Misdiagnosis Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

When we put our health in the hands of a medical professional, we expect it to improve. We don’t expect our condition to get worse or to suffer a further illness or injury. However, this can happen from time to time. In some cases, there is no rhyme or reason for the deterioration of the situation. Some medical conditions are complex, and there is no way to tell what will happen to the patient. In other cases, this happens because of medical negligence, i.e. specific action or inaction that has been taken by the healthcare professional. Be it a GP, doctor, or dentist, if you have been the victim of any type of medical negligence, you deserve to be compensated for any financial and physical and mental suffering you have experienced.

One of the most common forms of medical negligence is misdiagnosis. This is when your condition has been incorrectly diagnosed by a healthcare professional, which has resulted in it getting worse. Here at Accident Claims, we have many years of experience when it comes to medical diagnosis cases, and we can help you to get the compensation you deserve. Read on to discover more about compensation claims for medical negligence misdiagnosis, including details on cancer misdiagnosis compensation amounts, and you will also find our contact details at the end of this guide should you require further information or wish to begin the process of making a claim. We hope within this guide, you will find all the answers to any questions you have about the process.

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Our complete guide to misdiagnosis claims

A medical misdiagnosis can have serious consequences. It can result in an existing illness getting worse. It can mean that you receive the incorrect treatment, which can cause even more problems. In some cases, such as cancer misdiagnosis, it can be fatal. If you, or someone you love, have been the victim of a late or misdiagnosis, we can help you to make a claim. Read on to discover everything you need to know about medical misdiagnosis claims, including how to claim, how much compensation you may receive, and NHS misdiagnosis statistics.

What constitutes a misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is one of the main reasons for claims being made against healthcare professionals and organisations. What constitutes as a misdiagnosis? This is when a medical condition, injury or illness has not been diagnosed correctly, i.e. the health professional has deemed the condition to be something it isn’t, or when it has been diagnosed too late. Errors like this can mean that no treatment is carried out, or that delayed or incorrect treatment occurs, which will make the condition a lot worse. In some cases, misdiagnosis can have fatal consequences.

What types of misdiagnosis claims are there?

There are many different types of misdiagnosis claims, yet they can largely be categorised into three categories. These are as follows:

  1. Incorrect diagnosis – This is when the individual has been misdiagnosed with the incorrect illness. This could mean that the person ends up receiving the incorrect treatment, which could be even more harmful. Moreover, you could end up experiencing anxiety because you have been told that you have a serious illness when you do not. Whenever claiming, psychological injuries can also be claimed for.
  2. Late diagnosis – We have handled many late diagnosis claims over the years. This could mean that your recovery time and survival chances are impacted, and that you experience your health condition for a longer period than is necessary.
  3. Failure to diagnose – This is when a person’s condition has been completely missed altogether, and so they do not get any treatment. This often results in the condition deteriorating. In some cases, an individual can suffer an untimely death because they have been suffering with a condition and they have been non the wiser, meaning they do not get the treatment they need.

What is wrongful diagnosis?

This occurs when the healthcare professional has incorrectly diagnosed the condition you are experiencing. This means that they will end up prescribing you with the wrong treatment, as they start to treat a condition that you are not even suffering from. Depending on what they have incorrectly diagnosed you with, this can make the condition even worse or result in another illness appearing. Whether or not this happens, there is also the psychological trauma to take into account too. We have a lot of experience in wrongful diagnosis claims, so please do not hesitate to give us a call for more details.

What is missed diagnosis?

This is when the illness has been missed altogether. In some cases, this can be fatal. Such instances can happen when a medical professional has not carried out the necessary tests to get the root of the symptoms you are experiencing. It can also happen if someone with the unnecessary experience has carried out tests, meaning they carried out the incorrect tests or they did not read the situation properly.

What is a delayed diagnosis?

When it comes to compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer, most cases come down to delayed diagnosis. If cancer is not diagnosed quickly, it can progress to a later stage and it can spread to other parts of the body. This can result in the person going through intrusive treatments that would not have been required if the cancer was found in a timely manner. In some cases, it can result in fatal consequences. Either way, we can help to secure the maximum cancer misdiagnosis compensation amounts. Needless to say, cancer is not the only condition that can get worse if it is diagnosed too late.

What causes misdiagnosis?

