Making A Compensation Claim After A Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 7th April 2022. In this guide, we will look at the circumstances in which you may be able to claim for a lung cancer misdiagnosis. When you’re suffering from a condition that is misdiagnosed, it could mean that you experience a delay in treatment.
If you’re suffering from lung cancer, this delay in diagnosing and treating the condition could mean that you require more severe treatment when it is diagnosed. In some cases, it may mean that the condition has progressed to a point where it can no longer be treated, resulting in an impact on your quality of life or even causing death.
Not every instance of a cancer misdiagnosis will be an example of medical negligence. However, if negligent misdiagnosis of your condition resulted in a negative effect on your health, then you may be able to claim.
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Select A Section:
- What Is A Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- How To Prove That Medical Negligence Has Occurred
- Why Might A Misdiagnosis Happen?
- Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
- What Are The Consequences Of A Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- Treatment Options After A Misdiagnosis
- Medical Negligence Statistics
- How Could I React To A Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- Potential Obstacles For A Medical Negligence Claim
- How Much Compensation Could I Receive If My Medical Negligence Claim Succeeds?
- Comparing General Damages With Special Damages
- How Could A No Win No Fee Agreement Help Me?
- Chat With Legal Expert To Start Your Medical Negligence Claim
- More Resources For Claiming Compensation After A Lung Cancer Diagnosis
When you are suffering from a condition like lung cancer, it’s important that this is diagnosed as promptly as possible. This enables you to receive treatment which could improve your chances of recovering from the condition.
However, lung cancer is not always spotted initially. In some cases, it may first be mistakenly diagnosed as another condition. This could mean that you don’t get the right treatment straight away.
Not all instances of lung cancer misdiagnosis are due to medical negligence. Sometimes, you can experience a misdiagnosis even when you’re being given the correct level of care by your healthcare provider. For example, you might be exhibiting symptoms that are not typical of someone suffering from this condition, meaning that your doctor would not be expected to arrange follow up tests based on this information alone.
In the event that the misdiagnosis was caused by negligence, however, you may be able to claim. Please bear in mind that you will only be able to claim for additional harm to your health caused by the misdiagnosis. If you were misdiagnosed initially but this did not have an overall effect on your health or cause you any additional suffering, you would not be able to claim.
Is There A Time Limit To Claim?
If you intend to try and make a compensation claim for a lung cancer misdiagnosis, you need to start your claim within the applicable claims time limit. You don’t need to resolve your claim within this time limit, however.
The general claims time limit in the UK is three years. This can either run from the date of the incident that caused you harm, or the date that you became aware that your symptoms were caused by negligence.
There are external factors that could have an effect on the time limit, however. For example, the time limit differs for minors or those who lack the mental capacity to claim. For more information on the time limits that might apply in your circumstances, speak to a member of our team today.
If you suffer physical, psychological or financial harm due to a lung cancer misdiagnosis caused by negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim. However, you will need to be able to prove that clinical negligence was the cause. Get in touch with one of our advisors today for free legal advice about building a claim.
Every medical professional and healthcare provider has a duty of care towards their patients. When you seek medical attention, you have the right to receive a minimum standard of care. If this level of care isn’t administered and you suffer as a result, you may be able to claim compensation.
In order to claim compensation for harm caused by a misdiagnosis of lung cancer, you’ll need to show that a healthcare provider breached the duty of care that they owed you. To do this, we recommend keeping a record of your appointments and how your health has been impacted by your delayed treatment.
In order to determine whether a healthcare provider was negligent or not, a court will usually implement something called the Bolam Test. This is a test whereby a panel of experts in the relevant field are asked whether the actions that were taken fall within the expected standard of the profession. If not, the healthcare provider may be considered negligent.
If you are unsure whether you might have a valid medical negligence claim or not, please call and speak to one of our advisors. They will let you know if your claim is valid or not once they know more about your circumstances.
There are a number of different reasons that a condition like lung cancer could be misdiagnosed. As we have already mentioned, not all instances of misdiagnosis result from negligence.
However, if the misdiagnosis resulted from negligence, you may be able to claim. A negligence claim can be made against a private hospital or GP, or an NHS healthcare facility.
Below, we have included some examples of misdiagnoses that could result from negligence:
- A doctor who is examining you misses one or more clear symptoms that you may be suffering from lung cancer. Because of this, they fail to arrange diagnostic tests.
