This guide will explore when you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim for a pneumonia misdiagnosis, and the process involved in doing so.
We will look at the duty of care owed to you by medical professionals and how breaches of this duty can cause you to suffer unnecessary harm. In instances where the duty of care has been breached and you are caused avoidable harm, medical negligence may have occurred. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order to make this type of claim. We will discuss these further throughout our guide.
This guide also explores how a misdiagnosis can occur as well as the harm that you could experience as a result of this.
To conclude, there is a brief overview of the advantages to you as a claimant of starting your medical negligence claim under a specific type of No Win No Fee agreement.
You can reach our team of advisors using the following contact information. They will be happy to answer your questions, address your concerns and advise you as to the validity of your potential claim. You can:
Select A Section
- How To Claim For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis
- How Could A Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Happen?
- Proving Your Claim For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis
- Estimating Compensation Amounts For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Cases
- How Do No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims Work?
- Learn More About Claims For Clinical Negligence
A pneumonia misdiagnosis could mean you were suffering from pneumonia and a medical professional failed to correctly diagnose you, instead diagnosing you with a different condition or illness. Being diagnosed and treated for pneumonia when you had a different condition altogether is also a case of misdiagnosis.
Medical negligence, or clinical negligence as it is sometimes referred to, is where a medical professional fails in their duty of care to provide the individual they are treating with a correct standard of care, and causes you avoidable harm. By providing the correct standard of care, this ensures patients are prevented from experiencing avoidable harm.
There may be some instances where it is not possible to avoid causing further illness or injury to a patient. For example, if you have been correctly diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia, you could be prescribed a course of antibiotics. Any side effects that come from this treatment would be unavoidable as this medication is needed to treat your condition. However, if you were given penicillin by a medical professional when a penicillin allergy was on your medical records, any allergic reaction would be classed as avoidable harm.
The criteria that need to be met in order to make a medical negligence claim are:
- You were owed a duty of care by a medical professional, such as a doctor or your GP.
- That medical professional breached their duty.
- This breach caused you to experience unnecessary harm.
A medical negligence claim for pneumonia misdiagnosis is subject to the time limits set out in the Limitation Act 1980. You generally have 3 years from the date of the misdiagnosis or the date of knowledge, which is the date you knew or should have known that the harm you suffered was caused by medical negligence.
The time limit can be subject to exceptions in some circumstances. If the injured person was under 18 when the medical negligence occurs, the 3-year limit is frozen until their 18th birthday. The time limit is similarly frozen indefinitely if the injured person is of a reduced mental capacity; if they regain their capacity, the time limit is counted from the date of recovery.
A litigation friend can be appointed to act on the claimant’s behalf in both of these scenarios while the time limit is paused. For guidance on whether an exception applies to your claim, or to discuss the time limit in more detail, you can speak to one of our advisors.
According to the NHS, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs often caused by an infection. It can be particularly dangerous for older people, babies and those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions. There are a number of reasons why you could experience a pneumonia misdiagnosis:
- There could be a failure to diagnose symptoms. For example, you may visit the doctor with clear symptoms of pneumonia but the doctor misdiagnoses you with a different condition.
- There could be a failure to refer a patient for testing. For example, your doctor fails to send you for necessary tests to diagnose your condition. As a result, you are misdiagnosed.
- You could be sent for an X-ray to diagnose pneumonia. However, if the X-ray was carried out incorrectly, or the results are interpreted incorrectly, it could mean you are diagnosed with the wrong condition or left without a diagnosis.
If you have experienced a pneumonia misdiagnosis, it could have several effects. For example, you could experience delays in treatment, or you could be given the wrong medication. This could lead to your condition worsening and causing you harm that could have otherwise been avoided.
To discuss your specific case and find out whether you’re eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis claim, please contact an advisor on the number above.
In order to prove that you experienced a pneumonia misdiagnosis as a result of medical negligence, you should gather evidence to support your claim. For example, you could gather:
- Copies of your scans: For example, if a medical professional misinterpreted your chest X-ray scan and did not prescribe medication to treat your pneumonia, it could have led to the worsening of your condition. A copy of your X-ray could show what that medical professional missed.
