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What Is the Average Settlement for Cancer Misdiagnosis?

misdiagnosis payout

Payouts for a cancer misdiagnosis can vary widely based on the claim’s circumstances. Therefore, there is no set average settlement for injuries and damages caused by diagnostic errors.

A cancer misdiagnosis can be a life-or-death mistake, resulting in unnecessary suffering and potentially avoidable financial losses. If you suffered harm due to medical negligence, continue reading to learn more about seeking financial justice for medical malpractice.

Practitioners Pay Millions in Medical Malpractice Compensation

Though it can be hard to pinpoint an average cancer misdiagnosis payout, we do have some information regarding Florida medical malpractice payments. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, from Jan. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023, medical providers in Florida paid over 1,790 settlements or judgments ranging from $50,000 to $2 million. During the same period, providers made 19 payments exceeding $2 million.

Factors That Can Affect Your Cancer Misdiagnosis Payout

There is no average payout for cancer misdiagnosis claims because every medical malpractice case is vastly different. Many factors can significantly affect how much compensation you can recover, including the following:

  • The severity of your illness
  • The cost of your medical treatment
  • Whether or not your illness prevents you from working and for how long
  • Your age
  • Your current income
  • The extent of your pain and suffering
  • The strength of your case
  • The amount of medical malpractice insurance the at-fault healthcare provider carries

What Does a Cancer Malpractice Settlement Usually Include?

Cancer misdiagnosis payouts can include economic and non-economic damages. In general, you can pursue compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses. You should not have to pay for negligent medical care. You can seek reimbursement for medical bills connected to your cancer misdiagnosis. You can also seek the cost of current and future cancer-related treatment, including medical procedures, medical devices, hospital and doctor’s fees, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, prescription drugs, radiation, chemotherapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and long-term nursing.
  • Lost wages. If cancer prevents you from working, you can pursue lost wages and employment benefits. If a misdiagnosis resulted in a severe or disabling medical condition that forces you to change careers, permanently reduce your hours, or leave the workforce, you may qualify for awards for the loss of your future earning potential.
  • Pain and suffering. You can pursue monetary awards for intangible losses related to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Pain and suffering compensation may include scarring, disfigurement, severe and chronic pain, loss of mobility, loss of bodily function, mental anguish, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and loss of enjoyment.
  • Wrongful death. If your loved one died because of a cancer misdiagnosis, those liable may owe compensation to their estate and surviving family members. Wrongful death damages can include medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, benefits, and earnings, loss of the deceased’s support, services, companionship, and protection, and survivors’ mental pain and suffering.

Proving You Deserve Cancer Misdiagnosis Damages

Obtaining a cancer misdiagnosis payout requires proving that your condition resulted from medical negligence. To do this, you will need to build a case establishing the following four elements:

  • Professional duty of care. Healthcare providers have a legal duty to treat patients according to the accepted standards of the medical profession and to do their utmost to prevent causing harm. To prove a professional duty of care, you must show a doctor/patient relationship existed between you and the provider.
  • Breach of duty. Doctors breach their professional duty when they fail to care for patients in a manner most other physicians would find reasonable and appropriate. A breach can also be a failure to act when necessary, such as a failure to diagnose and treat cancer.
  • Injury. You must prove a doctor’s breach of duty directly caused your injury or illness.
  • Damages. Damages prove that your injury led to financial losses and pain and suffering.

You must support your cancer misdiagnosis claim with evidence demonstrating all of the above. Proof in a medical malpractice case may include treatment notes, medical records, medical and scientific data, eyewitness accounts, and testimony from doctors, nurses, and medical experts.

Who Is Liable for Your Injury?

Financial responsibility for your medical malpractice damages may rest with a doctor, a nurse, emergency room personnel, a negligent hospital, a laboratory, or one of its technicians. Liability will depend on the cause of your cancer misdiagnosis, which may include one of the following medical errors:

  • Failure to perform cancer screenings
  • Delays in testing
  • Misread lab test results
  • Misread MRIs, CT scans, mammograms, ultrasounds, or X-rays
  • Failure to communicate test results or follow up with a patient
  • Failure to take a patient’s health history
  • Failure to conduct a thorough physical examination
  • Failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of a disease
  • Failure to refer a patient for a consultation with a specialist

How Common Are Misdiagnoses?

A 2019 Johns Hopkins Medicine report estimates that around 100,000 people die or suffer a disabling injury due to misdiagnosis every year in the United States. Nearly 40 percent of these severe injuries and fatalities result from cancer misdiagnosis.

According to a 2022 American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) article, some of the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers include the following:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bladder cancer

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What If an Insurance Company Refuses to Pay Your Misdiagnosis Claim?

Insurance companies aim to make a profit, and one way they do this is by keeping payouts as low as possible. To that end, the at-fault physician’s medical malpractice insurance provider may deny your claim or offer you a lowball settlement that does not satisfy your losses.

When this happens, you have options. You can work with an attorney from our law firm who can attempt to negotiate a fair settlement. We can also help you take legal action. However, you must file your medical malpractice lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

According to Florida Statutes § 95.11 (4)(c), you generally have two years to pursue your case, though circumstances could extend this deadline. The clock starts when your injury occurred or was discovered.

What Should You Do If An Insurance Claim Agent Contacts You?

If an insurance claim agent contacts you about your case, be careful what you say. Do not go into details about your medical condition or current treatment, speculate on the cause of your misdiagnosis, or discuss the at-fault provider’s actions. Most importantly, do not accept a settlement offer. Instead, consider enlisting legal help. Once you have an attorney, further communications should go through their office.

You can do a few other things to increase the chances of a successful cancer misdiagnosis payout:

  • Follow all your doctor’s orders, do not miss appointments, and do not engage in activities that could make your illness worse
  • Keep records of your medical bills and any other economic losses related to your medical condition
  • Keep a daily diary detailing your pain, suffering, and mental and emotional state for your non-economic compensation claim

Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help You Get a Larger Payout?

Working with a medical malpractice lawyer helps your chances of a larger cancer misdiagnosis payout. Hiring an attorney from our law firm can send the message to the negligent provider and their insurer that you mean business and help you avoid leaving money on the table.

Our legal team can also take the burden of your case off your shoulders, allowing you to focus your time and energy on your health and family. We can:

  • Investigate the cause of your cancer misdiagnosis
  • Collect case evidence
  • Hire and consult with medical experts
  • Identify liable parties and prove they were medically negligent
  • Identify and calculate your current damages and obtain estimates regarding your future losses
  • Prepare and file your insurance claim or lawsuit
  • Track and manage deadlines
  • Handle emails, phone calls, and meetings with insurance agents, opposing counsel, and other involved parties
  • Negotiate for the maximum compensation possible
  • Represent you at trial if necessary

Contact a Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer With Freidin Brown, P.A.

Freidin Brown, P.A. has over 45 years of experience serving personal injury victims in Miami, Fort Myers, and across South Florida. We have represented thousands of clients and conducted hundreds of jury trials. Our case results include more than 20 medical malpractice verdicts exceeding $1 million. We know what it takes to build a robust claim while providing you with personalized and compassionate legal support every step of the way.

We can help you get started with a free and confidential consultation. Working with us never costs anything up front or out of pocket. We do not collect costs or fees unless and until we win your case. Call us today at 888-677-7764 or complete our line request form to connect with a lawyer near you today.

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