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How To Make A Misdiagnosis Claim

By Max Mitrovic. Last Updated 3rd August 2022. Experiencing a medical misdiagnosis when we attend a GP appointment or visit the hospital can have significant consequences.

We may not get the treatment we need, meaning our injury or illness could worsen. If it involved something like misdiagnosed cancer, it could allow the cancerous cells to spread, and the illness may progress past the point at which treatment is effective.

In just one year, it was reported in NHS Resolution’s Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21 that a staggering £2.26 billion was spent on settling clinical negligence claims for that year alone.

In this guide, we’ll examine medical misdiagnosis claims and the situations within which they could be justified.

If you have any questions while reading this guide, please call us on the number at the top of this page, write to us about your potential claim online, or chat now using our live chat function.

To learn more, please click through the sections below.

Select a Section

  1. What Is Medical Misdiagnosis?
  2. How Do You Prove That a Medical Misdiagnosis Has Happened?
  3. Types of Clinical Negligence Misdiagnosis Claims
  4. Can I Make Misdiagnosis Claims on Behalf of Someone Else?
  5. Why Do Medical Misdiagnoses Occur?
  6. How Long Do I Have to Make a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim
  7. Who Is The Misdiagnosis Claim Against?
  8. Compensation Payouts For Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis
  9. Understanding No Win No Fee Agreements
  10. Contact Our Team
  11. Medical Misdiagnosis Claims FAQs
  12. Useful Links on Medical Misdiagnosis Claims

What Is Medical Misdiagnosis?

A medical misdiagnosis claim is a type of medical negligence claim you could make if your healthcare provider failed to uphold their duty of care to you. This means that the care you receive must meet a minimum expected standard, and if it doesn’t, and you suffer avoidable or further harm as a result, you may be able to claim misdiagnosis compensation.

Our advisors can provide more information on misdiagnosis claims, and can help you identify who is at fault for the harm you have suffered.

How Do You Prove That A Medical Misdiagnosis Has Happened?

The most important part of making a successful medical misdiagnosis claim is proving that the medical professional in question was negligent towards their duty of care to you. Negligence or a breach of duty can be identified by substandard care or inability to follow professional guidelines, resulting in a lack of competency normally expected from another practitioner.

To have grounds to claim compensation for any resulting suffering, you must be able to demonstrate that the action or inaction from your medical practitioner was responsible for causing you unnecessary pain, injury, or suffering.

Within this guide, we will address how misdiagnosis claims could be a suitable course of action. More importantly, we will discuss the claims process and how a personal injury solicitor could assist you in taking legal action.

Types Of Clinical Negligence Misdiagnosis Claims

misdiagnosis claims

Misdiagnosis Claim

When it comes to clinical negligence claims, there are essentially three categories of claims – total misdiagnosis in which the symptoms are not diagnosed at all, wrongful diagnosis in which the symptoms are incorrectly diagnosed and late diagnosis in which the symptoms are diagnosed beyond a reasonable time lapse. All of this may influence your potential delayed treatment compensation amount.

Claims for a total misdiagnosis – This type of error is also known as a missed diagnosis. When a medical practitioner fails to recognise an existing condition or illness symptoms, it is called a complete or missed misdiagnosis. The patient does not receive the necessary treatment without a diagnosis, resulting in a progressively worsening condition, leading to more prolonged treatment and longer recovery times.

Other Types Of Claims

Claims for a wrongful diagnosis – Another type of misdiagnosis claim are those made for wrongful diagnosis. A wrongful diagnosis can create two types of scenarios. In some cases, the patient’s symptoms are wrongly identified, and the patient mistakenly undergoes a treatment that was not needed. The most common examples are patients who get an organ or tissue removed after a wrongful diagnosis or patients who undergo chemotherapy unnecessarily.

In other cases, while the patient receives treatment for a condition that does not exist, their actual condition goes treated, resulting in the patient requiring more extensive treatment. There is also the psychological element to be considered from being told that they are seriously ill, which in fact, it is not the correct diagnosis.

