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Medical Negligence Delay In Treatment Compensation Claims

When we discuss medical negligence, your first thought might be about a surgeon making a mistake with a scalpel. You could also think about a pharmacist giving the wrong medication. But have you considered that if you don’t receive medical treatment promptly, this could also be considered medical negligence in some cases? In this guide about medical negligence delay in treatment claims, we’re going to look at what the consequences of delayed treatment might be. We’ll also explain what medical negligence is, provide advice on when you might have grounds to seek compensation and what amount you could receive.

Medical negligence delay in treatment-claims guide

Medical negligence delay in treatment-claims guide

Legal Expert has been helping clients make successful claims for medical negligence and they could help you. We start by providing a no-obligation review of your case. We’ll offer free legal advice and, if you have a strong enough case, we could connect you with our medical negligence solicitor. It is worth noting that, if they take you on as a client, their work will be conducted on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you would like to know more about claiming for clinical negligence that causes delays in treatment, please read on. If you already know that you’d like to discuss your claim, please call our team today on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide On Medical Negligence Delay In Treatment Compensation Claims

Every medical professional has a duty of care towards the wellbeing of their patient while they are treating them. That means they must use the right equipment, prescribe the right drugs and follow the correct procedures. Where medical practitioners fail to adhere to professional standards, a medical negligence claim might be possible if negligence causes the patient to suffer.

One way that can happen is if treatment is delayed. Sometimes, delays can’t be avoided. In these cases, a claim would not be possible. However, if treatment was delayed because your doctor acted in a negligent manner this could constitute medical negligence.

In some of the scenarios we’ll look at during this guide, mistakes leading to delayed treatment can have devastating effects. For example, if cancer is not correctly diagnosed until a third or fourth visit to the doctor, it could become untreatable or require much more severe treatment.

Something to bear in mind is that medical negligence claims have time limits. For most cases, you’ll have 3-years to start your claim. In cases of delayed treatment, this is likely to begin from the date you become aware that you have suffered unnecessarily due to medical negligence. This is referred to as the date of knowledge.

To check how long you’ve got left to claim or to ask any further questions about medical negligence delay in treatment claims, please call once you’ve finished reading.

What Is A Delay In Treatment?

A delay in treatment, in terms of a medical negligence claim, is where the negligent actions of a medical professional have meant your injuries or illness have not been treated as quickly as they should’ve been. As a result, you will have suffered in some way. This might mean that a bone hasn’t healed properly, your symptoms have got worse or a condition such as cancer has advanced.

What Is A Negligent Delay In Medical Treatment?

Where you don’t receive the correct treatment at the right time, you may have been given substandard care. This could lead to a medical negligence claim. For a solicitor to consider working on your case, they will check that:

  • The medical professional who treated you was negligent and breached their duty of care towards you; and
  • As a direct result of their negligence, you suffered additional harm (causation).

Proving medical negligence is quite a complex task. To check whether a medical professional has acted wrongly, legal professionals usually apply the Bolam test. This is a test that asks a group of medical professionals in the same field as the defendant if they believe the doctor acted in a way that deferred to professional standards.

If the answer to the Bolam test is no, then the claim will not be successful regardless of how severe the injuries are. Where the group agrees that the defendant was negligent, the claim can proceed.

The next stage, causation, can also be tricky as it is quite hard to prove what extra suffering was caused by negligent delayed treatment. This is one of the key reasons you may want to take on the support of a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims.

To check whether your claim for avoidable suffering caused by negligent delayed medical treatment might be successful, please call our advisors today.

Why Does Medical Negligence Delay In Treatment Happen?

There are many reasons why medical treatment can be delayed. One big one in recent times was the Coronavirus pandemic where it was unsafe to have as many patients in hospitals. While cases like these are exceptional, there are many other reasons.

For the purposes of claiming compensation, your delay in treatment needs to have resulted from a negligent act. This could mean claims are possible for:

  • Mix up of test results
  • Negligent misdiagnosis of your condition.
  • Failure to listen correctly to a patient, therefore, dismissing what they are saying.
  • Not arranging further tests when results were inconclusive.

Whatever the cause of your delayed treatment, we will review your case for free. There’s nothing to lose by calling as there’s no obligation to continue. Therefore, why not call our team today to find out more?

Circumstances Leading To Delays In Treatment

Here are some situations that might lead to your treatment being delayed in some different scenarios. It’s worth remembering that not all reasons for delayed treatment will entitle you to claim compensation. It must also be proven that the delay was caused by negligence and it resulted in you suffering as well.

In a GP surgery:

  • If the doctor fails to match your symptoms with the correct condition.
  • Where you are not referred for additional tests.

At A Hospital:

  • If tests aren’t carried out at the right time or if they are read incorrectly.
  • Where medication isn’t administered in accordance with the doctor’s instructions.

In an A&E department

  • If an x-ray is unclear and you are not sent for another one.
  • Where the department is busy so staff are pressured to clear beds quickly and this results in a negligent misdiagnosis.

These are just a few examples of what could lead to delayed treatment. If you believe you’ve suffered because of a negligent medical professional and delayed treatment, please call for free advice about claiming.

Delayed Surgical Treatment

Surgery can be delayed for a number of different reasons. Some of these will be unavoidable which will mean a claim would not be possible. Others can happen because a practitioner acted in a negligent manner. Below we look at general consequences of surgery being delayed:

  • Makes your illness or injury worse.
  • Leads to extra pain and suffering.
  • Reduces your chance of recovering fully.
  • Causes additional illness.
  • Reduces your life expectancy.

If you would like to make a medical negligence delay in treatment claim relating to surgery, for example, a delayed surgery compensation claim,  why not call our advisors today?

Fractured And Broken Bone Treatment Delays

When bones fracture, it is important that they are assessed and treated quickly. When they are, it is quite normal for the bone to heal fully after a few weeks of recovery. However, where the treatment is delayed, it can cause a ‘nonunion’. This is where the bone doesn’t align properly so cannot heal correctly.

When this happens, it can lead to reduced function of a limb, constant pain or increase the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis. If you have suffered because a fractured bone was not treated correctly, why not call to see if you can claim?

Could Delays To Treatment Make An Illness Or Injury Worse?

When your doctor prescribes medicine or arranges treatment, it will either be designed to make you better or manage your symptoms. Where treatment is not administered swiftly, it could make your symptoms worse.

For example, where a chest infection is not treated the condition could deteriorate. With the absence of antibiotics, the patient’s condition could turn into pneumonia. Something that would not have happened had they been given the right medication.

Where negligently delayed treatment results in symptoms worsening, a compensation claim might be possible. Please call if you’d like to discuss this further.

Negligent Delays To Cancer Care

Where cancer is misdiagnosed, you might end up suffering worse symptoms or needing more invasive treatment or surgery. Cancers are graded when diagnosed and cancer cells can spread aggressively if not treated. The sooner cancer is diagnosed and treated the better the prognosis for the patient. Any delay can allow cancer to progress.

If your cancer was negligently misdiagnosed which led to a delay in treatment and caused avoidable suffering, you could have grounds to seek damages. We can help by assessing your claim for free to let you know whether you have reasonable chance of being compensated.

Could Delays In Treatment Cause Terminal Illness?

When some conditions are spotted and treated early enough, the patient can go on to make a full recovery. If that doesn’t happen, it could get to a stage where the illness can’t be cured and treatment is limited, meaning this condition will ultimately lead to the person dying.

If a loved one has died because their condition was not treated swiftly due to medical negligence, we could help. Please call today and we’ll review everything for you. You’re under no obligation to proceed but we will provide free advice on your options.

Medical Negligence Delay In Treatment Compensation Calculator

In this section, we have added a compensation table. The figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. Within this publication is a list of injuries and values that have been attached using past cases settled in court. These figures are often used as guidelines when honing in on a value for suffering in personal injury and medical negligence claims.

Injury / Illness Severity Settlement Range Additional detail
Non-traumatic injury (i) Severe £36,060 to £49,270 Severe toxicosis that causes acute pain, diarrhoea, fever and vomiting. While treatment in hospital will last for a few days or weeks, some symptoms will affect quality of life in the future.
Bowel (d) £41,850 to £65,440 Where injury causes function impairment that may require temporary colostomy and cause issues with employment.
Kidney (b) Up to £60,050 Covers instances that lead to significant risk of urinary tract infection in the future.
Bladder (b) Up to £132,040 In this category, the claimant will have lost complete control and function.
Spleen (a) £19,510 to £24,680 Covers cases where the loss of the spleen leads to ongoing risk of infections.
Arm (b) Substantial £36,770 to £56,180 Covers serious fractures of the arm that result in significant disability.
Leg (iv) Moderate £26,050 to £36,790 This bracket looks at multiple or complicated fractures of a leg. Factors considered include imperfect union, scarring and vulnerability to future suffering.

As you’ll notice, settlements are awarded based on the severity of your injuries. Therefore, during the claims process, you’ll need a medical assessment. This is something our solicitors can usually arrange locally. The appointment will be with an independent medical expert. They’ll discuss your injuries and their impact on you. Then they will examine the current state of your injuries and review any medical records. Once they have completed their research, they will write a medical report that sets out your prognosis. This will then be sent to your solicitor and the defendant as well.

Can You Get Further Compensation For Medical Negligence?

