How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis? - MedicalNegligenceDirect

How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis?

How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis?


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    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 show that the doctor actually negligently misdiagnosed the patient’s condition. This will be done with the help of a medical negligence solicitor. It has to be shown that the misdiagnosis 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. 

    How Do You Prove Misdiagnosis

    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 NHS resolution the NHS paid out £197.2m in compensation for misdiagnosis claims across several medical specialties in 2014/2015. The NHS Resolution describes misdiagnosis in these forms;

    • 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, the patient will be subjected to wrong treatment. In some cases, wrong diagnosis has 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 be reduced. Also, 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.

    Examples Misdiagnosis

    Various examples of misdiagnosis include;

    Causes Of Misdiagnosis

    Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. They should be careful so that their actions will not jeopardize the health and safety of 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 and make a proper evaluation of your claim. He will also 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 of the events that transpired. This will contain details of medical appointments dates, the Doctor who attended to you and the form of misdiagnosis made.  It will also include the 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.
    • 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

    Using our medical negligence calculator, our solicitors will give you a range of what you can expect as a settlement award. 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

    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. We 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. 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.


    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 make the right diagnosis for the good of his patient. He should also refer his patient for tests or scans before making a diagnosis. Additionally, where expert opinion is required, he should refer the patient to a specialist. 

    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. 

    Reach out to us today via our helplines 0800 644 4240 or fill out our online free claims assessment form to get your claims started.

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