Claims for delayed diagnosis – When the symptoms are not diagnosed in time, the patient’s condition progresses and is only diagnosed when it has reached an advanced stage. A delayed diagnosis or delayed treatment causes the patient to suffer unnecessarily, and when treatment eventually begins, the recovery time tends to be longer. In some cases, depending on the condition, it can also impact the patient’s life expectancy.

To learn more about misdiagnosis claims and how much you could receive in misdiagnosis compensation, contact our advisors today.

Missed Fractures And Missed Broken Bones

Some of the medical misdiagnosis claims which people make each year may be related to broken bones and fractures. Injuries of this type can potentially become worse and cause a lot of pain for the victim if they are misdiagnosed by a medical professional due to negligent behaviour. You can contact our advisors about potentially starting a claim if you have been affected by a missed or delayed diagnosis of a fracture injury.

One example of a missed fracture diagnosis which could lead to a claim is a missed ankle fracture. You can learn more about potentially claiming for this type of missed fracture in the video below.

Can I Make Misdiagnosis Claims On Behalf Of Someone Else?

If a relative suffers as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, they could receive compensation. And depending on what the correct diagnosis is, it could be that the victim receives delayed treatment compensation. So, in many cases, the next step would be to file a claim.

However, if they’re unable to do so for themselves, you could be able to make legal proceedings on their behalf by assuming the role of their litigation friend. By assuming this role, you could be able to claim on behalf of a loved one, whether it’s a friend, relative or someone in your care.

You may wish to act as a litigation friend in one instance on your child’s behalf. As the minimum age to make legal proceedings is 18, you can seek compensation on their behalf if they’re entitled to compensation but aren’t yet old enough to claim it. This way, you can secure their payout in a trust, which can be accessed to cover costs related to damage resulting from their misdiagnosis.

To learn more about making misdiagnosis claims on behalf of someone else, please get in touch about your case today for some free legal advice from our specialist advisors. In the meantime, please read on.

Why Do Medical Misdiagnoses Occur?

There are several reasons why medical misdiagnoses occur. Though one of the most common reasons people make misdiagnosis claims is negligence, this is not always the case.

A medical diagnosis may occur because a doctor did not thoroughly investigate the symptoms presented or because the doctor did not perform the correct tests that may have led to the disease being identified.

The likelihood of misdiagnosis is higher when the patient is attended to by unsupervised junior medical staff or because the doctor did not have the necessary experience in that particular speciality.

Another common cause of misdiagnosis is wrongfully interpreting diagnostic tests such as X Rays, smears, biopsies, MRI scans, tissue samples and biopsies. Any of these scenarios could allow you to claim delayed treatment compensation successfully.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

There are particular statutes of limitations with regards to filing a compensation claim for medical misdiagnosis. As a general rule about the time limit, you must file the claim within 3 years of the date when the error occurred.

It could be that there was a considerable time lapse between your first visit to the doctor and the second visit when the misdiagnosis becomes noticeable. In this case, you must file the claim within 3 years from the date you discover that your injuries or worsening health issues are due to a missed or late diagnosis.

The deadline extends only under a few specific circumstances. Please read on or get in touch today for free legal advice to learn more about misdiagnosis claims.

Who Is The Misdiagnosis Claim Against?

You must file a medical misdiagnosis claim against the hospital or GP surgery that you first consulted with.

If the misdiagnosis occurred as a result of negligence in an NHS hospital,the claim should be against the NHS Trust in question. When suing the NHS for misdiagnosis, you must be able to prove that your misdiagnosis came about as a result of negligence.

If the consultation happens in a private clinic, your misdiagnosis claims may be against the medical practitioner in question or their insurance company.

