Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuits: Severe Injuries & Substantial Damages
UPDATED: May 24, 2013
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Colon cancer misdiagnosis is more frequent than most people think – especially in young people whose symptoms are wrongly attributed to diet or occupation. When colon cancer isn't detected on time, doctors can be held liable for the severe injuries that are associated with it – and the damages can be substantial.
When Doctors Don't Take Complaints Seriously
There are a significant number of these cases – especially involving younger people who are complaining of abdominal pain and have bloody stool. Doctors are frankly playing the odds as they see very few of these situations result in actual colorectal cancer. So they assume, to a degree, that these people’s symptoms are related to their diet, their occupation or something of that nature and not recommend a colonoscopy. However, that’s how mistakes are made. If you do not take those complaints seriously, or if you rule out the possibility of cancer, the results can be absolutely catastrophic.
Consequences of Failing to Detect Colon Cancer
Over 50,000 people die from colon cancer every year. If not caught at an early stage, death is certainly the most severe consequence of a doctor failing to detect or misdiagnosing colon cancer. If caught at a later stage, but not a stage where it has spread to the liver, an individual will have to undergo a very serious surgery which will involve removal of a large portion of the colon or rectum and often result in them having a what’s called a colostomy bag for the rest of their life.
This bag has to be emptied on an hourly basis by someone for the rest of their life. So, not only is it dangerous in terms of additional infections which can occur, but it is a terrible way to live the rest of your life.
Compensation for Colon Cancer Misdiagnosis
According to colon cancer misdiagnosis lawyers, the possible compensation which can result from a misdiagnosis can be substantial regardless of whether the colon cancer resulted in death or additional surgeries.
Colon cancer death: An individual who has died from colon cancer and has left a wife, children, brothers, sisters or parents can be compensated for their loss under the law as they will likely have difficulty going forward with their lives due to their loss.
In some states, damages may be awarded to the deceased person's estate for the pain that he or she went through during the whole process because if the cancer was identified at an early stage oftentimes it can be treated without any surgery and simply with radiation.
There are cases in which people in their 30's and 40's have died from colon cancer and left young children behind. The loss of a parent at a young age is one of the most catastrophic things that can happen to you.
Without a parent there to guide you through the key parts of your life, to bounce things off of, is devastating. That child is going to be able to recover some sort of compensation for those losses, and even if their parent is lucky enough to have survived, obviously it’s not going to be the same – he or she is not going to be the same person as before.
Additional colon cancer surgeries.Colon cancer misdiagnosis lawyers say that additional surgeries present terrible and painful situations for victims. Someone who does not pass away on account of this can still recover damages for how their life is going to be dramatically affected because of the failure to timely diagnose this condition. Not only will they undergo physical pain; they’ll also have mental grief and anguish from simply not being able to participate in life the way they used to.
Someone who is misdiagnosed and undergoes additional treatment is probably looking at some significant future medical costs – which can be recovered in a situation like this.
Someone who now has a colostomy bag has certainly had to undergo many changes in their life. They would be able to recover damages for the discomfort, the embarrassment, the pain and the inability to do a lot of things that you and I are able to do in life.
Also, when a patient has this bag, they are running the great risk of eventually suffering some sort of infection in that area. An infection can also lead to death, so a person’s life has been horribly changed if they suffer from colorectal cancer and it is not diagnosed timely.
The constant fear of getting an infection is terrible. The second part of that fear is that the cancer is going to come back because when you undergo surgery to remove the cancer, no one can be certain that all the cancer is gone. Even if the doctor looks at it and assumes it’s gone, he or she will tell you that they cannot see these microscopic levels of cancer and that some of it may still be there.
So when an individual undergoes all of this and is told that the cancer may come back, there’s no doubt that he or she is going to constantly be fearful that life is okay today, but not be sure what tomorrow may bring. He or she can recover the damages for how their life has changed, because it will change dramatically. So whether it’s mountain biking, going on long walks, swimming or another activity that they did – all those things that the person now cannot do would be compensable under the law.