When a doctor diagnoses skin cancer early, it is almost always treatable, and there are rarely any serious threats to the patient’s life. Skin cancer can be dangerous, but with early detection and treatment, it does not have to be.
However, a delayed diagnosis of skin cancer could cause a delay in treating the skin cancer. In some cases, this delay could allow the cancer to spread. If this happened to you or a member of your family, you may be eligible to pursue compensation in a medical malpractice case.
The skin cancer medical malpractice attorneys from Berger and Green will review your case at no cost to you. Call or text 412-661-1400 today to talk to a member of our team.
Failure to Diagnose Skin Cancer Can Lead to Serious Medical Issues and Even Death
Recognizing signs of skin cancer as soon as possible is the key to removing a precancerous or cancerous growth before it spreads. This is one reason many people who are at an elevated risk for skin cancer see a dermatologist or another doctor regularly. These doctors should check their body for:
- Irregular shaped moles or spots
- New growths
- Growths that change color
- Scabs that are not healing
- Other suspicious skin growths or spots
These doctors should examine anything suspicious carefully and order removal and a biopsy if necessary to rule out skin cancer. Any delay in identifying, examining, or performing a biopsy on a potential precancerous or cancerous growth means a delay in treatment and the possibility of the cancer advancing. This could be the difference in life and death if the cancer is melanoma.
There are several ways a doctor who fails to diagnose a patient’s skin cancer can commit medical malpractice. These include:
- Missed diagnosis. The doctor fails to identify the spot as potentially cancerous.
- Delayed diagnosis. The doctor does diagnose the patient, but there is a significant delay.
- Misdiagnosis. The doctor fails to identify the type of skin cancer correctly.
In any of these situations, the doctor may be liable for the expenses, medical care, pain and suffering, and other damages the patient endures because of the delay in getting the treatment they need. While the diagnosis of skin cancer often calls for removing the growth and sending it in for a biopsy, a delay in diagnosis can mean this procedure is much more invasive.
Some skin cancers are relatively easy to confuse if the doctor does not follow proper protocols and procedures. This could lead to a skin cancer misdiagnosis and cause the doctor to take a less serious approach to a potentially dangerous type of cancer. In some of these cases, you may be eligible to pursue compensation to cover your losses.
Recoverable Damages in a Skin Cancer Medical Malpractice Case
The types of damages you can recover in a case when there was a failure to properly diagnose skin cancer depend greatly on the consequences. Some types of damages that may be available to you if we can reach a settlement or win a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Medical care costs
- Plastic surgery costs, as necessary
- Lost wages related to your treatment and care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages, in some cases
If your loved one died of skin cancer following a delay in diagnosis or a missed diagnosis, you may be able to pursue wrongful death compensation for you and other surviving family members.
Berger and Green Know What It Takes to Win a Skin Cancer Medical Malpractice Case
At Berger and Green, our attorneys know how to build a strong medical malpractice case and prove your doctor or other care professional failed to follow proper protocols resulting in a failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis. We will review the basic facts of your case to determine if we believe you were the victim of malpractice. Then, we will begin an investigation that requires us to:
- Request relevant medical records.
- Talk to you and other witnesses about what happened.
- Document your treatment and medical care following the missed diagnosis.
- Calculate your expenses, losses, and other damages related to the malpractice.
The most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to proving any medical malpractice case, though, is the expert witness. Our team will identify a medical expert who can testify on your behalf that your doctor committed malpractice when they failed to diagnose your skin cancer.
Many states require a medical expert witness in this type of case, and we often need one to build a strong case even if they are not required. Berger and Green has a large network of doctors and other healthcare providers we can call on to help with your case.
Once we build a solid case to prove the doctor committed medical malpractice when they failed to diagnose your skin cancer, we can take legal action on your behalf. We may be able to pursue a claim against the doctor’s or hospital’s medical malpractice insurance policy, or we may file a malpractice lawsuit in civil court.
Talk to a Skin Cancer Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case
If you require additional surgery or treatment or if you lost a loved one because of a failure to diagnose skin cancer, the medical malpractice attorneys from Berger and Green will review your case for free. We can help you understand your rights, explain your legal options, and walk you through the medical malpractice claims process in your state.
Each state has its own rules and time limits that apply in these cases. When we evaluate the strength of your case, we will also look at the deadlines that apply. If we miss these deadlines, the court could prevent us from pursuing compensation on your behalf. Act as soon as possible after you discover potential medical malpractice to ensure we have sufficient time to build a strong case.