Patients trust oncologists to properly diagnose and treat cancer. There are different types of oncologists, including medical oncologists who treat cancer by using chemotherapy or medication, surgical oncologists who remove tumors and perform biopsies, and radiation oncologists who treat cancer with radiation. There are also oncologists who specialize in treating children (pediatric oncologists), and there are oncologists who specialize in specific types of cancer. If you are injured as a result of carelessness by any of these types of doctors, our Syracuse oncology malpractice lawyers can help you bring a claim.Seeking Compensation for Oncology Malpractice
Before treatment for cancer can begin, an oncologist must locate it within the body and diagnose it. Methods of diagnosis include taking patient histories and performing physical examinations, diagnostic studies, and biopsies. If an oncologist does not order an appropriate test or does not interpret a study correctly, they may fail to diagnose cancer. Sometimes oncologists accurately diagnose cancer, meanwhile, but do not provide treatment that is in line with the standard of care.
Some common errors made by oncologists include failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, failure to perform comprehensive cancer surgery, and errors in providing chemotherapy drugs. In order to establish oncology malpractice, you will need to show that the oncologist owed a duty to abide by a professional standard of care, there was a breach of that duty, and harm was proximately (legally) caused by the breach.
These cases can be challenging because an oncology malpractice attorney in the Syracuse area will need to show that your injury was not a result of the cancer simply worsening, but instead a result of the cancer not being diagnosed or not being treated in a timely way. For example, you would need to show that an oncologist's negligent failure to diagnose caused your chances of survival to drop from a 75% chance of survival to a 50% chance of survival or lower. If an oncologist's malpractice resulted in death, you would need to show that your loved one would likely have survived had their cancer been discovered earlier or been treated properly.
Generally, doctors do owe a duty to use reasonable care when treating patients, which means conforming to the accepted standard of care among specialists in that area. This professional standard of care may vary depending on certain factors, such as the age, health history, and sex of the patient. What is reasonable to do when treating an otherwise healthy 20-something patient may be different from what would be reasonable to do when treating an elderly person with the same symptoms.
A defendant may try to bring a summary judgment motion. To make a prima facie showing that they are entitled to summary judgment on a medical malpractice claim, an oncologist will need to show that they did not deviate from accepted medical practices in diagnosing or treating you, or their actions were not the "proximate cause" of your injuries.
Along with your complaint, an oncology malpractice lawyer in Syracuse can help you file a written certificate of merit. This certificate of merit can be filed within 90 days of filing suit. The certificate needs to state that your attorney has reviewed the facts and consulted with a licensed doctor, and they have concluded that there is a reasonable basis for suing for medical malpractice based on the consultation.
In New York, you generally have 2½ years from the date that a cause of action accrues to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, oncology malpractice may arise from a series of wrongful acts or omissions. The continuous treatment doctrine tolls the statute of limitations if there is a course of treatment that includes wrongful acts and runs continuously, if it is related to the same original condition.Consult an Experienced Syracuse Oncology Malpractice Attorney
If you suffer injuries due to oncology malpractice in Syracuse or Rochester, our law firm may be able to file a lawsuit for damages on your behalf. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP, we also represent injured people in Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment if you suffered injuries because of a doctor’s negligence related to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, or any of the other forms of this disease.