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Can I Sue for a Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis?

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on January 22, 2016 5:59 AM

Misdiagnosis is a legitimate claim in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and that applies to skin cancer like any other disease. But it is not easy to prove a doctor is liable for failure to correctly diagnose skin cancer.

Medical malpractice suits are complex. Proving misdiagnosis is particularly difficult because you must show that an absence of action, or failure to take the correct action, is what caused your injury. This is tougher than a suit where you show someone acted negligently causing injury. Still, people can and do sue doctors for failure to diagnose correctly, so let's look at what you'll have to prove.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Not only doctors are negligent in medicine. All medical professionals and affiliated institutions can be implicated in a medical malpractice suit. The bases for such claims are misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, negligent treatment, or poor illness management, among others.

When a medical professional does or does not do something for a patient, and that decision both deviates from professional standards and injures the patient, a claim of medical malpractice can be made. A hospital may be included in the suit if there was failure to adequately train or monitor staff, for example.

Elements of Medical Negligence

To prove medical malpractice and prevail in your misdiagnosis claim, you must prove multiple elements. First, the doctor and others owed you a duty of care and breached it by deviating from the applicable medical standards. This can vary depending on where you are treated.

If your lawyer shows that this deviation from the standard of care caused your misdiagnosis, thereby injuring you, all that is left are damages. Counsel must show what this injury cost you financially and otherwise, possibly including emotional pain and suffering.

A good attorney will think of many angles on a case, and ensure all appropriate parties are named and that the evidence is all there to establish every element of your claim. But it is not a simple task.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been injured by a doctor's misdiagnosis, consult with counsel and get an idea of what your claim might be worth. Many attorneys consult for free or no fee.

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