Compensation Payouts For Suing The NHS For Misdiagnosis

misdiagnosis claims

Compensation for medical negligence and medical misdiagnosis are generally formed from two parts: general damages, and special damages. General damages are calculated according to the unique circumstances of each case, which can include:

  • The severity and extent of the harm suffered
  • The effect the harm will have on your day-to-day life
  • Recovery times
  • How extensive or invasive your treatment will be

On the other hand, special damages aim to compensate you for any financial losses you may have experienced as a result of your misdiagnosis that you would not have experienced otherwise. These can include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Childcare costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical bills

The compensation table below features figures from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG. These are based on past cases but your compensation settlement may not necessarily reflect these brackets.

Injury TypeCompensation BracketNotes
Total BlindnessIn the region of £268,720
Total blindness in both eyes.
Severe Psychiatric Damage (a)£54,830 to £115,730Inability to cope with work, education, and life, with a poor prognosis.
Moderately Severe PTSD (b)£23,150 to £59,860Cases where some recovery is possible with professional help, with effects that still cause significant disability.
Total Deafness£90,750 to £109,650Consideration given to presence of speech deficit and tinnitus.
Lung Disease (b)£70,030 to £97,330Lung cancer causing severe pain, impairing both function and quality of life, generally in an older person.
Absestos-Related Mesothelioma (a)£63,650 to £114,460Mesothelioma, with severe pain and impairment of quality of life.
Female Infertility (a)£114,900 to £170,280Infertility by cause of disease.
Kidney Injuries (a)£169,400 to £210,400Total loss or severe damage to both kidneys.
Bowel Injuries (b)Up to £150,110
Complete loss of natural function, with dependence on colostomy and consideration given to age.

For more information on suing the NHS for misdiagnosis caused by negligence, contact our team of expert advisors. They can give you more information on making a claim and can provide a more accurate estimation of what you could receive.

What’s the Average Payout for Cancer Misdiagnosis?

It’s impossible to provide an average payout for cancer misdiagnosis. This is because every claim is different. As you can see from the compensation table above, there are many aspects that can determine the potential redress amount.

However, you may still be wondering, “how much compensation could I receive if a doctor has misdiagnosed me?”. An important aspect of claiming for misdiagnosis is proving that the actions of the medical professional in question went below the minimum standard of care.

With cancer misdiagnosis claims, aspects that may be reviewed as part of the claims process includes how the cancer has spread, how it has developed, to what degree the misdiagnosis has affected this and your prognosis. Whether you’re looking to claim due to a misdiagnosis in a hospital, or at a GP, we can provide you with a better idea of what you could receive if you contact us.

You can do so at a time that suits you by using the details above. We can explain to you in just one phone call about your claim eligibility, answer any questions and give you a potential compensation estimate.

Understanding No Win No Fee Agreements

Making a claim for misdiagnosis compensation can seem complex. As such, it is always advisable to hire a personal injury lawyer instead of pursuing the case yourself. If you have a strong case, most personal injury lawyers will agree to help you out on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you do not have to pay any legal fees upfront.

The lawyer will file the case and represent you in court without charging you anything. You only pay after the case ends and only if the lawyer wins the misdiagnosis claim for you. The amount that you are due to pay will be a percentage of the total compensation.

Contact us today for some free legal advice. Alternatively, read our No Win No Fee guide on how our service could help you.

Contact Our Team

After taking the time to read our delayed treatment compensation guide, you may have additional questions relating to your medical negligence claim. If so, you could contact our team as they can help you to start your misdiagnosis claims.

Our medical negligence solicitors can offer free legal advice of no obligation. To speak with our team about working with misdiagnosis solicitors, please use one of the following quick and easy methods:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Fill out an online form
  • Click the live chat feature at the bottom right of your screen to speak with an advisor.

 Medical Misdiagnosis Claims FAQs

Could you claim misdiagnosis compensation?

Claiming compensation for a misdiagnosis comes under general damages, as this covers any pain and suffering if a doctor failed to diagnose you properly.

Can You Sue A Doctor For Misdiagnosis?

You could sue for misdiagnosis if you’re able to prove that a doctor’s actions went below their expected standard of care, leading to negligence which resulted in your injury or your condition worsening as a result. It’s important to note that you could make a lawsuit for being misdiagnosed against any medical professional. This could include nurses and hospital staff if they negligently misdiagnose you.

