When a doctor suspects that a patient is suffering from an illness or condition, they will often ask for the patient to give a blood or tissue sample that will be sent to a pathologist for review. An accurate assessment of test results is a critical part of medical care, as an incorrect interpretation can result in a delayed diagnosis or undue mental anguish. Pathologists who commit errors should be held liable for any harm caused by their mistakes, and anyone injured by a pathology error may have claims for damages. With over fifteen decades of combined experience, the Cape Cod medical malpractice lawyers of the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III can vigorously advocate on your behalf. Our zealous representation has enabled us to recover several multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for the parties we represent.Harm Caused by Pathology Errors
Pathologists are physicians who analyze blood and tissue samples to identify any abnormalities. The scope of a pathologist’s practice may range from reviewing annual blood tests to assessing cells extracted during a biopsy. Pathologists rarely, if ever, have direct interaction with patients. Rather, they typically provide pathology reports directly to the treating physicians that ordered them. That does not mean that a pathologist cannot harm a patient, however. Rather, when a pathologist fails to assess test results accurately, it can result in a missed diagnosis. For example, if a doctor extracts cells due to a suspicion of cancer, but a pathologist incorrectly determines no cancerous cells are present, the cancer will likely progress untreated. Conversely, a pathologist may advise a physician that the results show that a patient is suffering from cancer or another grave disease even though the patient is healthy, which may not only result in mental anguish but also in unnecessary treatment that may harm the patient’s health.Proving Liability Following a Pathology Error
If a patient is harmed by a pathologist’s error, the patient can seek damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and a skilled injury lawyer can help. A party asserting a medical malpractice claim usually alleges that the defendant was negligent. In Massachusetts, to prove negligence in the context of medical malpractice, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to provide treatment that complied with the applicable standard of care and that he or she suffered harm due to a departure from the standard of care.
The standard of care that applies in medical malpractice cases is the care that a physician in the same practice area and with similar training and experience would use in the same situation. Thus, in most cases, the plaintiff must engage a medical expert to explain the standard of care, as the average layperson will not have independent knowledge of what constitutes appropriate care. The expert will often also be called upon to opine on the manner in which the defendant's acts caused the plaintiff's harm. The plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered quantifiable damages as a result of the defendant's negligence.
If a judge or jury determines that a pathologist’s error caused the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff may be awarded the cost of any past medical treatment as well as treatment that may be needed in the future due to the injuries. If the plaintiff was unable to work because of the harm he or she suffered, he or she may be able to recover lost earnings as well. Additionally, the plaintiff may be awarded compensation for the mental distress, pain, and suffering caused by the error.Meet with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Cape Cod
When a pathologist incorrectly interprets test results, it can cause significant harm, and in many cases the harm is irreparable. If you were injured by a pathology error, it is advisable to meet with an attorney regarding what damages you may be owed. At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, we are proficient at pursuing compensation for harm arising out of medical malpractice, and we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to help you seek a favorable outcome. We proudly uphold a record of successful results, including many damages awards in the millions. We assist parties in lawsuits in Cape Cod, and are also available for consultations in Plymouth and Hyannis. We can be reached at 888-262-6664 or through our online form to schedule a conference. Nós Falamos Português.