New Jersey Oncologist Malpractice Attorneys
Helping Victims of Medical Negligence by Oncologists throughout NJ
If you go to your family doctor for a suspicious lump that you found on your body, you have a loved one diagnosed with cancer, or you lost someone close to you after battling cancer, you are likely familiar with an oncologist. Depending on the scenario, a concerning mole, lump, or set of symptoms may prompt you to seek further examination by a doctor, who often refers you to an oncologist. Your primary physician might explain to you that if there are signs of the disease, you should see an oncologist or cancer specialist immediately. Cancers can spread quickly and affect other organs or the entire body. The more cancer spreads, the harder it is to contain and destroy with treatment. Thus, doctors must act quickly if they suspect the possibility of a malignancy. In fact, an oncologist who delays diagnosis or treatment by oversight, makes a diagnostic error, fails to initiate proper treatment, or commits another error in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer may be liable to an injured patient for malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to oncologist malpractice in New Jersey, it is important to understand your rights and explore your options for obtaining compensation. Whether you were injured by an oncologist’s negligent care, or someone you love experienced wrongful death after cancer misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, chemotherapy malpractice, or another failure, the skilled medical malpractice law firm of Fronzuto Law Group is prepared to advocate for you. Our attorneys have vast experience in the field of medical malpractice litigation, having dedicated our practice to this highly specialized area of law. With a track record of success handling malpractice lawsuits involving conditions like breast cancer, prostate cancer, doctors, hospitals, and the like, our attorneys will dedicate all of our knowledge and resources to your case. Knowing whether you can sue an oncologist is the first step.
Oncologists: Specializing in Cancer Care
Oncologists are cancer specialists who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Within the cancer field are more specific specializations. For example, some oncologists focus on the medication treatment of cancer, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Others focus on radiation therapy to treat cancer by destroying malignant cells. Likewise, surgical oncologists surgically remove cancerous tumors and tissue for treatment or perform biopsies for diagnostic purposes. Yet others specialize in specific patients or types of cancers, such as geriatric oncologists who treat older patients or pediatric oncologists who treat children with cancer. Similarly, gynecologic oncologists deal with cancers of the reproductive system. Others treat exclusively cancer of the nervous system including brain cancer and organs affected by the nervous system, while hematologists treat blood cancers, thoracic oncologists treat lung cancer and esophageal cancers, and urologic oncologists treat cancers of the urinary system.
Common Reasons Oncologists Get Sued
Oncologists are no different from other specialists or family physicians when it comes to committing errors in diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Diagnostic delays due to missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is the most common cause of malpractice and oncologists are no exception. However, a delayed cancer diagnosis can have far graver consequences; it can actually sabotage a patient’s survival chances. For example, some cancers like breast or ovarian cancer, are far more treatable if caught early. Treating cancer before it spreads yields better outcomes. As such, if an oncologist orders a biopsy of a tumor but fails to follow up with the laboratory physicians for the results or misreads the results, their negligence or error may result in cancer metastasization or spread.
Another diagnostic error occurs after cancer treatment. When oncologists fail to run scans after treatment, they may miss new cancer developments, which are more likely to occur in cancer patients post-treatment. Also high on the list of common causes for medical malpractice lawsuits against oncologists is medication errors.
Medical oncologists often use chemotherapy to treat cancer, a powerful drug that must be carefully measured for proper dosing. Miscalculations or other errors in dosing can kill a patient. Chemotherapy infusions take cancer type, weight, height, heart rate, and blood test information into consideration for mixing and dosing. Errors in the preparation, prescription, and administration can be the source of patient injury or death. Medical oncologists must take great care to know the patient’s history, state of their health, and potential allergies to medications and chemotherapy drugs specifically. In addition, cost cutting in the medical field by insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacies often result in outsourcing chemotherapy preparation to others outside the hospital or oncologist’s control. Quality and quantity control is riskier when too many hands get into the medication mix. And over or under prescribing pain management drugs have also caused patient’s to sue for malpractice when patients suffer needlessly or overdose on powerful drugs.
Other Types of Oncology Negligence
Other instances of patient harm occur when oncologists fail to fully inform patients of the risks of cancer treatments and procedures or when they breach patient privacy laws by divulging information to concerned family members or through poorly safeguarded electronic records. In addition, errors in the treatment of cancer can derail a patient’s recovery and far worsen their prognosis. For instance, a surgical oncologist may make mistakes before, during, or after cancer surgery with catastrophic results. Surgical errors in the course of treating life-threatening conditions like cancer can very readily cost patients their lives.
Also commonly, errors occur due to miscommunication or failures to communicate between oncologists and nurses regarding patient emergencies or between oncologists and referring physicians looking for quick advice about a patient. Information that is not carefully communicated or received may result in patient injuries. For example, a doctor who disregards a nurse’s reports of a patient’s distress may be negligent if the patient’s condition worsens without medical intervention. In addition, doctors who advise other physicians without the full picture of the patient and their symptoms may be responsible for incorrect advice that harms the patient.
What do You Have to Prove to Win a Lawsuit Against an Oncologist?
No doubt oncologists have tough jobs with gravely ill patients. And yet, they are accountable to uphold the standards of practice in their field. For a medical malpractice claim to be successful, the claimant must show the specialist failed to perform up to the standards of similarly situated specialists. Thus, if an oncologist failed to follow up with a cancer patient post treatment to run scans for cancer periodically, they may be held liable for malpractice if their negligence results in patient harm. Leading medical associations and boards in oncology set forth the best practices for physicians in the field and medical experts with similar training and experience can attest to an oncologist’s failures in administering care. Evidence of an oncologist’s inexcusable errors, combined with expert testimony about what an oncologist with a patient of the kind should have done in the same situation, are compelling support for a malpractice claim seeking damages.
Talk to our Skilled NJ Oncologist Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you were injured by an oncologist or someone you love suffered due to oncologist malpractice, seek counsel from the dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group for additional information about filing a claim. We can investigate the sequence of events in your cancer case to determine what happened, where mistakes may have occurred, and if an oncologist can be held responsible. After determining your grounds for a lawsuit, our lawyers can assess the damages to you or a loved one and work to ensure you are compensated for your medical, economic, and noneconomic losses. Since there is a time limit within which to file a medical malpractice claim against an oncologist in New Jersey, you should contact an attorney without delay. Our firm is here to assist you with further guidance, compassion, and extensive medical malpractice litigation experience. Contact 973-435-4551 for a free consultation.
If you are wondering about filing a malpractice lawsuit against an oncologist in New Jersey, Fronzuto Law Group can assist you.
Contact us 24/7 at (973)-435-4551 for a free consultation and discuss your case with our attorneys.Contact Us
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