It’s important to note that you may not always receive compensation after being misdiagnosed. A medical professional has a duty of care that they need to adhere to as part of their profession. But, ultimately, there are times when you may be misdiagnosed despite the medical professional seemingly doing everything they possibly can to diagnose you correctly.

Therefore, it’s important to have evidence to prove how their negligence caused your misdiagnosis. Evidence you could use includes medical notes, copies of medical scans, notes from you detailing how your condition has worsened and, if possible, witness statements.

To learn more about if you can sue for misdiagnosis, please contact us for free using the details above.

How do you prove misdiagnosis?

To have grounds to make a medical misdiagnosis claim, what do you need to prove? Well, that another doctor acting with appropriate attention to detail mightn’t misdiagnose you in the manner that your doctor has.

What should you do when you receive a misdiagnosis?

If you are affected by a missed/late diagnosis, you should gather information to understand the situation. And you should focus on the symptoms rather than diagnosing an injury and mention everything of relevance. Each element plays a key role in the validity and potential success of any misdiagnosis claims.

Can You Sue a Doctor for Failure to Diagnose?

You may be able to claim compensation if you can prove that the doctor failing to diagnose caused you harm in some way. However, in extreme or difficult cases, you may have a condition that is very difficult to diagnose, meaning that a doctor failing to diagnose you correctly may not be considered a negligent action.

If you’re unsure if you can claim, contact us for a free consultation using the above details.

Can You Sue a Hospital for Misdiagnosis?

As a doctor, nurse or medical professional will usually be an employee of a hospital or medical institution, when claiming, you would claim directly against the organisation. You would need evidence showing that your injury was misdiagnosed, and that this misdiagnosis has led to a worsening of your condition.

Can You Claim for Medical Negligence after 3 Years?

In certain circumstances, you may be able to. If you were unaware that you were the victim of medical negligence or that the damage was caused by the negligent actions, you may be able to claim from the date of knowledge. This is from the date you became aware that medical negligence has led to a worsening of your condition. You would have three years from this date to claim.

There may also be exceptions for child claims or those with limited mental capacity. Get in touch today to find out if you could be eligible for an exception.

What classes as a misdiagnosis?

This type of error can occur while a medical professional is providing a prognosis based on symptoms. The prognosis could prove to be incorrect, with the condition being something different.

The condition a patient has could prove to be something worse than what was initially diagnosed, which can have serious consequences for the patient. This can especially apply with issues related to brain injury claims or cancer claims including specifically cancer misdiagnosis claims.

What happens if a doctor misdiagnosed you?

The doctor could then be liable for malpractice. But it’s important to have clear evidence supporting this allegation.

How long does it take to settle a negligence claim?

The usual period of settling such a claim is between 18 months and 2 years. But some claims could stretch to 3-4 years if they have to go to court.

What are the 4 D’s of medical negligence?

These are Duty, then Deviation, along with Direct Causation and also Damages.

Useful links on medical misdiagnosis claims

Hospital Negligence Claims Explained

Check out this guide to learn more about claiming for negligence which you experienced within a hospital.

A Guide To Dental Negligence Claims

This guide looks in-depth at making a claim for different types of dental negligence.

Birth Injury Claims Explained

Read this guide to learn more about claiming for injuries which occurred during a child birth due to medical negligence.

A Guide To The NHS Complaints Procedure

Check this online Government guide to learn how to make a formal complaint about an NHS service.

Check The Latest NHS Statistics

This section of the NHS website provides access to the latest statistics published by the health service.

Search For NHS Services In Your Local Area

You can use this section of the NHS website to search for different types of health services near your location.

Further Related Articles

Other Useful Claims Guides

  • Read this article if you want more information about claiming for an NHS data breach.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make misdiagnosis claims. We hope you now have a greater understanding when it comes to delayed treatment compensation.

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