How to Claim Compensation for Misdiagnosis of Cancer
Cancer is a time-dependent condition. This means that the disease spreads with time; without the right medical attention, cancer becomes more difficult to treat or even become terminal. While NHS hospitals and staff usually do a conscientious job of providing timely and accurate cancer diagnosis and treatment, cancer misdiagnosis is one of the leading causes of NHS claim.
Therefore, it can be helpful to know that there is a team of cancer misdiagnosis claims solicitors who possess the knowledge and experience required to fight on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.
What is Cancer Misdiagnosis?
Cancer misdiagnosis is a mistake made by a medical practitioner that leads to the incorrect diagnosis of a condition – and possibly incorrect or delayed treatment. Misdiagnosis could be a late diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis, or missed diagnosis.
When a patient is suffering from cancer, there are usually warning signs that point to the fact. Since cancer is not a condition that attacks suddenly, it is expected that a medical professional is able to identify the signs and provide an accurate and timely diagnosis. When the diagnosis is made only after a significant delay, you may be entitled to a compensation claim.
An incorrect diagnosis can have devastating effects on a patient. For instance, if your GP tells you that you are suffering from a terminal cancer disease when, in fact, you have a different ailment altogether, you may be made to undergo painful and even mentally stressful treatment. Incorrect diagnosis may also happen when a doctor diagnoses a cancer ailment as a different condition.
For instance, breast cancer may be incorrectly diagnosed as a non-cancerous cyst or a collection of fluid in the tissue. In many cases, you may undergo treatment for the wrongfully diagnosed condition while the original condition gets worse.
When a patient suffers cancer misdiagnosis, painful and emotionally draining procedures may be required to correct the initial mistakes. In addition, the undiagnosed condition may continue to progress and cause further health problems. As a result, it is important for medical professionals to explore all possible diagnostic options before providing a final diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of Cancer Misdiagnosis
Although the medical error rate within the NHS is relatively low, cancer misdiagnosis cases are pretty significant. Here are some of the causes of a cancer misdiagnosis:
- A medical professional failing to conduct sufficient investigation;
- Failing to request the right tests;
- Misreading or misinterpreting test results, x-rays and scans;
- Failing to consider a patient’s medical history when making a diagnosis;
- Inexperience or lack of adequate supervision.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Cancer Conditions
- Lung cancer: Symptoms of this condition include shortness of breath, hoarseness and coughing. These signs also manifest in individuals with other types of respiratory infections, so a patient may be incorrectly diagnosed with pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, pleurisy or bronchitis.
- Colorectal cancer: This condition can be misdiagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or haemorrhoids. Early and accurate diagnosis can enhance a patient’s chances of survival.
- Pancreatic cancer: Medical professionals may misdiagnose pancreatic cancer for diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones or pancreatitis.
Am I Entitled to Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims?
You may be entitled to an NHS claim for cancer misdiagnosis if you have suffered harm as a result of a medical professional’s error during the diagnosis of your condition. You may also be able to make a claim on behalf of a relative or close next of kin who has died as a result of a cancer misdiagnosis.
To make a successful claim, you need to prove that the quality of care you received was substandard in comparison to what is considered acceptable by a reasonable body of medical opinion. This body – made up of professionals of similar knowledge and experience – will need to demonstrate that a different medical professional would have acted differently under similar circumstances.
You also need to show that the cancer misdiagnosis has caused you to suffer avoidable injury or deterioration of your health. This second element is known as causation. You must prove causation with evidence of cancer negligence for your compensation claim to be valid.
If our specialist cancer medical negligence solicitors believe that you may be entitled to a claim for cancer misdiagnosis, they will likely make arrangements for an independent medical expert to assess your condition and provide a medical report. This report will take your injuries and prognosis into account, and determine whether your health condition was a result of medical negligence.
Making Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims Against the NHS
If you have been a victim of a diagnostic mistake that has made your condition worse or caused you further health problems, there are steps you can take to making cancer compensation claims against the NHS.
First, ensure you make a complaint to the NHS body responsible for the care you received. If you are not satisfied with the response here, you may complain to your local Healthwatch; your case will be investigated and you will receive a response. If the response remains unsatisfactory, you may complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman as well as the regulatory body of your medical professional. Ensure you keep records of all the complaints you make; while a complaint does not necessarily result in a compensation award, it can support your quest to make a claim.
If you are considering suing the NHS for cancer misdiagnosis, take advantage of our free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert cancer misdiagnosis claims solicitors. We will let you know if you have grounds for a claim, provide the right solicitor to manage your case, and fight to secure the highest possible compensation on your behalf.
Time Limits for Suing the NHS
In the UK, there is a three-year statutory time limit for suing for medical negligence, including those who have suffered harm due to cancer misdiagnosis. This three-year time limit begins from the date you were misdiagnosed or the date you realized your injury was a result of a misdiagnosis.
If you were a victim of cancer misdiagnosis as a child, you will have three years from your 18th birthday to make a claim.
However, there are a few exceptions where the three-year time limit does not apply. If you are unsure whether you can make cancer compensation claims or you want to know whether you are still within the time limit, our cancer misdiagnosis claims solicitors can advice and help you make an informed decision.
No Win No Fee Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
At nhsnegligenceclaim.com, we work with a panel of specialist cancer medical negligence solicitors who can offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay any upfront solicitor fees; our solicitors shoulder the financial risk associated with a medical negligence claim on your behalf.
If your claim is successful, a success fee (0-25% of your final compensation) will be deducted. If we are unable to help you win your claim, you will not pay us a penny.
To learn more about what a No Win No Fee agreement involves, call us today on 0800 999 3372 for a free, no obligation consultation. If you have valid grounds for a claim, we will assign a dedicated solicitor to your case who will manage the claims process on your behalf.
How Can We Help?
We understand that you have endured more than what anyone should experience. As a result, our solicitors will do everything possible to make the claims process as seamless as possible for you. Following our initial consultation with you, our solicitors will assess your situation and advise you on whether you have a reasonable chance of success.
When making your claim, we will consider factors such as the physical and mental pain you have suffered, as well as the financial losses you have incurred. We will then obtain medical evidence to prove your claim and submit your request for a claim to the alleged negligent party. You can trust us to negotiate a fair compensation amount on your behalf. However, if the negotiations are unsuccessful and the case goes to trial, our solicitors can provide the legal advice and support you need to navigate the complex medical negligence claim process.