Hearing the news that you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with colon cancer is a life-changing event. Despite this news, it is essential to remember that colon cancer has a high survival rate when diagnosed early. Unfortunately, if your colon cancer was misdiagnosed or a delay in your diagnosis occurred, the resulting harm can be devastating. You may have a claim for medical malpractice against your doctor, the hospital, or another medical professional. You have options to explore in recovering damages for the harm caused by your misdiagnosis, and an attorney can help. Read on to learn more about the misdiagnosis of colon cancer and what you may be entitled to recover in a medical malpractice claim. New Jersey failure to diagnose colon cancer lawyers are ready to assist you with your case.
What Is Colon Cancer?
The colon is part of the digestive tract that is also called the large intestine. Colon cancer is cancer affecting parts of the large intestine. While this type of cancer can happen at any age, the risk of colon cancer is higher for older adults.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States. One in 23 men and one in 26 women will be diagnosed with colon cancer. A family history of colon cancer may require an earlier screening before age 45.
Colon cancer forms when small polyps begin forming inside the colon and, over time, become cancerous. Due to their small size, polyps do not produce many symptoms, so an early diagnosis may not happen without regular cancer screenings.
Why Is Early Diagnosis Important?
Several risk factors increase the chances of colon cancer. These risks include the following:
- Being over the age of 50,
- African-Americans have a higher risk of colon cancer,
- A Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis diagnosis,
- History of colon cancer or polyps,
- Family history of colon cancer,
- Sedentary lifestyle,
- Smoking, and
Your doctor should be aware of these risk factors. If you have multiple risk factors associated with a potential colon cancer diagnosis, your doctor should undertake regular screenings and other tests to monitor your health. Yearly exams increase the chances of an early diagnosis and improve the possibility of successfully treating the disease.
How Does Misdiagnosis Occur?
Doctors are relied upon to identify risk factors and undertake the necessary tests and other screenings to protect a patient’s health. Misdiagnosis can occur in any number of ways, including:
- Failure to order adequate testing or screenings for colon cancer risk,
- Inaccurately reading test results,
- Failing to order new tests when existing tests provide an unclear result,
- Misclassification of a colon cancer diagnosis, and
- Wrongfully diagnosing another condition that is actually colon cancer.
A colon cancer misdiagnosis claim can cause a severe delay in a victim obtaining the necessary treatment they need to combat the spread of their illness.
Who Is Responsible When I’m Misdiagnosed?
A misdiagnosis of an illness or medical condition could qualify as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, healthcare professional, hospital, or other provider of medical services fails to uphold the accepted standard of care in the medical community. This failure must cause harm to the patient and result in recoverable damages. When a doctor fails to diagnose colon cancer in NJ, this could qualify as medical malpractice. New Jersey failure to diagnose colon cancer attorneys review the facts of your case and determine whether the doctor’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose permits you to recover damages.
What Damages Can I Recover?
An injured victim may recover compensatory damages through economic and non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Economic damages represent tangible losses directly resulting from the injury and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Documentation proving these expenses is used by your lawyer to calculate the value of your case.
Non-economic damages represent subjective losses related to your injury’s physical, psychological, and emotional effects. Non-economic damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent injury or disfigurement.
Due to their subjective nature, non-economic damages are challenging to prove without a qualified medical malpractice lawyer.
Judges award punitive damages to punish the liable party for their misconduct. Punitive damages are not granted in straightforward cases of negligence. Recovering these damages is rare and requires proof that the liable party acted in a particularly wrongful way that the court sees as deserving punishment. New Jersey places a limitation on punitive damages. They cannot exceed five times the compensatory damages award or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
New Jersey provides a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. A statute of limitations is the period a person has to file their claim. A potential claimant is barred from filing their lawsuit if they fail to file within this time. The clock starts ticking immediately in medical malpractice claims where the injury is apparent. However, there are situations where damage is not discovered until sometime after the malpractice takes place. This may be applicable in cases of colon cancer misdiagnosis. The two-year statute of limitations begins once the victim discovers the misdiagnosis.
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC provides over 100 years of combined legal experience producing tremendous results for our clients. And during that time, we have also earned the respect of our peers. Our legal team specializes in personal injury litigation, significantly emphasizing medical malpractice claims. We’ve obtained many multi-million dollar medical malpractice awards for our clients when they need it most. Our results show that we get the job done and we do it correctly. When companies see our name, they know their case will be well fought—and won. When you come to O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, you can rest assured that the relationships we develop with our clients are important to us. Throughout your case, we ensure you feel supported and cared for. We understand the faith you place in us as you are facing one of the most difficult challenges of your life. We consider it an honor to work with you. Please speak with our attorneys by contacting our office by phone or email to schedule your free consultation.
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Discuss Your Case with Our Failure to Diagnose Colon Cancer Attorneys Today
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble is one of the most-established and best-known medical malpractice law firms in New Jersey. If you feel that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, we invite you to speak to one of our excellent medical malpractice attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. Call us at (908) 928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817 or contact us online. The initial consultation is free.