As well as any compensation for your physical and psychological suffering, it is important to consider any financial problems your injuries have caused. If you’ve sustained losses, costs or expenses as a result of your injuries, you could claim them back. This is called a special damages claim. The types of things you might need to claim for include:

  • Care costs. Where’ve you’ve needed support with daily tasks, you could claim back the cost of any care provision. That might include an hourly rate for a friend who supported you. It could also cover any professional carer’s fees.
  • Medical expenses. Where treatment for your condition is not available on the NHS (or if the waiting list is too long), private healthcare might be required. Therefore, it may be possible to claim for this cost.
  • Travel costs. Visting a hospital or GP surgery on multiple occasions might lead to large fuel bills, public transport costs or parking costs. As a result, these could all be added to your claim.
  • Lost income. Should your delayed treatment mean you cannot work while you’re ill, you could lose some or all of your income. Therefore, you could request that any difference is paid back.
  • Changes to your vehicle or home. If modifying your home or vehicle will help make coping with symptoms easier, you could ask for the cost of the changes to be included in your claim.
  • Future loss of income. Finally, if you are going to suffer in the future and that will have an impact on your income, you could ask for future loss of earnings to be considered too.

To check what you could claim for in medical negligence delay in treatment claim, please call today.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Delay In Treatment Compensation Claims

Perhaps the most common reason people don’t make medical negligence claims is that they’re worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor. Well, if you work with Legal Expert, you won’t need to worry about that because our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee service. That means that if your claim doesn’t work out, you won’t need to pay the solicitor for their work.

Obviously, because of the risk of not being paid, the solicitor will only take on claims they believe have a strong chance. If yours is accepted, you’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will show you what must be achieved before you need to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work.

If your claim is won, instead of paying your solicitor an hourly rate, you’ll pay a fixed percentage of any settlement amount you receive. This is called a success fee. Legally, to prevent overcharging, success fees are capped. The percentage you’ll pay is something your solicitor will discuss with you and it will be clearly listed in the CFA.

To find out whether our No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor could help you, please call today.

Start Your Delayed Treatment Claim

Thanks for reading this article on medical negligence delay in treatment claims. We hope it has helped. If you would now like to talk to us about claiming, you can:

We’re here to help 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. When you get in touch, an advisor will assess your claim with you and provide free legal advice.

Learn More

Below, you’ll find a list of other articles and guides that might help with medical negligence delay in treatment claims.

Having Surgery – NHS information on what to expect before, during and after surgery.

The Medical Register – A tool from the General Medical Council where you can look up the registration status of a doctor.

Be Clear On Cancer – This campaign involving Cancer Research UK aims to promote the early diagnosis of cancer.

GP Negligence Claims – Details of what to do if you believe your GP’s negligence has caused you to suffer.

Misdiagnosis Claims – A guide about the claims process if a medical misdiagnosis has led to suffering.

Medication Errors – This article looks at when prescription or medication errors could lead to a compensation claim.

Further Helpful Guides

How Common Are Never Events?

The idea of NHS never events is that they should never happen because safety procedures have been designed to prevent them. However, they do and it’s important that the NHS records them and learns from them to try and prevent further incidents of the same nature from occurring again. According to provisional NHS Never Event statistics for April 1st 2021 to 31st August 2021 there were 161 such events reported.

The report lists each type of never event and how frequently they happened. Some of the most common were:

  • Wrong site surgery – 72 incidents.
  • Retained foreign object post-procedure – 32 incidents.
  • Incorrect implant or prosthesis – 25 incidents.
  • Wrong site block (where regional anaesthetic is administered to the wrong side, body part or person) – 23 incidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is the last section of our guide. Therefore, we have supplied some answers to questions relating to medical negligence delay in treatment claims.

Is there a time limit on medical negligence claims?

Medical negligence claims for adult claimants have a 3-year time limit. This starts from the day you were injured or from the date your injuries were linked to medical negligence. For children, this time limit does not apply. A parent is able to represent them in a claim any time before their 18th birthday.

Can you sue for delayed treatment?

It is possible to seek damages for delayed treatment if it is caused by medical negligence. For example, if your condition was negligently misdiagnosed and meant you didn’t receive treatment right away, you could be compensated if that error meant you suffered more than you would’ve done had you been treated promptly.

Why is my medical negligence claim taking so long?

During a medical negligence claim, the first thing that needs to be established is negligence. This will involve a peer-led review of the actions taken by a medical professional. If liability is proven, the extent of your injuries or illness needs to be ascertained. In some cases, it can take some time for the prognosis to be decided upon and this can delay the claims process. However, if you are suffering financially because of your injuries, your solicitor could ask for an interim payment to be made to make it a little easier for you to cope.

Thank you for reading our article claiming because of medical negligence delay in treatment claims.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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