A diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event with far-reaching impacts on the patient, and their family, friends, and community. Sadly, cancer is commonplace in our society, with roughly 5,000 Americans diagnosed every day. Cancer patients suddenly find themselves in a race against the clock, working with doctors to stop the spread of cancer, eliminate it from their bodies, and keep it from returning.
But what happens when a doctor fails to diagnose cancer in a timely manner? What if he or she misses symptoms and signs that should have been obvious?
The consequences can be tragic. In a critical period where every day counts, a failure to timely diagnose cancer robs the patient of the ability to seek effective and timely treatment while the condition is still manageable. It can literally mean the difference between life and death.
For the best results, you need the best Maine medical malpractice lawyers
Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S. We have obtained several of the largest medical malpractice jury verdicts in Maine history, and we have recovered $1 billion for our injured clients.
Medical professionals are expected to follow the standards of care accepted by the members of their profession and specialty. A failure to diagnose cancer can occur when a physician does not properly investigate, test or follow up to timely diagnose and treat a patient’s condition. Failure to diagnose cancer is one type of medical malpractice, and patients who have suffered as a result have the right to recover for damages.
Our attorneys understand the medicine and the relevant laws in these cases. We have successfully represented people throughout Maine who have been harmed because of a failure to timely diagnose cancer and other medical conditions.
You should also contact us if you lost a loved one to cancer and believe it should have been diagnosed earlier, as you may be eligible to recover damages through a wrongful death claim.
Know the risks: Fast facts from the American Cancer Society
- What is cancer? Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death. Cancer is caused by both external factors (tobacco, infectious organisms, chemicals, and radiation) and internal factors (genetics, hormones, immune conditions, and mutations that occur from metabolism).
- How common is cancer? Lifetime risk refers to the probability that an individual will develop cancer over the course of a lifetime. In the U.S., men have slightly less than a 1 in 2-lifetime risk of developing some type of cancer; for women, the risk is a little more than 1 in 3. However, it is important to note that these estimates are based on the average experience of the general population and may overestimate or underestimate individual risk, which is determined by the internal and external factors noted above.
- Are cancer death rates rising or falling? Although survival statistics vary greatly depending on both the type of cancer and stage at diagnosis, the overall cancer death rate in the U.S. has declined since the early 1990s. The most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, published in the spring of 2015, shows that from 2002 to 2011, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8 percent per year among men; 1.4 percent per year among women; 2.1 percent per year among children ages 0-14; and 2.3 percent per year among children ages 0-19.
- How can I prevent cancer? Avoid known risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol. Early detection of cancer, which usually results in less extensive treatment and better outcomes, can also be achieved through screening for some cancers. Screening is known to reduce mortality for several types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, rectum, and cervix.
A law firm that actually listens to you
We have helped numerous victims who have been harmed by medical malpractice and we understand the challenges you face. We realize that beyond the physical struggles, the emotional and financial impacts can be overwhelming.
Our lawyers and staff members take the time to listen to you, understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved.
Finding Solutions to Improve Your Life
Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine.
Our trial lawyers have won thousands of claims on behalf of those injured in a car accident, and each year we build on that successful track record.
Our attorneys and staff members will take the time to listen to you, work to understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We help you recover and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.
We'll Take Care of the Heavy Lifting
Get Peace of Mind
It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.
You may need to discuss whether an autopsy is necessary to prove that the negligence caused a love one’s death.
Obtaining complete medical records from hospitals and other providers is a daunting task.
Maine’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is short in comparison to the statute of limitations for general personal injury claims.
Important evidence may be lost or degraded over time.
You’ll need help navigating your medical care and dealing with financial pressures.
You need peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
Paralysis due to mismanagement of
Catastrophic injuries in a head-on car accident
Wrongful death case involving negligent
Plaintiff Rear Ended by
Delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Significant Head Injury Car Accident
What do I prepare for the first call or meeting with you?
For your first meeting with us, simply tell us your story and explain in your own words what happened and how your life has been affected. If you’re meeting with us in person, you can bring notes about what happened to you, driver insurance information, names of any witnesses, photos of the accident damages or injuries, medical records, and other related paperwork if you have it and if it’s applicable, but that information isn’t necessary. Really all you need to do is be yourself, speak with us honestly, and be willing to tackle your problems with us.
Initial conversations between potential clients and our staff members are often done over the phone. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential and protected under law.
How much will a lawyer cost me?
The lawyers at Berman & Simmons work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing up front and nothing unless we settle or win your case. We will consult with you, evaluate your situation, and do initial research free of charge. This is true even if we decide you don’t have a valid claim. We will also cover all necessary case expenses and you will not be obligated to reimburse us until and unless we recover monies on your behalf. if we do take your case and win a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor, a percentage of the compensation goes to pay for our costs and the work done by our legal team.
How will I know if I have a case?
To pursue a case, we will need to prove that you suffered a substantial personal injury and the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another party. A bad result alone is not enough to establish negligence. We let you know upfront if we are able to move forward with the legal process, or if we don’t think you have a case. Generally, we will know if you have a case after our first phone call or meeting.
If we believe you have a valid claim and decide to move forward with litigation, our attorneys and staff will then take it from there and do everything else that needs to be done, including obtaining and reviewing records relevant to your case, such as accident reports and other law enforcement documents, employer records, medical records, and other information.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Every case is different, and there is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be resolved. Some cases end in a matter of months, while the most complex and challenging cases, such as a medical malpractice case, can span several years. The vast majority of cases, however, are resolved before a trial and usually within a year.
The goal is to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, no matter how long it takes whether that comes in the form of a pre-trial settlement, or with a jury verdict in your favor.
How much is my case worth?
There are many factors that need to be considered when determining the value of your case. Every case is unique and it takes a team effort — including your attorney, staff researchers, and outside experts — to determine the extent of your damages and how much your case is worth. There are two types of damages for which you could receive
compensation: Economic and non-economic.
If your case goes to trial and a jury agrees you deserve compensation, the jury members will decide how much the money you should receive for each category of damages.