By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 15th January 2024. If you’ve suffered harm as a result of a misdiagnosis of cancer, you could be entitled to compensation. In this guide, we explain your legal rights and the process of claiming cancer misdiagnosis compensation.
We also explain how our specialist medical negligence solicitors can help you today on a No Win No Fee basis.
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- Can I Claim Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation?
- What Are The Causes Of Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims?
- What Types Of Cancer May Be Misdiagnosed?
- What Should I Do If My Cancer Has Been Misdiagnosed?
- The Average Payout For Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer
- Learn More About Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims
When claiming for cancer misdiagnosis compensation, it’s important to determine whether you have eligible grounds to claim. With any type of medical negligence claim, you’ll need to highlight that a healthcare professional has breached their duty of care to you and caused you unnecessary harm.
All medical professionals must provide their patients with the minimum standard of care. This is their duty of care. Should a medical professional breach this duty, causing you to suffer avoidable harm due to the misdiagnosis of cancer, a compensation claim could be made.
However, it is important to note that there may be some cases where you receive a misdiagnosis, but a medical professional did not breach their duty of care. In this case, you might not be eligible to make a claim for medical negligence.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim for a cancer misdiagnosis payout, you can get in touch with our advisors.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
You may be wondering how long you have to claim for the misdiagnosis of cancer. The Limitation Act 1980 sets out the medical negligence time limit. Usually, a claimant would have 3 years from the date the medical negligence occurred or the date you became aware that a medical professional’s breach of duty led to the misdiagnosis.
There are some exceptions to the limitation period for such claims. For example, if the claim involved a child being misdiagnosed with cancer, a parent or responsible adult could apply to act as a litigation friend and claim on their behalf. They can do this while the time limit is paused. Alternatively, if no claim has been made by the time the child turns 18, they will have three years to start their own claim.
If you would like to find out how long you have to claim compensation for a misdiagnosis of cancer, please call the team. An advisor can also discuss the exceptions in more detail.
First of all, we will look at the most common reasons for cancer misdiagnosis.
- Medical errors: This can include a patient being prescribed the wrong medication, the wrong quantity of medicine or the wrong treatment.
- Delayed care: The NHS aims to have every case of cancer diagnosed and to have begun treatment within 2 months of the patient coming forward with symptoms of cancer. Unfortunately, treatment can be delayed, especially if potential cancer symptoms are not treated with the utmost urgency.
- Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis can happen if medical practitioners make an error, which is usually unintentional. Common mistakes that can lead to a cancer misdiagnosis include: failing to refer a patient to a specialist, not performing a biopsy on a tumour, or failed to implement appropriate MRI or CT scans.
Accident Claims UK understands that NHS staff are very overworked and are often short of time, which can lead to medical mistakes, or essential steps in the diagnostic process being overlooked. Unfortunately overworking staff this way is counterproductive and leads to the NHS having to pay millions of pounds in cancer misdiagnosis payouts each year.
Before we look at the average payout for a cancer misdiagnosis, let us first look at the types of cancer that could be misdiagnosed.
- Lung cancer – The signs of lung cancer could be mistaken for respiratory problems, such as infections, asthma or bronchitis, for example, as they share similar symptoms such as a persistent cough and breathlessness.
- Breast cancer – The signs of breast cancer may be mistaken for a swollen lymph node or hormonal changes.
- Melanoma – Skin cancer could be misdiagnosed if the medical professional does not examine the patient properly or dismisses any changes to skin texture or moles.
- Bowel cancer – This can be misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastric issues as they share similar symptoms such as changes in your toilet habits.
- Pancreatic cancer – This type of cancer can be mistaken for gallbladder issues.
Not every misdiagnosis of cancer would lead to cancer misdiagnosis claims. You would need to prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care, and this resulted in your cancer being misdiagnosed and you suffering unnecessary harm.
