A woman has filed a lawsuit claiming a Chicago dermatologist failed to diagnose her skin cancer in a timely manner. The woman filed the lawsuit against the doctor and Northwestern Hospital, Northwestern Medical Group, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. The lawsuit states that the woman went to the doctor because of a skin abnormality and was treated between August 2010 and May 2013. According to the complaint the doctor failed to do a biopsy of the area and therefore did not provide the proper course of treatment. The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
Skin Cancer is Dangerous
According to the CDC, melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer and it can be deadly. More than 9,000 people each year die from melanoma in the United States. If promptly diagnosed, skin cancer can be treated and can often be removed before it causes damage or spreads. In this case, the woman’s skin cancer went undiagnosed for nearly three years. Had it been correctly diagnosed when she first visited the doctor it would have been in the early stages. Treatment is most successful when cancer is discovered early. The doctor in this case was negligent in the failure to order testing that would have diagnosed cancer.
Failure to Diagnose is Negligent
Negligent actions by a doctor include not only doing something wrong, but also not doing something that should be done. As in this case, a medical mistake caused the patient physical harm. Medical malpractice includes mistakes and errors made in diagnosis or treatment that are the cause of serious injury to a patient. Doctors are held to a high standard because of their extensive education, knowledge, and experience. When a patient goes to a doctor for treatment it is a reasonable expectation that he will receive proper care including diagnosis, treatment, and care. When the doctor fails to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition the result can be injury or even death. In this case, the doctor should have ordered the test immediately, which would have shown that the patient had skin cancer.
Help for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Victims of medical malpractice are entitled to receive compensation for several things including medical costs, expenses for medications, money for pain and suffering, and money to cover legal fees. The law limits the time in which you can file a lawsuit so it is important to discuss the matter as soon as possible with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. Many such lawsuits are settled prior to going to trial. For this reason it is necessary to engage the services of a law firm with negotiation experience. Your attorney will work with the insurance company to try to resolve the matter. However, if an adequate settlement cannot be reached the case will proceed to trial. If you or a loved one has been hurt because of medical malpractice or misdiagnosis you likely have many questions and concerns. Contact the skilled legal team at Levin & Perconti today for a free consultation.