- The results of your test are misinterpreted. This means that you’re told you have a less serious condition when you actually have cancer.
- Your test results are mixed up with those of another patient. You receive their diagnosis, instead of your own.
For more advice related to making a clinical negligence claim, please call and speak to one of our claim advisors. If your claim is valid, you could be connected with one of our solicitors to work on your claim.
Early-stage lung cancer does not usually exhibit any symptoms. It’s not until the condition progresses that you may start to develop symptoms.
Below, we’ve included some of the common symptoms of lung cancer that you may experience. We’ve also included some less common ones.
Common Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
- A persistent cough (lasting for more than two or three weeks).
- A cough that you have had for some time that has become much worse.
- Recurring chest infections.
- Coughing up blood.
- Pain or chest ache when you are coughing or taking a breath.
- Being out of breath persistently.
- Lethargy and tiredness.
- Loss of weight that you can’t explain
Uncommon Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
- Finger clubbing. This is when your fingers start to have a curve, or the tips get larger.
- Pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing.
- Wheezing or noises breathing in and out.
- Your voice becomes more hoarse.
- Pain in your chest or shoulder that persists.
- Your neck or your face swelling up.
If you’ve been misdiagnosed by a healthcare professional because they weren’t administering the correct standard of care, you may be able to claim. Speak with an advisor from our team today for more information.
A lung cancer misdiagnosis can have very serious consequences. Below, we have listed some of the ways that misdiagnosis could harm you:
- A misdiagnosis causes a delay in your treatment. Because of this delay, your chance of recovering from your lung cancer reduces considerably.
- Because of a misdiagnosis, your treatment is delayed. If the cancer had been caught earlier, you would have required less extensive treatment. However, because it has progressed, you now need chemotherapy. This makes you ill and you wouldn’t have needed this were it not for the misdiagnosis.
- Misdiagnosis leads to you being treated for the wrong illness. This treatment had a negative impact on your health in some way. For example, you may have undergone treatment that negatively impacted your health and was ultimately not needed.
These are just some examples of how a misdiagnosis could cause you harm. There are many more.
If you can prove that you have been harmed through a misdiagnosis that resulted from negligence, please call and speak to our team. They will let you know whether you have a potential claim. If so, you could be connected with a solicitor to represent you.
After you receive the correct diagnosis following a misdiagnosis of lung cancer, you’ll be able to begin treatment. The treatment you receive can vary and may have been affected by the delay caused by the misdiagnosis.
Some of the factors that can impact the treatment you’re offered include:
- Your level of overall wellness.
- How big the cancer is and where it is located.
- What stage of cancer you’re suffering from.
- Whether you have non-small-cell or small-cell cancer.
We have listed some of the common treatments below.
- Surgery – You may have a lobectomy (partial lung removal), a pneumonectomy (whole lung removal), or in limited cases, a wedge resection or segmentectomy (small parts of the lung are removed).
- Radiotherapy – This involves using small blasts or pulses of radiation to treat the cancer. Radiotherapy also helps to slow the growth of the cancer, and also to alleviate some of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
- Chemotherapy – This involves using cancer-killing drugs to treat the cancer. Often, chemotherapy is used after surgery to stop the cancer from growing back. It can also be used before surgery to shrink the cancer.
- Immunotherapy – stimulating your immune system to fight the cancer itself. This is done by giving intravenous drugs over a long period of time.
If your condition has worsened because of misdiagnosis, this may mean that you need more invasive treatment than you otherwise would have. If you were misdiagnosed because of negligence, you may be able to claim. Speak to a member of our team today for more information about making a claim.
We don’t have access to figures to demonstrate the frequency of lung cancer misdiagnosis. However, we’ve included the graph below using data from the NHS Resolution Annual Report 2020/21.
This report shows the value of payments in clinical claims settled in 2020/21. This information is split across a number of different indemnity schemes.
As we can see, the largest of these schemes is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. They paid out a total of £2,061 million. This covers damages as well as legal costs for the claimant and the NHS.
If you believe you have been harmed by a lung cancer misdiagnosis, you could take steps to complain. While a compensation claim will attempt to return you as much as possible to the position you were in before being harmed, making a complaint could help you in making sure that other people don’t experience the same series of events as you.
Each healthcare provider in England has its own complaints procedure. They’ll often have information on this procedure on their website or in waiting rooms or receptions. If you’re unsure about the complaints procedure, a member of staff may be able to advise you.
