When cancer is misdiagnosed, it could mean you suffer more, have to undergo more invasive treatment or, in the worst cases, treatment is no longer an option. Any form of suffering that results from cancer misdiagnosis could mean you’re eligible to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim for compensation.
In this guide to claiming compensation for cancer misdiagnosis, we’ll explain what types of negligence and mistakes could entitle you to compensation, and how the cancer misdiagnosis claims process works.
Are you ready to take action right away? If so, please call today on 0800 6524 881. Otherwise, please read on to find out more about the cancer misdiagnosis claims process.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- Types Of Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Types Of Negligence Leading To Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
- How Much Compensation For Cancer Misdiagnosis Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation
- Claiming Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation For Somebody Else
- Starting A Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim
To be eligible to claim compensation for cancer misdiagnosis, in most cases you’ll need to prove that:
- The medical professional who treated you acted in a way that was below a level you could reasonably expect of a competent practitioner (breach of duty); and
- The breach of duty caused you to become ill or for your condition to get worse (causation).
In some cases, it’s quite easy to prove negligence but much harder to prove causation. This can be a complex task requiring a lot of specialist medical evidence. Our belief is that it’s easier to win a cancer misdiagnosis claim if you’ve got a medical negligence solicitor on your side. If one of our team takes your claim on, they’ll use their expertise and experience to try and ensure your case is proven clearly and concisely.
Importantly, you can claim compensation for cancer misdiagnosis against the NHS or a private medical provider. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Some of the more common cancers that are misdiagnosed for which you could claim compensation if it was due to medical negligence include:
- Breast cancer.
- Lung cancer.
- Colorectal cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer.
Some other types of cancer that might be misdiagnosed include:
- Bowel cancer.
- Prostate cancer.
- Skin cancer.
- Cervical cancer.
- Ovarian cancer.
- Testicular cancer.
As we progress through this guide, we’ll explain some of the errors that could lead you to claim and what evidence you could use to support your claim. If you have any questions along the way, please get in touch.
The NHS is a wonderful health service where most patients receive successful treatment. However, there are times when cancer is misdiagnosed or diagnosed later than it should be.
Cancer might be misdiagnosed if your symptoms present in a way that is similar to another condition. One example is where mastitis or fibrocystic breast disease is diagnosed instead of breast cancer.
Treatment for colon cancer is often more successful if it is diagnosed early. However, it can often be misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis, haemorrhoids or inflammatory bowel disease. Similarly, pancreatic cancer can be misdiagnosed as diabetes, gallstones or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Finally, the symptoms of lung cancer such as coughing, shortness of breath or wheezing can often be attributed to other respiratory problems.
However, this does not in any way excuse a cancer misdiagnosis because of medical negligence. Medical professionals are expected to use various diagnostic procedures to confirm or rule out possible life-threatening illnesses. If a GP does not have the resources to perform the necessary tests, they should send their patient to a specialist for more intensive investigations.
Sometimes, even when tests are carried out, human error or faulty laboratory equipment can result in incorrect results leading to a misdiagnosis. The subsequent delayed or incorrect treatment may cause cancer to advance further. In extreme cases, the misdiagnosis may be discovered too late for any further treatment to be effective.
We can help with cancer misdiagnosis claims by offering a free review of your options. So, please call today to see if you have grounds to take action.
In this section, we’ve set out some examples of negligence in misdiagnosing cancer that could mean you’re eligible to claim. They include:
- Missed diagnosis. Here, the symptoms of cancer are not spotted and thus, no treatment is offered.
- Misdiagnosis. Where cancer is diagnosed as another condition meaning that the wrong treatment is provided.
- Late diagnosis. Here, the diagnosis of cancer will happen at the second, third or later opportunity.
- Failure to refer. In this case, a negligent GP may have noticed some cancer symptoms but failed to send you for further tests and treated you for something else instead.
If you’re not sure if you’ve got a valid case, please call and ask. Our advice is free whether you start a claim or not.
It’s important to note that there isn’t one set compensation amount that all victims of clinical negligence would receive. When making a cancer misdiagnosis claim, a solicitor will calculate how much compensation to claim taking into account both general damages and special damages.
In summary, if you do decide to claim, you could be compensated for:
- The pain and suffering you’ve endured because of the misdiagnosis.
- Any impact on your ability to participate in hobbies and social or family events.
- Loss of earnings (and future loss of earnings).
- Care costs or the value of care provided by a loved one.
- Medical treatment costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Changes to your home or vehicle. For example, you might claim for the cost of a lift to be fitted to your home if lung cancer means you can’t climb the stairs.
To find out what you may be eligible to claim compensation for, please contact us today.
If your claim is taken on, your solicitor will use various pieces of evidence to support it. This could include:
- Your medical records. These can be used to see what diagnosis your doctor initially made and what symptoms they recorded. Also, they could be used to show how you’ve suffered because of the misdiagnosis.
- Financial records. This might be important if your suffering has caused you to lose out financially.
- Independent medical reports. All claims require an assessment by an independent medical specialist. Usually, your solicitor will arrange this locally to save you from travelling too far.
- A statement from you. This can be used to explain how you’ve suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis. You could explain what pain you’ve felt and what events you’ve missout out on because of your condition.
If you’d like to see if one of our team of specialist solicitors could help you, please get in touch.
As will all medical negligence claims, there is a 3-year time limit for cancer misdiagnosis claims. This will usually begin from the date your cancer was diagnosed properly or when the misdiagnosis was identified.
There is no definitive answer to the question, “How long do cancer misdiagnosis claims take?”. That’s because each claim is unique. Where you’ve recovered already and liability is agreed early on, your claim could take a number of months.
However, if your condition is ongoing and it’s not fully understood how you’ll suffer, your claim will take longer. That said, your solicitor may be able to request interim payments to help cover any immediate costs. More information on what interim payments are can be found here.
If you have lost a loved one because their cancer was misdiagnosed, you could claim on behalf of their estate. This would progress in the same way as any other claim. Additionally, you might be entitled to claim a bereavement payment or a settlement if you were financially dependent on the deceased. Also, you could claim for the cost of a funeral and other immediate expenses too.
If you would like help claiming compensation for the death of a loved one because of cancer misdiagnosis, please see this page for more advice or call us today.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand when cancer misdiagnosis claims can be made. If you would like our support with claiming, please get in touch. Our advisors can be reached on 0800 6524 881.
If your claim is accepted, we’ll appoint a medical negligence solicitor from our team to it. They’ll work hard to try and prove how your suffering was caused by the misdiagnosis. They’ll represent you in any negotiations over a settlement amount to try and ensure you’re paid the maximum compensation possible.
Remember, we provide free legal advice about claiming and you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis if your cancer misdiagnosis claim is taken on.