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Cancer Malpractice & Suing Your Doctor

Kim Johnson is fighting two battles. The first, against a horrible disease called cancer. The second, against a hospital that committed cancer malpractice and tried to cover it up. 

It all started when the Kentucky mother of eight found a lump in her right breast. She got a mammogram right away. After fearing the worst, she was grateful to receive a letter from the hospital assuring her the lump was benign. No cancer! Johnson went out for dinner with the family that night to celebrate. 

But in reality, there was nothing to celebrate. That letter full of good news was really a mistake–one that Johnson’s hospital would later try to hide. 

Are you or a loved one a victim of cancer malpractice? The cancer malpractice lawyers at Hampton & King can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us now for an initial consultation at no cost to you.

Woman receives troubling cancer malpractice records.

The Hospital That Covered Up Cancer Malpractice

Kim Johnson and her family thought she was cancer-free. They could go on with their lives and forget about the whole ordeal. But the continued nagging pain in Johnson’s breast said otherwise. So ten months later, she decided to get a second opinion. 

Guess what Johnson’s new doctors found? That’s right–she did indeed have breast cancer. But now it had spread to her lymph nodes and bones. It was so bad, they feared she had only six months to a year to live. They told her that her first mammogram had shown clear evidence of cancer. So that letter she had received was totally false. 

That’s why Johnson decided to sue the first hospital for cancer malpractice. As she told NBC, she’s not “a suing person”. But enough was enough. The hospital’s mistake was going to cost her loads of money, and maybe her life, too. 

Now here’s the most shocking part of the story. Once Johnson hired cancer malpractice lawyers, they were able to get to the bottom of what happened to her. And guess what they found? Johnson’s hospital had sent her the wrong letter. It was intended for someone else. 

Then, to add insult to injury, they tried to cover up their error. A digital forensics expert reviewed her electronic patient records and found that two hospital employees had edited them! After Johnson filed her lawsuit, these negligent workers actually deleted all evidence of that letter that said Johnson was cancer-free. Then, they wrote some fake letters to try to show that Johnson knew she had cancer all along. 

Fighting Cancer..AND Cancer Malpractice

How was Johnson fairing, five years later after the diagnosis? She was still fighting both cancer and cancer malpractice. It was a rough place to be. 

Luckily, her cancer malpractice lawyers got her a $1.5 million dollar settlement. It paid for her treatment. But they’re still fighting on her behalf to get more. Meanwhile, Johnson says what she’s most worried about is her kids. She knows that she may not survive much longer.

“If they just would have sent me for a biopsy, maybe I would have more time to spend with them,” she lamented to NBC News. 

Cancer malpractice isn’t a battle you have to fight on your own. Hire cancer malpractice lawyers who work on a contingency-fee basis. They can help you wade through the muck of hospital records (and excuses) and get to the bottom of what happened to you. 

Check out the types of cancer malpractice below. Perhaps one of these situations sounds like your case.

Types Of Cancer Malpractice

  • Failure to diagnose the cancer on time. 
  • Misdiagnosing the cancer for something else. 
  • Mistaking another illness for cancer. 
  • Failure to provide adequate or timely treatment.
  • Misreading x-rays or other tests
  • Failure to order testing, or delaying testing
  • Withholding test results 
  • Errors in medication
  • Diagnosing a tumor as benign when it is malignant
  • Mistakes in treatment (such as excessive radiation therapy)

These aren’t the only types of cancer malpractice. But they are the most common ones victims report. The most prevalent type of cancer malpractice overall is misdiagnosis, which we’ll discuss below. 

When Doctors Misdiagnose Cancer

Sometimes, such as in Johnson’s case, doctors don’t diagnose cancer on time. Or at all. They may think that cancer is present when it isn’t. Or, they might miss it when it is present. This is called misdiagnosis. 

Both types of misdiagnosis are extremely serious. When cancer isn’t caught right away, it has time to metastasize, or spread. That’s what happened to Kim Johnson. It makes chances for survival much, much worse. 
On the other hand, diagnosing a patient with cancer when they don’t have it can be just as devastating. That’s because cancer treatments are so invasive. A patient might go through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They endure debilitating side effects. But it’s all for nothing!

Can I Sue For Malpractice?

If you’re going through such an unjust situation, you might wonder if you can sue for malpractice. Does what happened to you meet the legal definition of malpractice? If so, then the answer is “yes”. But here’s what you need to ask first:

  • Was your health care provider negligent? Did they fail to do what is reasonable for a doctor in that situation to do? (In legal terms, this is known as the “standard of care”). 
  • How did that negligence harm you? What were the direct consequences to your life and health?
  • Do you have evidence to back up your claims? (A cancer malpractice lawyer can help you with this). 
  • What damages do you believe you’re entitled to? (For example, compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering). 
  • Has the statute of limitations passed? This is the time limit on how much time you have to file a lawsuit. In most states, it’s 2 or 3 years after the negligence occurred. In some states, the countdown begins the day you find out about the doctor’s mistake, not when it happened. 

Have questions about suing? Cancer malpractice lawyers can help answer them. Next, we’ll look at how this type of medical malpractice attorney can help you with your lawsuit.

Lawyer and client discuss cancer malpractice lawsuit.

How Cancer Malpractice Lawyers Can Help

Statistics show that victims who hire lawyers are much more likely to win medical malpractice cases. And it’s not just because they’re complicated. It’s because the defendant in these cases, hospitals and doctors, have insurance companies backing them. They have access to medical experts to call to their defense. 

The good news is that cancer malpractice lawyers also have access to medical experts. They can call on experts to examine hospital records. These experts often play an important role in cancer malpractice cases. 

Why? Well, as you’re probably well aware, most records are digital these days. And while digital record-keeping may save trees, it can be easy to alter. Take for example the way hospital employees altered Kim Johnson’s records in order to defend the hospital. 

So if malpractice has turned your life upside down, turn to a cancer malpractice lawyer. The malpractice team at Hampton & King is ready to represent you and your family with the care and compassion you deserve. We understand how trying these times can be for families. Get in touch here, and take the first step toward obtaining justice.