Having a medical condition misdiagnosed can mean you’ll be given the wrong medication or not receive any treatment at all. As a result, your condition could get worse or you might suffer an adverse reaction to the wrong medication. If that’s the case, you may be eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis claim for compensation for your suffering.
If you or a loved one have been affected by medical misdiagnosis, our team could help. We’ll start by reviewing your case on a no-obligation basis. During your call, we’ll provide legal advice about making a claim for medical misdiagnosis. If the chances of winning your claim appear to be strong enough, we could connect you with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel. You won’t need to pay them upfront if your claim is taken on. Similarly, you won’t need to pay for their work if the claim fails because of their No Win No Fee service.
To learn more about how misdiagnosis claims work, please read through the rest of this guide. Alternatively, call us on 0800 6524 881 to begin a claim today.
Table of contents
- What Constitutes Medical Misdiagnosis?
- Examples Of Medical Misdiagnosis
- Common Medical Conditions That Are Misdiagnosed
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Medical Misdiagnosis?
- How Is Breach Of Duty Assessed In Misdiagnosis Claims?
- Evidence To Support A Misdiagnosis Medical Negligence Claim
- Claiming Compensation For A Loved One
- How Much Compensation For Misdiagnosis Could I Claim?
- Misdiagnosis Claims Time Limits
- Do I Need A Solicitor For A Medical Misdiagnosis Claim?
Before looking at the examples of medical misdiagnosis claims it should be noted that not all cases of misdiagnosis result in additional injury/ discomfort although some can lead to fatalities that could perhaps have been avoided. The three main examples of medical misdiagnosis that can lead to compensation claims include:
There are numerous common symptoms that may appear in a variety of different medical conditions. An incorrect or wrong diagnosis is probably one of the more common examples of medical misdiagnosis because on occasion the medical practitioner may believe that various symptoms relate to an unrelated condition. It is only after various tests are carried out to eliminate potential issues that the final medical diagnosis can be arrived at.
In some cases, people will go through treatment that was not actually required such as chemotherapy and even the removal of organs due to an incorrect diagnosis. At this point, it is also worth noting the mental stress which can follow an incorrect diagnosis and the fact that this is something that’s recognised by the courts.
Total misdiagnosis is unfortunately still fairly common especially when you bear in mind that one symptom on its own may not indicate an underlying issue. However, if a medical practitioner failed to link together various symptoms which should, in theory, indicate an underlying issue then there may be serious consequences further down the line. This can have a major impact on not only the person’s physical health but also mental well-being. In reality, a total misdiagnosis will at best lead to an extended period of recovery, during which the correct diagnosis is made.
Compensation claims for medical misdiagnosis tend to involve a variety of different conditions where a late diagnosis was made. As with any medical negligence claim, there needs to be proof of negligence which in this instance relates to an inability to diagnose a fairly obvious medical condition. In some situations, a reluctance to carry out further tests, which would have clarified the underlying condition or limited access/no immediate access to the appropriate testing equipment can exacerbate an already challenging situation.
In hindsight, it is very easy to look back and identify issues of a total, wrong, or late diagnosis but in the thick of the action, it may not be as easy. The general measurement for negligence identifies the level of treatment you should expect from a similarly experienced/ qualified medical practitioner against that which you received. The majority of misdiagnosis claims will involve the input of additional specialists across various fields.
Importantly, a medical misdiagnosis could be caused by medical professionals employed by the NHS or a private healthcare provider.
Some forms of medical misdiagnosis that might lead to a compensation claim include:
- Diabetes misdiagnosis.
- Cancer misdiagnosis.
- Sepsis misdiagnosis.
- Brain damage misdiagnosis.
- Meningitis misdiagnosis.
- Internal bleeding misdiagnosis.
Some of the problems that could result from a medical misdiagnosis include:
- Surgery may be required rather than your condition being treated by medication.
- Some conditions might become untreatable if not spotted quickly enough.
- The symptoms you suffer may be worse than they would have been had treatment happened earlier.
- In the worst cases, medical misdiagnosis claims might be required because your loved one has died because of a medical professional’s mistake.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a medical misdiagnosis, please call us to let us review your options for free.
In reality, a misdiagnosis can take in any form of a medical condition with varying degrees of severity. Some of the more common injuries that can go undiagnosed include:
Over the years the introduction of technology-based testing systems has to a certain extent reduced the number of medical misdiagnosis claims. However, a number of common mistakes leading to misdiagnosis have emerged:
- Simple GP/ Doctor negligence.
- Failure to utilise additional tests to identify any underlying medical condition.