Please contact our advisors to check your eligibility to file a claim. They would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
If you suffered from a misdiagnosis of cancer, it goes without saying that you should seek the appropriate medical care. You should ask to be referred to a different physician and a specialist immediately to be provided with the appropriate treatment at the earliest possible instance. To support your cancer misdiagnosis case, you can also take the following steps to collect evidence. Please note that the advice below is legal advice, not medical advice.
- Write down your experiences: It is easy to forget what happened to you after a difficult experience. At the earliest opportunity, it pays to sit down and write everything you remember about the medical negligence incident you have experienced.
- Obtain a medical report: After seeking immediate medical treatment, you can also obtain a medical report. Your medical report will document your injuries, the doctor’s opinion on the sort of cancer treatment you will require and your chances of survival.
- Collect important information: To support your cancer misdiagnosis claims, it is a good idea to collect any important information you may have on the misdiagnosis of cancer. This can include the place where you were treated and medical staff that witnessed your misdiagnosis of cancer.
- Record your expenses: If your cancer misdiagnosis claim is successful, you will be able to claim any expenses your injuries cost you back as special damages. This could include medical expenses, transport expenses, at-home care expenses and the cost of any income you lost as a result of your injuries if you were unable to work whilst receiving cancer treatment. Keeping a record of your expenses will also serve as evidence for your claim.
Cancer misdiagnosis compensation amounts can vary from case to case. However, if you make a successful medical negligence claim, your settlement could consist of two heads of loss: general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate you for the harm you have suffered. When valuing this head of claim, legal professionals could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for assistance. This document provides guideline compensation brackets for various types of harm.
The table below contains figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. Please only use them as a guide.
|Multiple serious injuries or illnesses plus special damages
|Causing significant financial loss such as care costs and loss of income as well as serious pain and suffering.
|Up to £250,000+
|Permanent and serious damage or loss of both kidneys.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|One kidney is lost but the other takes no damage.
|£30,770 to £44,880
|The natural function of the bowels and urinary tract are completely lost.
|Up to £184,200
|Complete loss of natural function with the person depending on a colostomy depending on their age.
|Up to £150,110
|The urinary and bowel function is totally lost and there may be other medical complications.
|Up to £184,200
|A total loss of the control and function of the bladder.
|Up to £140,660
|Lung Disease (a)
|This causes a risk of the disease getting worse and causing a young person to suffer a premature death.
|£100,670 to £135,920
|Lung Disease (b)
|Impaired lung function and severe pain due to lung cancer, usually in an older person.
|£70,030 to £97,330
In addition to general damages, your cancer misdiagnosis payout could also include special damages. This head of claim compensates you for the financial losses you have incurred due to the medical negligence. Some examples of the costs you could recover under this head of claim include:
- Travel costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Care costs.
- Loss of income.
Providing evidence of these losses could help support your claim for special damages.
To receive free advice for your potential medical negligence claim, contact our team today.
If you are eligible to claim compensation for a misdiagnosis of cancer, you may wish to have a solicitor help you with your case. A solicitor can help you to gather evidence to support your claim. They can also negotiate a compensation settlement on your behalf.
One of our solicitors may be able to take on your claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you would typically not have to pay for the solicitor’s work either upfront or as your claim continues. If your claim fails, you will not need to pay them for their services.
Instead, if your case is successful, your solicitor will take a small, legally capped percentage of your cancer misdiagnosis payout as a success fee.
To learn more about making a cancer misdiagnosis claim on a No Win No Fee basis or to check whether one of our solicitors could assist you, please contact an advisor by:
Here are some more guides you may find useful:
- Head here to learn more about medical misdiagnosis claims
- Head here to learn how to claim for misdiagnosis of a fracture
- Learn how to sue the NHS for a misdiagnosis
- Learn how to claim for a misdiagnosis over video examinaton
- This guide tells you all about claiming for a hospital missed fracture misdiagnosis
- Here’s a guide on claiming for a lunger cancer misdiagnosis
- Learn about claiming for a misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer
- Check out this guide on claiming for a missed ankle fracture
Thank you for reading our guide to cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims.