By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 22nd November 2023. 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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Select A Section
- Can I Claim Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation?
- What Are The Causes Of Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims?
- 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 unnecessary 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 medical negligence claim.
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.
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 due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care. 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 injuries or illnesses plus special damages||Causing significant financial loss, pain and suffering.||Up to £250,000+|
|Kidney (a)||Permanent and serious damage or loss of both kidneys.||£169,400 to £210,400|
|Kidney (c)||Loss of one kidney with the other suffering no damage.||£30,770 to £44,880|
|Bowels (a)||Cases of double incontinence with complete loss of natural bowel and urinary function and control with other medical complications.||Up to £184,200|
|Bowels (b)||Complete loss of natural function with the person depending on a colostomy depending on their age.||Up to £150,110|
|Bladder (a)||A complete loss of the natural urinary and bowel function with double incontinence and other medical complications.||Up to £184,200|
|Bladder (b)||A total loss of the control and function of the bladder.||Up to £140,660|
|Lung Disease (a)||A young person with a serious disability where there is the possibility of progressive worsening leading to a premature death.||£100, 670 to £135,920|
|Lung Disease (b)||Lung cancer causing severe pain and impaired quality of life and lung function 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. Evidence could include payslips, invoices and receipts.
To receive free advice for your potential medical negligence claim, or to ask questions such as ‘What is the average payout for a cancer misdiagnosis in the UK?’, you can contact our advisors.
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 upfront or throughout the process of your claim. 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
- To learn more about medical negligence claims, see here
- Click here to see how much compensation you could get for a medical misdiagnosis
- 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.