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Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving the Ocala Area

Melanoma is a tumor of the melanocytes, which are in the lowest layer of your epidermis. Signs of melanoma include a change in what a mole looks like or the pigmented area of your skin. A melanoma may be malignant and related to skin cancer. A melanoma can be treated if it is caught at an early stage, but when melanoma is not diagnosed before it gets to a late stage, the prognosis may be dire. When there is a failure to diagnose melanoma at a medical practice, you may be able to sue for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala misdiagnosis lawyers may be able to obtain remedies on your behalf.

Situations Involving a Failure to Diagnose Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is an extremely aggressive type of skin cancer. It is the most dangerous type of cancer, and an early diagnosis can determine whether a patient lives or dies. Usually, skin cancer is diagnosed when a patient or a doctor notices an abnormal mole. In some cases, a doctor does not notice the abnormal mole or fails to order a biopsy to determine whether it is cancerous. If there is a failure to order a biopsy or a communication problem with the lab, such that the doctor does not start treating you for cancer, the cancer may metastasize and spread through the lymph system to other bodily tissues. When a malignant melanoma is caught early, it may be removed and treated.

Once cancer has metastasized, survival rates drop. If you suspect medical malpractice, your attorney can examine the circumstances to determine whether the doctor and other health care providers behaved appropriately in your situation. A reasonably prudent doctor will take the time to check you for signs of illness and to investigate if you bring an abnormal mole to their attention. The doctor should recommend the appropriate tests to determine whether there is a malignant melanoma. We can look not only at the conduct of physicians but also at whether the lab or hospital performed the tests correctly, and the doctor informed you promptly and accurately of the results.

In order to recover damages for a failure to diagnose melanoma, your doctor must have had a chance to diagnose your melanoma but failed to do so, and the doctor's delay in diagnosing the melanoma must have changed the outcome of your case. Melanoma tends to be a type of cancer in which early diagnosis and treatment can make a substantial difference in how long a patient's life is and the quality of life that they can enjoy.

In most cases, your lawyer will need to retain a credible expert on the issues of whether the doctor or other provider breached the professional duty of care and whether this caused your injuries. Often, doctors argue in their defense that even if they had diagnosed the melanoma, it would have resulted in the same injuries. You can only recover damages if you can show a causal link between the doctor's conduct and the worsened condition, and an expert's testimony is critical to establishing this link. In other cases, doctors may defend themselves on the basis that you did not tell them about the abnormal mole or other symptoms. Each situation is different, and we can look at all potential avenues of recovery.

Damages that may be recovered once liability is established depend on the extent of the harm and the nature of your losses. Generally, both economic and noneconomic losses may be recovered. Economic losses include past and future wage loss, past and future medical bills, replacement services (e.g., household services), and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic losses include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Consult an Aggressive Medical Negligence Lawyer in Ocala

When you go to see a doctor about a strange mole or lesion, you trust that they will use the accepted standards and practices of the medical community to diagnose and treat you. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala attorneys may be able to sue a doctor or medical practice on your behalf if you or a loved one was harmed by a failure to diagnose melanoma. We serve patients harmed by misdiagnoses of cancer, pulmonary embolisms, stroke, heart attacks, and many other serious conditions in Ocala, the Villages, Crystal River, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or through our online form.