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Radiation Errors

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Based in the Ocala Area

Many cancer patients, about half of them, need to undergo radiation therapy as part of their course of treatment. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. A machine may be used to deliver the radiation, or a doctor may place a radioactive substance near the cancer cells in what is known as internal radiation therapy. In some cases, radiation is delivered through the blood in the form of radioactive iodine or other substances. However, radiation can be harmful if mistakes are made in how it is administered or how much is used. A radiation error can result in serious consequences, including a tragic death. If you have been harmed by a radiation error, you should consult an experienced Ocala medical malpractice lawyer. At the Dean Law Firm, we can evaluate whether you may have a case.

Holding a Health Care Provider Accountable for a Radiation Error

While radiation is used often in treating cancer, it is supposed to be administered in such a way that it kills as few noncancerous cells as possible. Sometimes radiation therapy destroys too many healthy cells. In other cases, serious medical problems due to radiation do not happen until months after an overdose or another error. Medical problems have included an inability to speak, walk, or eat, as well as balancing problems and falling. Radiation errors are not easy to see and correct, and in some cases, there is no way to correct the problems after a radiation error is made.

Radiation errors can happen because of an error by a technician, an erroneous radiation prescription, programming mistakes, the improper positioning of radiation beams, or mechanical malfunctions. One type of radiation error involves radiation contamination. This happens when a patient is not supposed to be exposed to radiation or is exposed to too much radiation, and as a result, the skin is contaminated. Another radiation error involves incorporation, whereby organs, tissues, and cells absorb the radiation, with dire health consequences for the patient.

If you believe that you were harmed or a loved one was killed because of a radiation error, you should retain an attorney to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to pursue damages. In Florida, medical malpractice exists when an injury or death happens because a health care provider did not use the degree of care that a reasonable provider in the same specialty would have used under similar circumstances. It can include any actions or omissions by the physician, such as mistakes in the amount of radiation prescribed, as well as mistakes by hospital technicians administering the radiation. It could also include miscommunications between nurses and technicians.

After suffering harm due to a radiation error, it may be necessary to investigate all of the potential parties responsible for the error, including the hospital, the radiation therapy center, doctors, technicians, nurses, and other staff members.

You must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within the statute of limitations period. In Florida, that is two years from the date on which the harm from the radiation error was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. Unless there is fraud involved, you cannot bring your claim more than four years after the date of the radiation error, regardless of when you realized that there was an error.

Generally, you can recover compensatory damages if you are able to prove that a radiation error constituted medical malpractice. These damages may include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, household services, and out-of-pocket expenses. If a family member dies as a result of a radiation error, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages, which can be awarded both to the estate and to certain family members. Wrongful death damages may include loss of services and support to family members, as well as lost wages, burial expenses, and funeral expenses to the estate, if it paid them.

Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Claim with a Trial Attorney in Ocala

At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala lawyers may be able to represent you in a lawsuit arising out of a radiation error or a surgical error or another mistake made by a health care provider. Call us at 352-387-8700 or complete our online form. We serve cancer patients harmed by medical malpractice in The Villages, Crystal River, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties.