A Guide To A Delayed Diagnosis Claim

If you have been negatively impacted by errors in medical diagnoses, you could be eligible to begin a delayed diagnosis claim. Our guide examines the criteria you will need to meet in order to begin such a claim, as well as how our solicitors could assist you in this regard.

We have included some relevant examples of how a delayed diagnosis could occur and how you prove that medical negligence took place. You will also find information on how delayed diagnosis compensation is calculated in a medical negligence claim under the two different heads of loss.

Our final section is concerned with the advantages of working with one of our solicitors for your potential delayed diagnosis compensation claim under the specific type of No Win No Fee contract they can offer. 

To get your free assessment of eligibility or to ask any questions you may have regarding the medical negligence claims process, get in touch with our advisors. Our team are available 24 hours a day via the following:

  • Call the team on 0800 073 8801
  • You can also contact us through our website.
  • Or you can click the live chat button at the bottom of your screen to talk about your delayed diagnosis claim. 

medical negligence written on a blue clipboard next to a stethoscope and agavel hammer

Select A Section

  1. How We Can Help You Start A Delayed Diagnosis Claim 
  2. What Is A Delayed Diagnosis Claim?
  3. Examples Of Delayed Diagnosis 
  4. Calculating Delayed Diagnosis Compensation Payouts
  5. How Long Do You Have To Claim For Delayed Diagnosis?
  6. How No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors Could Help You 

How We Can Help You Start A Delayed Diagnosis Claim

Our solicitors have years and years of experience in handling medical negligence claims. After our advisory team has decided you’re eligible to begin a delayed diagnosis claim, one of our delayed diagnosis solicitors could assist you with the following:

  • Calculating the potential value of the harm you sustained due to the medical negligence.
  • Helping draft a Letter of Claim and issuing this to your healthcare provider to notify them of your intention to claim against them.
  • Negotiating with the healthcare provider’s legal representatives on your behalf.
  • Assisting you with the collection of evidence for your claim (more on this below).

What Evidence Can Be Used In A Delayed Diagnosis Claim?

Supporting evidence will form the cornerstone of your delayed diagnosis claim. Evidence can be used to show the delay that occurred, if the delay occurred through negligent actions and the harm that this delay caused, as well as provide details of any additional treatment made necessary by the delay.

Possible examples of evidence include:

  • Copies of relevant medical records: this can include copies of any scans or tests. You can also provide records from any additional treatment necessitated by the delayed diagnosis.
  • Keep a diary: note down your symptoms, the treatment you received and the impacts this had on your physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Witness statements: take the contact information of anyone who attended your appointments so they can provide a statement during the delayed diagnosis compensation claims process.

For further guidance on how we can help you with making a misdiagnosis compensation claim, you can contact our advisors using the details provided above 24/7. 

What Is A Delayed Diagnosis Claim?

A delayed diagnosis is where your condition is not diagnosed initially. However, not all delayed diagnosis cases will mean a medical professional is liable for this. A delayed diagnosis could happen for different reasons. To be eligible to make a medical negligence claim for a delayed diagnosis, it must be proven that the delay in diagnosing a condition was caused by a breach of duty, and it must have also meant that avoidable harm was caused.

All medical professionals, in both public and private facilities, owe a duty of care to their patients to provide medical care that meets the correct standard.

A failure to treat patients with this expected standard that results in a patient suffering avoidable harm can constitute medical negligence. “Avoidable harm” refers to harm experienced by a patient that would never have occurred had the medical professional met the correct standard of care.

The eligibility criteria to begin a delayed diagnosis claim are as follows:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by a medical professional or healthcare provider. 
  2. The duty of care was breached through their failure to meet the expected standard of care.
  3. This failure resulted in you suffering avoidable harm.

If a medical professional fails to diagnose you correctly because they breached their duty of care, you could be awarded compensation for any unnecessary suffering. You will also need to make sure your claim is brought within the relevant time limit.

Examples Of Delayed Diagnosis

To illustrate this concept further, we have detailed a few possible scenarios where you could be eligible to make a delayed diagnosis claim:

  • A doctor in a hospital failed to accurately interpret your chest x-ray and, despite your displaying clear symptoms of pneumonia, misdiagnosed you with a different condition. This pneumonia misdiagnosis meant your condition had worsened significantly by the time the pneumonia was identified. 
  • A lung cancer misdiagnosis because test results were mixed up with another patient’s this allowed the cancer to worsen. 
  • A GP failed to recognise clear symptoms of a stroke. This meant that a delay in treatment caused brain damage. 

doctor holding a clip board with a stethoscope around his neck for a delayed diagnosis guide

There are a wide variety of factors that could lead to you receiving a delayed diagnosis. To find out if you’re eligible to make a delayed diagnosis claim in your particular circumstances, speak to one of our advisors today using the contact information provided above.

Examples Of Delayed Diagnosis Compensation Payouts

You may be wondering how much compensation will be awarded if your case wins. There are two heads of loss that compensation following a successful delayed diagnosis claim can be awarded under. The physical and psychiatric effects of the negligent treatment are compensated under general damages. Associated financial losses are compensated under special damages.

