According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. These conditions are not limited to one part of the mouth; they can affect areas such as the tongue, tonsils, and gums. If a medical professional encounters symptoms or warning signs of oral cancer in any area but fails to take any corrective action, patients may have a medical malpractice case on their hands.
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating; however, the earlier a treatment begins, the better chance a patient has to overcome the condition. This can be especially true for oral cancers, many of which can be fatal if not treated aggressively. Needless to say, early detection is key. If recommended bi-annual checkups are a patient’s only interaction with a dentist, one or two missed diagnoses can postpone a critically needed cancer treatment for a year or more.
What Are a Dentist’s Responsibilities?
While visiting the doctor can be difficult, it is an important step in maintaining your oral health. Dentists and other medical professionals have a duty of care to protect not only your pearly whites but also to safeguard from deadly threats such as cancer. Part of a comprehensive dental exam or checkup involves screening for exactly these types of threats. If a dentist discovers anything suspicious, they have a responsibility to inform you, schedule additional examinations, or recommend you to a specialist for treatment.
When a dentist fails to uphold their duty of care and a patient suffers as a result, victims may be able to take legal action in the form of a medical malpractice claim. Generally, in a malpractice claim, it must be shown that the victim regularly saw a doctor, that the doctor acted negligently in their treatment, and that the patient suffered damages as a direct result of the doctor’s negligence.
About Goodman Acker P.C.
At Goodman Acker P.C., our legal team is backed by more than 75 years of experience helping the injured get the compensation they deserve. If you were injured through no fault of your own or through the negligent actions of another person, we want to hear your story.
Questions about your case? Call (248) 286-8100 and speak with a Detroit personal injury attorney from our firm today.