There are a number of reasons why a medical misdiagnosis may take place. This includes the following:

  • Test results may not have been interpreted correctly. Examples of such tests include tissue samples, smears, biopsies, X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans.
  • A lack of supervision. This could cause junior medical staff to make mistakes. All junior staff members need to be supervised.
  • Inadequate expertise. If your GP has not been trained to the required level, they may misdiagnosis your illness.
  • GP negligence.
  • Incorrect tests. Your doctor may have performed the wrong tests to get to the bottom of what has happened.
  • Lack of action. The healthcare professional may not have investigated the symptoms of your illness to a sufficient level.

These are just a handful of examples regarding how medical misdiagnosis may occur. When it comes to making a medical negligence claim, you simply need to be able to show that the healthcare professional or organisation was at fault for your condition. So, you will need to show how the misdiagnosis occurred in order to secure a payout. This is something that your solicitor will be able to assist you with.

Are there any time limits on medical misdiagnosis claims?

As is the case with all compensation cases, there is a time limit on medical misdiagnosis claims. This is three years from the date of the incident. Although you have a lot on your plate right now, it is not ideal to leave claiming until the last minute. If you do this, it will be more difficult to claim. The sooner you claim, the fresher the details will be in your mind. Not only this, but any court proceedings do need to be issued within the three years time frame.

If you have lost a loved one due to medical misdiagnosis, you will be able to claim on their behalf. You can also claim if your child has been the victim of a misdiagnosis. If you don’t, they will have three years to make a claim from the date of their 18th birthday. Nevertheless, again, it is better to claim sooner on your child’s behalf. In most cases, this money will be put in a trust until your child turns 18-years-old. There may be allowances to take some of the money out for the likes of their education.

Can I claim medical misdiagnosis against the NHS?

The tables below, which have been sourced from the NHS, reveal more about the number of claims made against the NHS in particular. Of course, claims can also be made against private medical centres, dentists and such like.

Clinical negligence claims statistics

Clinical negligence claims statistics

Clinical negligence claims

Clinical negligence claims

Can I make a misdiagnosis claim against a private clinic?

The short answer to this question is yes. Medical negligence, including misdiagnosis, can happen in any type of healthcare environment and by any type of medical practitioner. It does not matter whether they work for the NHS or not, they can still be liable and, therefore, sued for compensation. In order to secure compensation, the same scenario goes, i.e. you need to prove that the private GP owed you a duty of care, that they breached this, and that this resulted in you sustaining injuries or an illness as a consequence.

Can I make a claim against a private hospital?

While we have helped lots of people to launch misdiagnosis NHS claims, we have also handled many claims made against private hospitals. The process is pretty much the same for private hospitals. After all, these doctors and healthcare professionals still owe you the same duty of care. If they have breached this duty, and you have been injured or suffered an illness as a consequence, you have the right to secure compensation. You may assume that misdiagnosis does not happen as frequently in private hospitals, as pressures are generally lower because these hospitals are not as flooded with patients. However, this does not stop late, incorrect, or missed diagnoses from occurring. If this has happened to you, please do not hesitate to give us a call for further information.

How is a misdiagnosis claim proven?

The law does not hold all medical professionals legally responsible for diagnostic mistakes that have occurred. After all, there could be a legitimate reason for the mistake being made – something that does not fall down the negligence. The healthcare professional may have done everything that is expected of them, and you could just be incredibly unlucky. So, if you are to launch a successful claim, how do you go about proving misdiagnosis?

  1. The first thing you need to do is prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This is essential because it shows that the doctor owed you a duty of care.
  2. The next thing you need to do is show that the doctor acted negligently. this means that they did not provide treatment in a competent and reasonably skillful manner.
  3. Finally, you need to prove that this negligence has resulted in your suffering an injury, illness, or that a condition has gotten worse because of it.

What kinds of compensation will I receive for misdiagnosis claims?

When making a misdiagnosis claim, you can receive both special damages and general damages. Special damages are for the costs you have had to fund as a direct consequence of your injury or illness, for example, loss of earnings or hospital parking tickets. General damages refer to the pain and discomfort you have encountered, and therefore, the payout you receive to compensate this. Some of the most common damages claimed for when it comes to these cases are as follows:

  • Treatment costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Equipment or medication expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Life expectancy reduction
  • Disability, discomfort and pain caused

What amount of compensation will I receive for misdiagnosis claims?

