By Jo Anderson. Lasy Updated 25th July 2023. Head and neck cancer misdiagnosis can cause serious harm, and you may wonder if you can claim compensation. According to the NHS, there are over thirty areas within the head and neck where cancer can develop, ranging from your mouth and lips to your voice box.
This guide will explain when you might be eligible to make a misdiagnosis of cancer compensation claim. We will also discuss the duty of care owed to you by medical professionals and how a breach of this duty could lead to a misdiagnosis.
Following this, our guide will explain how compensation is calculated in medical negligence claims and how providing evidence can help strengthen your case. Finally, we will explore how one of our expert medical negligence solicitors could help you start your claim.
Our advisors are here to help. If you have any more questions about the claims process, or if you’d like to get started, contact our team today:
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- Can You Claim For Head And Neck Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- What Is The Most Common Head And Neck Cancer?
- How To Prove A Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim
- How Much Compensation For Cancer Misdiagnosis Could I Claim?
- Why Make Your No Win No Fee Claim For Head And Neck Cancer Misdiagnosis With Our Team?
- Learn More About Claims For Cancer Misdiagnosis
While the misdiagnosis of head and neck cancer can have serious consequences, you may not always be able to make a claim. Establishing negligence on the part of the medical professional who misdiagnosed you is the key to forming a valid claim.
All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. The duties of a doctor are clearly outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). Practitioners are expected to provide each and every patient with the correct standard of care to prevent any unnecessary harm.
If a medical professional breaches this duty of care, which causes your head and neck cancer to be misdiagnosed, you could claim if any avoidable harm is caused. For example, you could be misdiagnosed by a doctor if they fail to listen clearly to the symptoms you are describing and fail to refer you to a specialist. This leads to throat cancer going undiagnosed which allows the condition to get progressively worse. This is medical negligence.
Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limits
Usually, you will have three years to start a claim for cancer misdiagnosis, according to the Limitation Act 1980. This begins on the date of the medical negligence or when you connect your misdiagnosis with the negligence of a medical professional. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:
- Minors under the age of 18: If you are under eighteen, the limit is frozen until your 18th birthday and ends on your 21st birthday. A litigation friend can claim on your behalf while you are a minor.
- Those who lack the mental capacity to claim: If you do not have the mental capacity to claim for yourself, the time limit is frozen and a litigation friend can claim on your behalf at this time.
Contact our team today to find out if you could make a claim for head and neck cancer misdiagnosis due to clinical negligence.
Cancer Research UK reports that between 2016-2018 new head and neck cancer cases made up approximately 3% of all cancer cases reported in the UK, making it the 8th most common type of cancer. But, as we mentioned earlier, head and neck cancer covers over thirty areas in which cancer can develop.
According to the NHS, the most common head and neck cancer is mouth cancer. This occurs when tumours grow on your lips, in your mouth, or in your throat, though these are less common.
If you have suffered harm because of a head and neck cancer misdiagnosis, contact our team today.
Collecting evidence can help you prove your misdiagnosis compensation claim. Some examples of evidence that you could use to help strengthen your medical negligence claim include:
- Medical records: Your medical records, hospital charts, and GP’s notes all detail the treatment you receive while under the care of a medical professional, and as such, could be used to prove that the care you received did not meet the minimum standard
- Test results: The results of any tests you underwent to aid your diagnosis, for example, blood tests, MRI scans, and x-rays, could all be used as evidence in your claim
- Keeping a symptoms diary: Misdiagnosis can lead to an exacerbation of symptoms. Keeping a diary of symptoms creates a record of the harm you may suffer because of the misdiagnosis and can help strengthen your claim.
Your case may also go through the Bolam test. This is when a group of professionals relevant to the field, such as oncology or general practice, assess the case and the treatment you received. They then decide whether the actions of the medical professional involved were negligent, or if they met the expected standard of care.
Not all cases of misdiagnosis will mean a medical negligence claim is eligible. To have a free case assessment call our medical negligence claims team today.
If you successfully claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of head and neck cancer, your settlement could include general and special damages.
The first head of claim, general damages, compensates you for the avoidable pain and suffering you experienced due to your cancer misdiagnosis.
Legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them when valuing this head of claim. This document provides guideline compensation brackets for different types of harm. Below, we have put together a table with figures from the 16th edition of the JCG.
However, this table should only be used as a guide, as the various factors affecting your claim could affect your cancer misdiagnosis compensation payout.
|Brain Damage – Very Severe (a)
|£282,010 to £403,990
|The person may be able to follow some basic commands but there will be little evidence of any meaningful response to their environment and will require full-time care.
|Lung Disease (b)
|£70,030 to £97,330
|Usually an older person with lung cancer causing severe pain and impairment of function.
|Facial Disfigurement – Very Severe Scarring (a)
|£29,780 to £97,330
|Younger claimants in their teens to early 30s where the is a very disfiguring cosmetic effect and severe psychological reaction.
|Facial Disfigurement – Significant Scarring (c)
|£9,110 to £30,090
|The worst effects will have been reduced by plastic surgery, leaving some cosmetic disability.
|Impairment of Taste and Smell (a)
|In the region of £39,170
|Total loss of the sense of smell and taste.
|Impairment of Taste and Smell (b)
|£32,900 to £39,170
|Significant loss of taste and total loss of smell.
|Impairment of Taste and Smell (c)
|£24,990 to £32,900
|Loss of smell alone.
|Impairment of Taste and Smell (d)
|£19,200 to £24,990
|Loss of taste alone.
Special Damages You Could Claim
The second head of claim is special damages. If your misdiagnosis causes you to suffer financial losses, you could be able to claim these losses back under special damages. For example, you could be able to claim back the cost of:
- Travel to appointments
- Medical bills
- Domestic help or care
However, you must provide evidence of these losses if you want to claim them back. Because of this, it can be a good idea to save any receipts or invoices for expenses related to your misdiagnosis.
If you would like to learn more about compensation in head and neck cancer misdiagnosis claims, contact our advisors today.
One of our solicitors could help if you want to claim for a misdiagnosis of head and neck cancer. Our medical negligence solicitors offer their services through Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), which are a kind of No Win No Fee contract. With a CFA, you aren’t asked to pay any upfront fees for your solicitor to start work on your claim. Similarly, your solicitor will not ask for any ongoing payments as your claim progresses.
Should you make a successful claim, your solicitor takes a success fee out of your compensation award. They take this as a percentage, but it has a legislative cap, which allows you to keep most of what you receive. However, if your claim is unsuccessful, you do not pay this fee.
Our team of advisors can tell you if your claim is valid and if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors when you get in touch today:
To learn more about clinical and medical negligence claims through our helpful guides, we recommend:
- 10 Things You Should Know When Claiming Medical Negligence Compensation
- How To Claim For Clinical Negligence In Health And Social Care
- Medical Negligence Claims For Delays In Treatment
Or, for more helpful resources:
Contact our team today to start your claim for head and neck cancer misdiagnosis compensation.