When trying to prove a case of medical misdiagnosis, the victim or the loved one making claims on behalf of the victim of misdiagnosis must with the help of a medical negligence solicitor, show that the doctor actually negligently misdiagnosed the patient’s condition which would not have occurred if another doctor in the same specialty were to make the diagnosis. In simpler words, the plaintiff has to show that a non-negligent doctor would have made an accurate diagnosis of the medical condition.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis refers to a situation where a medical professional makes a diagnosis on a medical condition after investigations or tests but such diagnosis turns out to be incorrect.
Misdiagnosis in the medical profession could also refer to a completely missed diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis is also part of misdiagnosis especially when a wrong diagnosis has been made initially.
Medical Misdiagnosis Statistics In The UK
As the number of medical malpractice claims have continued to increase despite the best efforts of the NHS, so have misdiagnosis claims been on the rise.
Misdiagnosis statistics according to NHS resolution shows that the NHS paid out £197.2m in compensation for misdiagnosis across several medical specialties in 2014/2015. The NHS Resolution describes misdiagnosis in these forms;
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Wrong diagnosis
In the year under review, £185m was paid in compensation for successful failure/delay diagnosis claims against the NHS which represents 1,156 claims. £12m was paid in total for successful wrong diagnosis claims (150 claims) against the NHS that year.
According to the NHS, the top five medical conditions that are most likely to be misdiagnosed are:
- Fracture (29%)
- Cancer (14%)
- Tendon (6%)
- Scaphoid (5%)
- Hip (5%)
This information is based on the data provided by the NHSR on the top 30 words that appear when looking at claims related to “failure/delay diagnosis” and “wrong diagnosis” in that year.
In 2017/18, the number of misdiagnosis claims against the NHS increased to 1789 with 1,100 being as a result of failure or delay in treatment while 679 were because of wrong diagnosis.
In the NHS Resolution figures released in 2019, there were 4097 successful misdiagnosis claims against the NHS. This has led to the NHS paying over £583m in compensation claims over the last three years for failure of doctors to make the right diagnosis.
Forms Of Medical Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis exists in these three forms;
- Wrong diagnosis – This refers to when a medical professional makes an incorrect diagnosis of your illness. The diagnosis may be far worse than what you are actually suffering or otherwise. The consequence of wrong diagnosis is that it brings undue emotional and psychological trauma to the patient in addition to the fact that the patient will be subjected to wrong treatment. In some cases, wrong diagnosis have led to unnecessary surgery procedures and this is highly unacceptable.
- Late diagnosis – when there is late diagnosis of a medical condition, it means that the correct diagnosis was made much later than it ought to have been. This could be after several months. This will mean that the patient’s chances of survival will reduce or the patient may need a more aggressive treatment plan to treat the condition. Sometimes, what should have been corrected with a minor procedure may now require a major surgery.
- Failure to diagnose (Total Misdiagnosis) – This is a case where the condition is completely missed, meaning that the patient does not get any treatment at all.
Various examples of misdiagnosis include;
- Missed or misdiagnosed fractures
- Cancer misdiagnosis
- Misdiagnosis of head injuries
- Undiagnosed stroke
- Undiagnosed appendicitis
- Undiagnosed infections
- Missed or delayed diagnosis of diabetes
- Undiagnosed, missed or delayed diagnoses of other medical conditions
Causes Of Misdiagnosis
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients and should be careful so that their actions will not jeopardize the health and safety of the patients under their care. The main cause of misdiagnosis is negligence. Medical negligence leading to misdiagnosis comes in different ways, which include;
- Failing to perform the relevant tests before making diagnosis
- Wrong interpretation of test or scan results
- Failure to make proper follow ups on initial test
- Failure to refer for further confirmatory tests or refer to a specialist for expert examination
- Inadequate expertise of your doctor in that field of interest
When your GP or other medical professional makes mistakes that causes you or your loved one harm, injury, emotional trauma or leads to other complications, then you can make a medical misdiagnosis claim. Your medical negligence solicitor will listen to you, make a proper evaluation of your claim and guide you through the process of making a claim.
What Can You Do If A Doctor Misdiagnosed You?
If a doctor misdiagnosed you and you have suffered harm as a result, then you can take legal actions against that doctor by making medical negligence claims. As a plaintiff, you are expected to show that the doctor was negligent and that his or her misdiagnosis directly led to the difficult situation you find yourself in. Some Medical Misdiagnosis Claims our solicitors handle includes:
- Wrong diagnosis claims
- Missed diagnosis claims
- Late diagnosis claims
- Cancer misdiagnosis claims
- Unnecessary surgery compensation claims
How To Prove My Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim?
To prove a case of misdiagnosis, the four parts of negligence have to be established. These are; duty, deviation, direct causation and damages.
What this means is that you have to show that;
- That your medical professional owed you a duty to care for you
- That the medical professional was negligent and breached that duty of care to you by misdiagnosing your condition
- That the misdiagnosis caused you pain, suffering or made your condition worse
- Additionally, you have suffered further damages impacting your quality of life and general wellbeing.
What Documents Do I Need To Prove My Misdiagnosis Claims?
Your medical negligence solicitors will require you to make available certain important materials to prove your claims. Here, we can assist you fast track the process of obtaining these documents if you are unable to do so.