- Inadequate experience with a particular medical condition can lead to misdiagnosis or late diagnosis.
- Failure to match symptoms with available tests.
- Simple human error carrying out tests or reviewing scans and x-rays.
- Incomplete patient medical records can also lead to misdiagnosis.
- Substandard training and supervision especially where junior medics are involved.
If you decide to claim compensation for medical misdiagnosis, your solicitor will check your eligibility against the following criteria:
- Was there a breach of duty? Also referred to as negligence, this is where the level of care provided by a medical professional fell below what could reasonably have been expected.
- Were you injured or made ill or was your condition made worse as a direct result of the negligence? This is referred to as causation in medical negligence claims.
It’s important to note that it’s extremely unlikely you’d be compensated if both of the above are not proven. For example:
- Compensation would not be awarded if the medical professional was negligent but you did not suffer as a result.
- Similarly, if you suffered following treatment but the medical professional was not found to be negligent, you would not be able to claim.
As you can see, it’s not always clear when you might be able to make a medical misdiagnosis claim. Therefore, we would always suggest that you seek professional legal advice about your options.
A solicitor alone cannot prove that a doctor was negligent as they don’t have the necessary medical skills. Therefore, for medical misdiagnosis, the Bolam test is used to ascertain whether the doctor did something wrong.
This test asks a body of similarly trained medical professionals to assess what happened. They will look at the situation to determine whether they’d have done things differently.
If they agree that the doctor acted appropriately during your treatment, they would not be found to be negligent. However, if they believe the doctor didn’t use the correct procedures, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
While this process does sound complex, you shouldn’t worry too much. If your case is accepted by one of our specialists, they’ll ensure all the correct tests are used to try and prove liability for your suffering. Please call today to find out whether we could help you begin a misdiagnosis claim.
To support your misdiagnosis claim, an independent medical expert will need to assess your injuries. This will involve a meeting where they’ll review your suffering with you and discuss how you’ve been affected. They will also look through your medical records.
After the meeting, the expert will prepare a report for all parties involved in your claim. This will list the injuries or illnesses you’ve dealt with and it will also explain your prognosis.
If your loved one is unable to claim for themselves following a medical misdiagnosis, it is possible that you could claim on their behalf. This allows them to be compensated for their suffering without any extra pressure on them relating to the claims process.
Additionally, if you’ve lost a loved one who has passed away because of a misdiagnosis, we could also help you. While no amount of money will replace your loved one, it could help if you:
- Need to cover the cost of their funeral or have other costs related to their death.
- Were financially dependent on their income.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your options with a claims advisor.
When you make a medical negligence claim for misdiagnosis, the amount of compensation your solicitor calculates you should receive will usually be based on:
- General damages. This compensates for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the medical negligence. Loss of amenity means where you can’t enjoy things you used to do before you were made ill. This could be claimed even if you were only affected temporarily.
- Special damages. Here you’ll claim for losses, expenses, or costs incurred as a result of the misdiagnosis. For example, you may need to claim for care costs, travel expenses or any lost income.
If your medical misdiagnosis claim is taken on, your solicitor will review your claim in full to determine what could be included.
When seeking damages for medical misdiagnosis, time limits will apply. In most circumstances this means you’ll have 3-years to claim from either:
- The date you were made ill; or
- When your condition was diagnosed and linked to a misdiagnosis.
Pinning down how long you have to claim can be tricky in misdiagnosis cases. Therefore, please call to check with our advisors. The sooner you begin, the more time your medical negligence solicitor will get to collect supporting evidence if your case is taken on.
As we’ve hopefully shown, medical misdiagnosis claims will typically require a lot of investigation. They’ll also need medical evidence to prove what went wrong and how you have suffered. If the misdiagnosis claims process isn’t managed properly, you could miss out on being compensated properly (or at all).
We believe that if you have a medical negligence solicitor on your side, they’ll improve your chances of claiming successfully. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will:
- Liaise with you to get a full understanding of how you’ve suffered.
- Arrange for you to be assessed by an independent expert.
- Collect evidence to support your case.
- File your claim with the NHS or a private medical practitioner.
- Provide extra evidence where needed to try and answer any queries or objections.
- Negotiate on your behalf to try and achieve a fair compensation settlement.
Remember, our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service which means they will bear the financial risks involved with claiming instead of you.
Are you interested in starting a claim today? If so, you can call us on 0800 6524 881 right away. There’s nothing to lose by calling as you’ll be provided with free legal advice on medical misdiagnosis claims whatever you choose to do next.