You probably want to know much compensation you are entitled to. It is important to stress that all cases are different. There are numerous types of misdiagnosis, varying circumstances, and injuries differ considerably. As such, all claims are handled on an individual basis. There is no set list of misdiagnosis compensation amounts that can be referred to, and so any solicitor that promises you ‘x’ amount of money is bending the truth.

You may have come across a misdiagnosis compensation calculator on the Internet, which has worked out how much money you will get. Again, this should only be taken with a pinch of salt. It is impossible for a tool like this to tell you how much compensation you will get. A misdiagnosis claims calculator will only ever give you a rough estimate.

So, how is compensation calculated? Some of the factors that will be considered are as follows:

  • How the misdiagnosis has impacted your quality of life
  • Changes to life expectancy
  • The suffering and pain caused by improper medical treatment being administered
  • The length of recovery time that was added to your existing recovery
  • The nature of the illness you are experiencing

These sorts of factors will be taken into account. You can also claim for any income you have missed out on because of the misdiagnosis. In terms of loss of income, you can usually claim anything up to £500,000, although more than this has been secured on some occasions. Are you expected to miss more work in the future? If so, you can claim for this too. You can usually claim anything up to £400,000, although, again, more than this has been secured on some occasions.

No Win No Fee claims for misdiagnosis – what is involved?

When you work with Accident Claims, you can be sure that all medical misdiagnosis cases are handled on a No Win No fee basis. What does this mean? Well, this is officially titled CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement. It means that the payment structure for legal services is as follows: the claimant will pay a percentage of their compensation to the solicitor. This is a ‘success fee’ so to speak. What does this mean for you? Well, firstly, it means you aren’t going to need to pay a large upfront fee to secure legal services. This enables anyone to claim; no matter how much money they have in the bank at present. It also means that you are only going to pay for legal services if your case is successful. If your case is not a success, there will be no compensation, meaning any percentage the solicitor is ‘owed’ will total £0, and you owe nothing. This ensures you never end up out of pocket – you only pay if the solicitor does their job and wins compensation. There are some other benefits worth factoring in as well. After all, your solicitor only gets paid if the case wins, and so you know they are going to be working hard for you. You also know that they will never waste your time. If they believe you do not have a strong case, they are going to tell you so. If you went for misdiagnosis solicitors that charge on an hourly basis instead, there is always the risk that they could lead you down the garden path purely to take your cash.

How Accident Claims could help you with misdiagnosis claims

No matter whether you are seeking private or NHS misdiagnosis compensation, Accident Claims it the company you need. Not only are all of your claims 100 per cent No Win, No Fee – meaning you pay nothing if you lose – but we also always aim to secure the maximum compensation amount. When you contact us, you will get advice, free of charge, from a polite and professional legal expert, and there is no obligation to continue with our service. But, if you do, you will benefit from the assistance of specialist solicitors that have up to 30 years of experience in the industry, as well as a good track record to go with it.

Want to start a medical misdiagnosis claim or receive free advice?

No matter whether you want to seek further information on misdiagnosis NHS claims, how much compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer, or what payout you will get, all you need to do is give us a call for free advice. The phone number you require is 0800 073 8801. We are open seven days per week, 24 hours a day, meaning you can call whenever is convenient for you. If you are ready to begin your claim and get the compensation you deserve, we will happily assist. There are also a number of other ways you can get in touch if you would prefer. You can request a call back via our website. You can also send an email to office@accidentclaims.co.uk. We aim to get back to your email within three hours between Monday and Friday. It may take a bit longer over the weekend. We do recommend emailing or calling for the quickest response, but you can also write to us if required or if you need to send any documents. Our address is: Accident Claims, 130 Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 0AA. We look forward to hearing from you and securing the compensation that you deserve.

Helpful links

Litigation Information NHS

This links takes you to the NHS Resolution factsheet with information on claims made during the 2017-17 period.

NHS Misdiagnoses article

This is an interesting news article by The Telegraph that reveals how many NHS patients in the UK are misdiagnosed.

BMJ Journal

This is a journal regarding ‘The incidence of diagnostic error in medicine.’ It includes details on the methods that are currently being used to identify diagnostic errors in practice.