- A detailed report containing details of medical appointments dates, the Doctor who attended to you, the form of diagnosis or misdiagnosis made, harm or injury suffered, the impact of the injury suffered on your daily life as well as other relevant information.
- If the victim is dead, you will also state how the events that transpired leading to the death of your loved one.
- Medical reports, test and scan results
- Witness reports from family or close friends
- Evidence of financial losses incurred (including both past and present financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses)
- Photographs or images where applicable
- Medical Report from an Independent Medical Expert who will be assigned to perform proper medical examinations on you to ascertain the degree of harm or injury.
The Medical Misdiagnosis Claims Process
The process of how to file a medical malpractice claim is briefly outlined below;
- Contact Your Lawyer
- Fund Your Claim
- Gathering Facts and Evidence
- Establishing Liability and submission of letter of claim
- Negotiations and Settlement Payment
How Much Compensation For Misdiagnosis?
The compensation amount you may receive for your misdiagnosis claims depends on the peculiarities of your case. It is not fixed.
Your compensation for misdiagnosis will depend on the following factors;
- The circumstances surrounding the misdiagnosis
- Severity of harm done as a result of the misdiagnosis
- Future prognosis
- Costs of further medical appointments and treatments
- Costs of medications and rehabilitative care
- Financial losses incurred
- Costs of hiring caregivers
- Accommodation adjustments costs
Be that as it may, our medical negligence claims solicitors will give you a range of what you can expect as a settlement award using our medical negligence calculator. In the UK, the average compensation amount according to NHS Resolution is £50,000. However, settlement payouts a plaintiff may receive can range between £1,000 and several millions of pounds.
Settlement Payout For General Damages According To The Judicial College Guidelines
|INJURY SEVERITY||AVERAGE COMPENSATION AWARD|
|Head injuries||Severe- £205,580 to £379,100|
Moderate- £14,380 to £205,580
Minor- £2,070 to £11,980
|Ear injuries||£6,580 to £42,730|
|Eye injuries||Up to £252,180 depending on the severity|
|Neck injuries||Severe- £42,680 to £139,210|
Moderate- £12,900 to £36,120
Minor- £2,300 to £7,410
|Foot injuries||Serious- £39,390 to £189,110|
Moderate- £12,900 to £23,460
|Injuries to Internal Organs- such as heart and lungs||Between £60,000 to £100,000.|
|Severe brain Injury||Between £180,000 to £300,000|
|Pelvic and Hip injury||£50,000 to £85,000.|
|Amputation||£65,000 to £200,000.|
|Pain and suffering||£1,000 to £200,000|
|Death||£12,000 to £300,000|
|Negligence leading to Infertility||£31,950 to £95,850|
|Spinal cord injuries||£50,000 to £300,000. |
Severe cases- above £1 million
|Cerebral palsy||values above £500,000|
|Dental Injuries||£1,020 to £1600 for minor damaged teeth |
£27,940 to £91,350 for very serious facial scarring
|Emotional distress||Between £1,000 to £45,000 depending on the severity|
Our Expertise In Medical Misdiagnosis claims
Our medical negligence solicitors have many years of experience in representing clients who have suffered from several kinds of misdiagnosis and so have the required expertise to give you a strong legal representation.
We take pride in ourselves for being able to settle the medical negligence claims we handle swiftly and not only that but also securing deserving compensation amounts to the satisfaction of our clients.
We will ensure that the entire negligence claims process is not cumbersome or stressful on you as we hope to help you put behind the ugly incident as quickly as possible.
Time Limit For Making Medical Negligence Claims
It is important that you know that you have only three years starting from the date of the negligent treatment or the date you became aware of it, to make claims. This is according to the Limitation Act of 1980. Also, if the victim is deceased, the three-year time limit starts from the date of death.
The exceptions to this rule are;
- Claims Involving A Child: if the victim is a minor, claims can be made until the individual’s 21st as the three-year time frame begins to count when the person becomes an adult (18th birthday).
- Claims Involving persons who are incapacitated- in this case, the time frame can be relaxed until when they are able to make claims.
- Alternatively, for both cases the loved ones or next of kin also known as litigation friend can make claims on behalf of the victims
No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors
At Medical Negligence Direct, we handle our medical negligence claims cases which includes medical misdiagnosis claims under our no win no fee policy or conditional fee agreements. Under this policy, we will proceed to undertake your case with no financial implications to you. Once we have evaluated your claims and are convinced that you have a valid claim with a good chance of winning, we will take on your case.
Our No Win No Fee policy also protects you from paying legal fees even if the case is unsuccessful.
However, at the end of a successful case, 25% of your total compensation award value will be deducted as “success fee”.
When Doctors fail to do what is required of them as professionals, in the discharge of their duty, they may be held liable. A doctor should refer a patient who presents symptoms of a particular illness for tests or scans, and should also refer the patient to a specialist where necessary.
You can sue a doctor for a wrong diagnosis and avoidable clinical negligence errors. The onus lies on you as the plaintiff to prove that indeed the doctor made an incorrect diagnosis and that you or your loved one has suffered harm as a result. Where there is no harm done, you may not make a claim.
Want to get maximum compensation for misdiagnosis, Contact us today for assistance