- Prescriptions: Your prescription documents can show if you were given the wrong medication due to a misdiagnosis.
- Witness statements: If someone accompanied you to the appointment where you were misdiagnosed, they could be asked to give their statement during the claims process, so take down their contact details.
- A diary of treatment and symptoms: Keeping a diary of what treatment you received and your symptoms can help to illustrate your physical and mental state during any treatment.
The Bolam Test
The Bolam Test involves medical professionals with the appropriate training being asked to determine if the care delivered was of the correct standard. The use of the Bolam Test is not organised by the claimant, and its use is decided on a case-by-case basis. However, if it is carried out, and the findings support your claim, you could use these as evidence.
After assessing your potential claim, our team of advisors could put you in touch with one of our solicitors. A solicitor could provide assistance with the building of evidence to support your claim.
A medical negligence compensation payout for a pneumonia misdiagnosis following a successful claim can be comprised of two different heads of claim. The first of these is known as general damages which will compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by the negligence of the medical professional.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a publication containing guideline award brackets for various types of harm, can be used to value general damages. Some of those brackets have been used to create the compensation table in this section. As each medical negligence claim is assessed individually, the amounts listed in the table are not guaranteed.
|Lung Disease (a)
|This bracket could be awarded for a young claimant where there is serious disability and a probability of progressive worsening leading to premature death.
|£100,670 to £135,920
|Lung Disease (c)
|Significant and worsening lung function and breathing impairment, prolonged and frequent coughing and sleep disturbance.
|£54,830 to £70,030
|Lung Disease (d)
|Breathing difficulties requiring fairly frequent inhaler use resulting in a significant impact on lifestyle.
|£31,310 to £54,830
|Lung Disease (e)
|Wheezing and bronchitis without serious symptoms as well as little or no serious permanent impact on work or social life. There is varying anxiety regarding the future.
|£20,800 to £31,310
|Lung Disease (f)
|Slight breathlessness with no effect on working life and likelihood of substantial and permanent recovery within a few years.
|£10,640 to £20,800
|Lung Disease (h)
|Temporary aggravation of bronchitis or other chest problems resolving within a few months.
|£2,200 to £5,320
|Severe and permanent disabling asthma causing regular prolonged coughing and severe impairment of physical activity and life enjoyment. Employment prospects are grossly restricted.
|£43,060 to £65,740
|Chronic asthma causing breathing difficulties, necessitating the occasional use of an inhaler, and the restriction of employment with uncertain prognosis.
|£26,290 to £43,010
Special damages is the second of the two heads of claim that can make up a medical negligence settlement and can be awarded for any financial losses you have experienced because of the medical negligence.
We have listed some examples of financial losses that could potentially be claimed back below:
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Loss of earnings or loss of future earnings.
- Travel expenses.
Keep any documentation, such as travel tickets, invoices, payslips and receipts, that show your monetary losses.
For further guidance on the compensation for a medical misdiagnosis that could be awarded following a successful claim, please call an advisor on the number above.
Our advisors can assess the validity of your claim. If they believe your claim has a likelihood of success, they could then connect you with one of our solicitors. The solicitor could offer to take your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a type of No Win No Fee contract.
With a CFA, there are generally no upfront fees or ongoing fees to be paid for your solicitor’s services as your claim progresses. If your claim fails, you will not have to pay the solicitor for the work they have done on your case.
A successful claim will see you awarded compensation. The solicitor will take a percentage of this as their success fee. However, you will keep most of your settlement amount as the success fee percentage is legally capped.
To speak to an advisor and find out more about potentially starting a pneumonia misdiagnosis claim, you can contact our team:
For more of our guides:
- Learn if you could claim if a hospital missed your fracture.
- Find out if you could claim for surgical negligence.
- Read how to claim for a misdiagnosis over video examination.
- GOV – NHS Constitution For England
- NHS Resolution – Annual Report Statistics
- General Medical Council – Good Medical Practice
Thank you for reading our guide on when you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim for pneumonia misdiagnosis, and the process involved in doing so. You can speak to our advisors for more information or support regarding your potential claim.