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Cancer Misdiagnosis

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer

Cancer affects so many people in the United States. Research projects that nearly 2 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021 and that over 600,000 of those people will pass away from cancer as well in the same year. Since it’s so deadly and can take a person’s life so quickly, it’s important to get a prompt and correct diagnosis when it comes to cancer. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

If a doctor has misdiagnosed your cancer and caused you injuries and other damages because of it, then you can hold them accountable for their mistake. Our Minneapolis cancer misdiagnosis lawyer is here to help you through the legal process. We’ll guide you step by step so that you get the justice that you deserve and can recover financial compensation.

Causes of Cancer Misdiagnoses

When you go to your doctor with complaints of being sick, feeling pain, or generally not feeling well, you expect them to rule out all possibilities and test for everything that your ailment could be. Even though they’re professionally trained and have experience diagnosing patients, doctors and medical professionals can still make mistakes when they’re determining what’s happening in your body.

Here are some of the mistakes they could make that lead you to a misdiagnosis of cancer or missing your diagnosis of cancer:

  • Not listening to the patient
  • Ordering the wrong tests
  • Improperly conducting tests
  • Misreading the test results
  • Choosing not to order tests to rule cancer out
  • Errors in written and verbal communication between doctors, nurses, and specialists
  • Diagnosing the patient with a condition that has similar symptoms but not cancer
  • Diagnosing them with the wrong cancer
  • Diagnosing them with cancer when they don’t have it, and putting them through unnecessary cancer treatments

When any of these mistakes happen, it can put off a patient’s treatment, or cause them to undergo unnecessary treatments that cause the body more harm. This can be more detrimental to a patient’s health than the diagnosis itself because it can lead to more health problems and complications.

A Minneapolis cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help your recover financially from the mistake that your doctor made. You deserve to be listened to and treated with proper and timely care. When that doesn’t happen, it can lead to your health taking even more of a turn. Let’s take a look at the effects you could experience if you’re misdiagnosed with cancer.

Effects of a Misdiagnosis

One of the main issues that comes with any misdiagnosis is that it prolongs any treatment that you may receive. When your doctor improperly diagnoses you with another condition or illness, they’ll start treating you for that rather than what is actually ailing you. Here’s what treating you for the wrong illness can do when you actually have cancer:

  • Allow tumors to grow
  • Allow cancer cells to spread through the rest of the body
  • Make the treatment you need even more aggressive
  • Cause you to need more specialized surgery
  • Increase your recovery time from treatment and surgery
  • Allow the cancer to progress until it can’t be treated
  • Lead to your death that could have been prevented

All of these reasons are why it’s so important for your doctor to examine all possibilities when you come into their office. Many doctors don’t want to include cancer as a possibility because it is seen as the worst-case scenario. However, many patients do have cancer, which is why they should always rule it out if cancer is on the table.

Sometimes, those tests for cancer create false positives. Or doctors diagnose a patient with cancer because they misread the tests and symptoms. This can lead to negative effects on your body and health as well because they might advise you to go through cancer treatment, like chemotherapy.

Even though chemo is an effective treatment for patients with cancer, if you don’t have cancer, it can be extremely damaging to your health and cause you to go through unnecessary hardships. Your doctor might even put you through invasive procedures and surgeries that you didn’t need because you didn’t actually have cancer.

When either of these situations were a result of your doctor’s negligence, you could hold them accountable for their medical malpractice. At Madia Newville, our Minneapolis cancer misdiagnosis attorney is here to fight for your rights and ensure that your doctor is held responsible for their negligence.

Types of Misdiagnosed Cancers

There are certain cancers that you might be misdiagnosed with more than others. The Associated Press (AP) published an article reporting that there are four commonly misdiagnosed cancers in the United States. These misdiagnoses are based on a couple factors, like symptoms mimicking other illnesses or symptoms showing differently for different people.

According to the article, the four cancers that are most commonly misdiagnosed are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer. Doctors might mistake these cancers for other problems, like IBS or a chest cold. While patients and doctors alike might want to be optimistic about what’s going on with their body, missing the diagnosis could prove fatal for a patient.

If you’ve been misdiagnosed with cancer, or your doctor missed a cancer diagnosis for you and it caused you to suffer more damage and health problems, then you could use the help of a lawyer. Our cancer misdiagnosis lawyer can help you through the legal process so that you can be compensated for what you’ve gone through.  

Madia Newville Can Help 

Cancer changes your life. When you receive a cancer diagnosis later than you should have, or when you didn’t actually have cancer, both permanently affect your life. You shouldn’t have to deal with this on your own. Our Minneapolis cancer misdiagnosis attorney from Madia Newville is here to represent you.

We’ll look into what happened, what extra damages you suffered as a result of your misdiagnosis, and what you’re owed in compensation for those damages. Get in touch with our office today so we can start helping you with a free consultation.

THE MADIA NEWVILLE WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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