As we specified above, one of the tasks a medical negligence solicitor can complete for you is calculating a possible value for general damages in your claim. Those responsible for valuing your claim can make reference to the guidelines from the Judicial College. Referred to as the JCG, this detailed publication lists an array of different types of harm, alongside their guideline compensation amounts. You can see a relevant selection of these figures in the table here.

Compensation Table

It is important we specify the following: firstly, the top entry is not a JCG figure, and secondly, these figures are intended as guidance only due to the individual nature of medical negligence claims.

Type of Harm Severity Guideline Amount Notes
Multiple Instances of Serious Harm and special damages. Very Serious Up to £500,000 and above Multiple instances of serious harm with loss of earnings, medical expenses and additional special damages.
Brain Damage Moderately Severe (b) £219,070 to £282,010 Very serious disability resulting in a substantial dependency. This bracket includes both physical (paralysis) and cognitive (intellectual impairment) disablement.
Kidney Serious and Permanent Damage (a) £169,400 to £210,400 The loss of, or serious and permanent damage to both kidneys.
Chest Injuries Removal of Lung and/or Serious Heart Damage (a) £100,670 to £150,110 Total removal of one lung and/or serious heart damage with permanent significant scarring and prolonged and serious pain
Lung Disease Lung Cancer (b) £70,030 to £97,330 Cancer causing severe pain and impairment of lung function and impact on quality of life. This bracket is typically awarded for cases involving older persons.
Back Injuries Severe (a)(iii) £38,780 to £69,730 Cases involving disc fractures or lesions or damage to soft tissues resulting in chronic condition where disabilities such as impaired agility and continuing severe pain remain despite treatment.
Ankle Injuries Severe (b) £31,310 to £50,060 Injuries that require a lengthy treatment period or period in plaster where pins or plates have been inserted. Significant residual disabilities such as difficulty walking and ankle instability will be present.
Deafness Total Hearing Loss in One Ear (c) £31,310 to £45,540 The level of award in this bracket will depend on the severity of associated tinnitus, headaches and dizziness.
Injuries to pelvis and hips Moderate (b)(ii) £12,590 to £26,590 This bracket is usually awarded in cases where there has been a hip replacement or other surgery.
Shoulder Moderate (c) £7,890 to £12,770 Frozen shoulder with symptoms of discomfort and movement limitation persisting for about 2 years.

Special Damages

Monetary losses stemming from the avoidable harm you have experienced could be reimbursed under special damages. We have included some possible examples of costs you could claim compensation for here:

  • Home adaptations.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Travel costs.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Care costs.

You will need to submit supporting evidence showing your financial losses. It is therefore important to keep hold of relevant financial documents (payslips, invoices, receipts, travel tickets etc) as proof you incurred monetary losses due to the avoidable harm you experienced.

To get a more detailed estimate of how much compensation you could claim for a delayed diagnosis i.e. the effects it has had on your physical and mental health, speak to an advisor on the number provided below.

How Long Do You Have To Claim For Delayed Diagnosis?

The time limit in medical negligence cases is established by the Limitation Act 1980. Typically, this limitation period is 3 years from the date the negligence took place or from the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge refers to the date when you would have been expected to first realise you had been subjected to medical negligence.

However, exceptions to this can be made in some circumstances. For example, if the patient was a minor when the medical negligence took place, the time limit is paused until they reach adulthood. For those patients who are of a reduced mental capacity, the time limit to begin their delayed diagnosis compensation claim is paused indefinitely.

In both these scenarios, a suitable adult can apply to act as the patient’s litigation friend and pursue the claim on their behalf. To find out more about the time limits in delayed diagnosis claims or if any exceptions are relevant to your specific circumstances, contact our team today using the details given below.

How No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors Could Help You

To get started with a potential delayed diagnosis claim, contact our advisory team for a free assessment of your eligibility. If eligible, one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors could offer expert legal advice and take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

The type of No Win No Fee contract our solicitors can offer their services under is called a Conditional Fee Agreement or “CFA.” By making your potential claim with us under a CFA, you will benefit from the following features:

  • In most cases, there will be no initial fee for the solicitor to commence work on your claim
  • You will also not incur fees during the claims process for this work.
  • Finally, if in the event your claim does not succeed, you will not be liable for any fees for the services the solicitor has provided.

However, if your claim is successful, a medical negligence compensation settlement will be awarded. The delayed diagnosis solicitor will deduct a percentage of your compensation as their success fee. Success fee percentages are legally capped, meaning you will, therefore, keep most of any awarded compensation.

To get your free assessment of your eligibility, receive specialist legal advice, or ask any questions you may have regarding the medical negligence claims process, get in touch. Our team are available 24 hours a day via the following:

  • Call the team on 0800 073 8801
  • You can also contact us through our website.
  • Or you can click the live chat button at the bottom of your screen. 

A specialist medical negligence solicitor discussing with their client at a desk with a set of scales and a gavel hammer

Further Resource On Medical Negligence Claims

You can read some of our other medical negligence claims guides:

We have also included these external resources you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide on making a delayed diagnosis claim. You can find out more about the medical negligence claims process from our advisors or get a free assessment of your eligibility to start a claim. Our team are available 24 hours a day via the contact information provided above.