare, with an accurate diagnosis made eventually in nearly all cases. The crucial question is frequently whether the correct diagnosis should have been made in time to give the patient a better chance of survival. Because Pennsylvania law requires malpractice claims to be supported at an early point of the case by expert medical opinion, the plaintiff’s attorney needs to assemble a team of qualified professionals who can review and evaluate the performance of the potential defendants in terms of recognized standards of care.

Several Different Physicians May Be Involved in a Misdiagnosis Case

In cases of delayed diagnosis of cancer, the investigation often will focus on the level and quality of cooperation between a primary care physician, radiologists, pathologists, surgeons and others in a position to either identify the symptoms of cancer or eliminate cancer as a strong diagnostic possibility. Different cancers present different challenges of diagnosis, so each case must be evaluated under its own facts to determine whether negligence on the part of a treating or consulting doctor was responsible for avoidable diagnostic delays. At McEldrew Law, we investigate potential medical malpractice cases against one or more doctors who missed the signs of cancer in time for effective treatment. We work with medical professionals who can determine whether a patient’s risk factors or family medical history should have indicated the need to test for cancer earlier. In some cases, our analysis shows that a radiologist missed tumors that showed up on an x-ray or CT scan. In other cases, we find that the primary care physician misinterpreted a radiology or pathology report, which led to delays in proper treatment. In one case, Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer James McEldrew obtained a $1.5 million settlement for a 66-year-old man whose urologist failed to identify bladder cancer in time to prevent metastasis to the liver. With almost 30 years of trial experience in the proof of complex personal injury and wrongful death claims, Mr. McEldrew knows how to meet the challenges of proving liability and damages in delayed diagnosis cases.

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Contact McEldrew Law in Philadelphia for a free consultation with an experienced medical negligence attorney.