Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. The high rate of prevention is often a direct result of screening tests like the PAP smear. Unfortunately, as per the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, many women with abnormal cervical cell changes that transform to cancer have either never had a PAP screening or have not had one in the past three to five years. If you believe a doctor or laboratory failed to diagnose or improperly diagnosed your cancer, a Florida cervical cancer medical malpractice lawyer can help you fight for compensation.
Physicians generally have a duty to offer recommended PAP screenings and to act accordingly based on the results they receive. Otherwise, they may bear civil liability—which a qualified medical malpractice attorney can help reinforce—for injuries or losses you suffer as a result. En Español.
When to File a Cervical Cancer Medical Malpractice Case
As a highly detectable cancer that is usually easy to treat when discovered in its earlier stages, some women do not consider cervical cancer to be serious. However, it is important to note that most early-stage cervical cancers do not have noticeable symptoms.
This could mean doctors who treat female patients could be responsible for offering the proper screening and assessments. Additionally, they may need to check that the laboratories read test results accurately and conclusively. Women may want to consider hiring a Florida cervical cancer medical malpractice attorney if they believe any of the following scenarios had a negative effect on their health:
- Improper PAP smear technique
- Inadequate PAP smear reading and review
- A physician not following up on abnormal test results
- Relying on a PAP smear test as a diagnostic tool instead of a screening tool
- Failing to accurately and thoroughly assess a woman for signs and symptoms of cervical cancer
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
The goal of a medical malpractice lawsuit typically is to receive compensation to hold a negligent party responsible. To accomplish this, a Florida cervical cancer medical malpractice lawyer can help a potential plaintiff seek both economic and non-economic damages, depending on the unique circumstances of their case.
Economic damages generally cover losses that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages often do not have a set value and, as a result, can sometimes be difficult to quantify. These types of damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Medical Malpractice Damage Caps
Like those in many other states, courts in Florida often limit the amount of damages a plaintiff could be rewarded in a medical malpractice case. According to Florida Statutes §766.118(2), non-economic damages for an instance of medical malpractice are frequently limited to a maximum $500,000 per claimant. This statute also specifies that regardless of the number of claimants in such a lawsuit, generally, no one practitioner may be held liable for more than $500,000 in non-economic damages.
However, the law does typically allow for some exceptions if a plaintiff has suffered severe brain damages or other serious injuries. A seasoned attorney could discuss with potential plaintiffs how much they may be able to receive in their case.
Turn to a Florida Cervical Cancer Medical Malpractice Attorney for Help
Patients in Florida trust that their doctor not only has the knowledge necessary to perform their job but also that they have their patients’ best interests at heart. If you were improperly diagnosed with cervical cancer or not diagnosed when you should have been, this trust has likely been broken.
However, there is help available in the form of a Florida cervical cancer medical malpractice lawyer. A compassionate and considerate injury attorney can help you recover damages from the wrongs you have suffered from a medical professional. Call today to learn more.