When a patient seeks the assistance of a healthcare provider in any setting, it is expected that the provider will make a good faith effort to thoroughly assess and diagnose all brain tumor symptoms. The results of a delayed diagnosis can be severe, from lowered life expectancy to serious injury. A misdiagnosis of brain tumor symptoms, given the advanced diagnostic tools and training available to healthcare providers, is the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Symptoms Should Prompt Doctors to Look for Brain Tumor?
Many symptoms may indicate the presence of a tumor, but they are all inconclusive without the proper testing. Failing to order tests to rule out possible causes of symptoms represents actionable negligence by the treating doctor. Common brain tumor symptoms include the following.
- Blurring vision
- Recurring headaches
- Mood swings
- Loss of Memory
- Vomiting and nausea
- Problems with balance and motor skills
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
- Changes in hearing, vision and/or speech
Most doctors seeing a patient with one or more of these symptoms will order tests. Common tests used to diagnose brain tumor are the MRI, CT scan and EEG. If a patient exhibits multiple symptoms, the doctor may order a more definitive diagnostic tool, such as spinal tap, myelogram, angiogram, PET scan or skull X-ray. Medical malpractice occurs when the doctor fails to order tests or misinterprets the results of the test.
What is the Procedure for Bringing Medical Malpractice to Court?
There are 5 general steps to filing a malpractice suit. An attorney can ensure the proper procedure, as states may differ in requirements.
- Get a second opinion from a licensed healthcare provider. This written assessment should explain the negligence and injury resulting from misdiagnosis.
- Compose a letter to the offending physician that presents the facts of the case. This letter should explain the charge of malpractice, explain the damage that misdiagnosis caused, and contain the settlement you will accept to quit the charge of medical malpractice.
- If the doctor decides not to settle, you will need to file a standard petition form with the county clerk.
- The petition form should be filled out in detail, including an itemized list of damages that together comprise the initial acceptable settlement requested of the doctor.
- File the petition, and ask the county clerk about the procedure for serving the doctor.