If you’re not happy with how the NHS has dealt with your complaint, you can then raise the issue with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They’re independent of the NHS and are able to make a final decision on any complaints that cannot otherwise be resolved.
When you make a complaint to the NHS, this will generally not result in you receiving compensation. In order to be compensated, you would need to pursue a medical negligence claim. Our helpful team of advisors can speak with you about your circumstances and let you know if you’re eligible to claim; simply get in touch today.
If you intend to make a claim for a lung cancer misdiagnosis, you need to prove that negligence took place. However, you’ll also need to show that the negligence of your doctor directly led to your condition worsening to the point it did.
For example, you’d be unable to claim compensation if your lung cancer was misdiagnosed, but your health is the same as it would have been if you’d received the right diagnosis. You need to prove on the balance of probabilities that the action or inaction of a healthcare provider directly led to a worsening of your condition.
For more information on what’s necessary to claim compensation for medical negligence, speak to one of our advisors today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor to work on your claim.
Giving an average for compensation for a successful lung cancer misdiagnosis claim is impossible. Each claim is unique in some way. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on a number of different factors.
However, we have provided the table below that gives potential compensation ranges. We based this table on figures in guidelines that are produced by the Judicial College.
|Mental Anguish||Fear of impending death or of life expectancy being reduced.||Up to £4,380|
|Death- Full Awareness||Where consciousness levels fluctuate for between 4 and 5 weeks followed by death within a couple of weeks up to 3 months.||£11,770 to £22,350|
|Death- Followed by Unconsciousness||Where excruciating pain is followed by unconsciousness after 3 hours and death within 2 weeks.|
|Lung Cancer||As an example, a case of lung cancer that is affecting somebody who is elderly, who already has a limited life span ahead of them. The illness would be painful, and cause a significant negative impact on quality of life.||£65,710 to £91,350|
|Lung Cancer||Lung cancer which carries less painful symptoms than mesothelioma but that is more protracted.||£65,710 to £91,350|
|Lung||Total removal of one lung.||£94,470 to £140,870|
You can also use our compensation calculator to get an estimate of how much you might get in damages. However, you will always get the most accurate assessment of your case by speaking with one of our advisors. Get in touch today for free legal advice.
When you make a claim for a lung cancer misdiagnosis, your compensation could consist of both general and special damages. General damages are paid to compensate you for psychological injury or physical harm. The level of damages that you receive will generally be driven by how much your quality of life was impacted by your condition.
In order to value the general damages head of your claim, you’ll be invited to attend a medical assessment. This assessment will entail a medical professional assessing your injuries and confirming that they’re consistent with the claim you’re making. The report that they complete with the results of this assessment will be used to assess the general damages head of your claim.
Special damages all cover monetary losses that your condition has caused you to experience. It’s important that you submit proof of these losses to ensure that you’re fully compensated. Some examples of material damages include:
- Missed income, if you didn’t get paid in full for the time you took off work.
- Reduced lifetime income, if you won’t be able to earn as much in the future.
- Private medical fees.
- Care costs such as hiring a nurse.
- Ad-hoc expenses.
For more information on what the two heads of claim could cover, speak with one of our advisors today. You could also be connected with a solicitor to work on your lung cancer misdiagnosis claim.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor until certain conditions are met. It means that:
- There’s nothing for you to pay your solicitor upfront or while they’re working on the claim
- You won’t be asked to pay them anything in the event that the claim is unsuccessful
- If you’re awarded compensation, a legally-capped percentage of it will be deducted by your solicitor. This is known as a “success fee”.
If this is something that is of interest to you, why not speak with one of our advisors today? You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.
If you can prove that medical negligence led to your condition worsening, you could be owed compensation. Our helpful and friendly team of advisors are on hand to answer any questions you might have about claiming. You can get in touch via:
Here are some useful websites that have more information.
NHS Hospital Complaints– This information from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau lets you know how to complain about hospital treatment in the NHS.
Macmillan Cancer Support– This charity offers support and guidance for those suffering from cancer.
Chemotherapy– Information from the NHS about chemotherapy, a treatment that can be used to treat cancer.
We’ve also included some links to other guides that we have published that you may find useful.
If you would like to speak to an advisor about making a claim for a lung cancer misdiagnosis, then you’re welcome to contact Legal Expert for help. You can reach us using the contact details included within this guide.