As with any type of cancer, early diagnosis is key to successfully treating cervical cancer. However, if cervical cancer is misdiagnosed, it can result in additional suffering, more invasive medical procedures, or even render treatment useless in severe cases. Importantly, if you or a loved one has suffered from cervical cancer due to a misdiagnosis brought about by medical negligence, you might be eligible to make a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim.
In our guide to claiming compensation for a misdiagnosis of cervical cancer, we’ll describe the different forms of medical negligence and errors that could lead to a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim, as well as outline the steps involved in the process of filing a claim.
If you’re ready to make a claim for cervical cancer misdiagnosis, you can call us on 0800 6524 881 to get the process started. On the other hand, if you would like more information first, feel free to continue reading this guide.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim?
- Common Causes Of Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis
- What Are The Potential Consequences Of Misdiagnosed Cervical Cancer?
- How Much Compensation For Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim
- Time Limits for Claiming Compensation
- Starting The Cervical Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Process
When looking to claim compensation for cervical cancer misdiagnosis, there are two main criteria that need to be proven when filing a claim. These are:
- Breach of duty – You’ll need to show that a substandard level of care or treatment was given by a medical professional.
- Causation – You’ll need to prove that your suffering directly resulted from their breach of duty (causation).
A good way to test this is the ‘but for’ test which is a way of determining causation in medical negligence cases. In the context of misdiagnosed cervical cancer, the “but for” test could be used to determine whether the claimant’s cervical cancer would have been prevented or detected earlier if not for the medical professional’s negligence.
For example, if a patient visits their GP with symptoms of cervical cancer and a nurse fails to perform a timely and accurate pap smear test, the “but for” test would ask: “But for the nurse’s failure to perform the pap smear test, would the patient’s cervical cancer have been detected earlier?” If the answer is yes, then it could be argued that the nurse’s failure to perform the test was a contributing factor to the patient’s harm, and the patient may be entitled to compensation.
Cervical cancer misdiagnosis can happen due to a variety of reasons. These can include:
- Incorrectly interpreting a cervical cancer screening test.
- Failing to correctly interpret biopsy results or results from other diagnostic tests.
- Failing to follow up on abnormal results or questionable symptoms of cervical cancer.
- Making errors when entering data in the patient’s NHS medical records.
- Failing to refer the patient to a specialist consultant for further diagnostic tests, evaluation or treatment.
- Not providing adequate treatment or treatment for cervical cancer in a timely manner.
It’s important to note that when a misdiagnosis of cervical cancer does occur, it isn’t always the result of medical negligence. For example, a lack of symptoms in the early stages can make it hard to detect cervical cancer or false-negative screening tests. In these examples, it’s unlikely a claim would be viable, however, we’d still advise contacting us to discuss whether you’re eligible to make a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim.
The consequences resulting from misdiagnosed cervical cancer can unfortunately be very serious and potentially even life-threatening. They include:
- The cancer could grow leading to an advanced stage of cancer making it more difficult to treat.
- Patients given treatment for something else entirely may lead to negative side effects and potentially worsen the cancer.
- If a patient has been misdiagnosed and undergoes unnecessary treatment such as chemotherapy, it could lead to infertility.
- Psychological harm may be caused by a cervical cancer misdiagnosis.
- Cause a patient to incur extra medical costs or loss of income.
- Significantly reduce the patient’s chance of survival and increase the risk of metastases and recurrence.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a misdiagnosis of cervical cancer due to negligence, please contact our claims advisors for advice on your eligibility to claim compensation.
When making a claim for cervical cancer misdiagnosis, every part of the claim needs to be proven and justified. A medical negligence solicitor from our team will usually determine a settlement amount by considering both general and special damages. For example:
- General damages – These refer to the level of physical pain and suffering you have endured, any loss of amenity as a result of the misdiagnosis, and the level of emotional and psychological distress you have experienced.
- Special damages – These refer to any expenses you have incurred as a direct result of your cervical cancer misdiagnosis such as medical, travel and care costs. They also refer to any income you may have lost, including future income losses, missed promotions and bonuses.
In support of your claim and to help prove the extent of your suffering, you’ll be required to have a medical assessment. This can be done independently and can usually be booked with a local, approved medical professional.
If you decide to go ahead with claiming compensation for your misdiagnosis, you will need to provide evidence to back up your claim. Without evidence, it’s essentially your word against theirs, and so it’s important to gather the information that proves your allegations of medical negligence, and your suffering to be true. Evidence to support your claim could include:
- Medical records – This will provide the facts regarding your cancer from the initial diagnosis. It will also give an understanding of the level of suffering you have endured.
- Financial records – If you have had extra expenses such as medical costs and prescription costs for example. Or if you have had a loss of income due to your cervical cancer. These expenses, costs and losses can be included in the final settlement amount if the evidence, such as receipts, statements, and payslips are provided.
- Witness statements – If there are any witnesses who can back up your version of events, take their contact details so that they can be contacted to provide a witness statement if required.
- Expert witness assessment – The assessment from the medical professional as part of your claim.
- Personal statement – Write down everything you have gone through because of the cancer misdiagnosis including any physical or psychological effects, and negative effects on your quality of life.
A medical negligence solicitor will be able to help and assist you to collect information to ensure that you have sufficient evidence to support your claim and build a strong case. Please get in touch
Claims for medical negligence within the UK need to be started within 3 years, typically either from the date the injury happened or the date on which the injury was diagnosed.
Cervical cancer misdiagnosis claims can be complex and it may easily take over a year to reach the final verdict. Starting your claim as soon as possible is paramount to enable enough time to collect the relevant evidence and build a strong case.
If you are sadly wanting to claim compensation on the behalf of someone who has died from cervical cancer, we could help you to do so. If you do decide you want to make a claim, you will have 3 years from the date of their death to do so.
Starting a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim can be quite daunting. However, our advisors understand this and are here to help.
We offer a free consultation where you can discuss the details of what happened and ask us any questions regarding the claiming process. If we believe your claim has a good chance of success, a medical negligence solicitor from our panel may offer to pursue your claim on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis. Essentially that means that we will deal with the claim for you with no upfront costs.
If you are ready to begin a cervical cancer misdiagnosis claim or would like more information on the process, please call us on 0800 6524 881.