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An estimated twelve million persons in the United Kingdom have been misdiagnosed with a condition they do not have, consequently leading to a rapidly growing number of misdiagnosis claims as seen in recent times. In about half of these misdiagnosed cases, the patient has the potential to suffer severe harm.
Medical misdiagnosis almost always has negative consequences on a person’s health – for example, it can hamper a patient’s recovery period or quality of life generally. If you need to make misdiagnosis claims, you are guaranteed success with our help.
In most cases, when a patient is having their symptoms investigated, an accurate diagnosis and accurate treatment is given. However, in some cases, an inaccurate diagnosis is given, which leads to wrong treatment. This may be very harmful to the patient and may be life-threatening. Approximately 40,000 people who enter an intensive care unit in a year lose their lives as a result of misdiagnosis.
Medical misdiagnosis caused by medical negligence can be categorized into the following:
- Total misdiagnosis: this is when a medical practitioner fails to diagnose a health condition, following health problems.
On the other hand, a specialist may be too confident in his ability to a point where they overlook certain symptoms in patients who have peculiar conditions. This will ultimately lead to misdiagnosis.
- Late diagnosis: this has an impact on the recovery time of the patient and can prolong health issues.
- Incorrect diagnosis: this occurs when an improper medication or treatment is being administered to a patient.
If you find yourself in this category of persons who have been misdiagnosed in a way that brought about negative consequences, then you are entitled to compensation.
What are Misdiagnosis Claims?
Having had a clear understanding of what misdiagnosis is, you should also know that there are claims for misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis claim is a type of medical negligence claim brought about by a preventable adverse effect of care.
Medical misdiagnosis claims are claims which apply when a medical professional gives a diagnosis which is not as severe as a patient’s condition. On the other hand, a diagnosis can be made which appears to be more serious than the patient’s actual condition. Any of these cases could lead to wrong treatment and may therefore cause severe health damages to the patient, or even a loss of life in an extreme case.
When a patient is accurately diagnosed, there are higher chances of administering the correct treatment and for survival. Conversely, when a doctor misdiagnoses, the chances of administering accurate treatment and survival chances altogether, becomes significantly low. Series of complaints have been made to the National Health Service (NHS) in relation to misdiagnosis claims, with it being reported by the Healthcare Commission that 1 in 10 complaints have been related to incorrect diagnosis, delayed diagnosis or total misdiagnosis.
Some typical examples of Misdiagnosis include:
- Not sending you to an experienced specialist.
- Misinterpreting your test results.
- Not examining you properly.
- Failure to acknowledge your medical history.
- Not paying proper attention to your symptoms.
What are the Causes of Misdiagnosis Claims?
When medical professionals fail to diagnose patients, make the wrong diagnosis or make other diagnostic errors in the course of treatment, the consequences can be devastating and even possibly, deadly.
This is because conditions and illnesses can be allowed to progress and/or spread, making these conditions harder and almost impossible to treat when a proper diagnosis is eventually made. There are numerous causes of misdiagnosis errors and some of these causes are highlighted below:
- Disintegration of Care: This has become a major and growing concern in modern medicine. Disintegration of care is a situation that occurs when a patient visits more than one medical practitioner for their health conditions. These specialists may likely order different tests and provide different results based on their specific perspectives. If the patient is eventually a specialist who orders the wrong treatment, then a case of medical misdiagnosis will occur.Even within the National Health Service (NHS), a patient may be seen by multiple doctors who order different tests and examinations, then offer varying reports of illness. This makes it very difficult to administer an accurate treatment to the patient, and this may lead to misdiagnosis.
- Overconfidence or Inexperience of the medical professional: There are cases where a medical professional may be inexperienced to accurately read the symptoms of a particular condition, know when to call for certain tests or know how to properly read the results of these tests prior to diagnosis. This inexperience will be to the detriment of the patient who will likely suffer the consequences of misdiagnosis.
- Insufficient time spent with patients: It is not news that doctors have very tight schedules, and as a result, they spend almost insignificant amounts of time with their patients. Research shows that a doctor spends about 10-15 minutes with each of their patients.This lack of time spent with patients is not caused by a lack of care, but rather by the high need for medical care and attention. Since the doctors do not spend so much time with their patients, it becomes very difficult for them to accurately judge their conditions and provide appropriate diagnosis based on the symptoms read. This leads to medical misdiagnosis.
- Lack of Diagnostic Testing: In most cases, several diagnostic tests are needed in order to determine the patient’s exact condition. Different patients pose different challenges and require different care and attention.
Doctors may be willing and ready to perform sufficient tests before administering treatment, however, they may not do this due to insurance constraints, or in some other cases, a lack of diagnostic testing can be as a result of a doctor’s inexperience to know when to call for certain testing, or a doctor’s overconfidence in his abilities. This makes them so assured they are doing the right thing, and may not call for additional testing to confirm or possibly cancel their previous diagnosis.
If you have been a victim of misdiagnosis for any of the reasons stated above, don’t delay claim today or call us on 0800 644 4240!
Types of Misdiagnosis Claims
There are numerous types of medical misdiagnosis claims. They include, but are not limited to the following:
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm misdiagnosis claims
- Appendicitis misdiagnosis claims
- Bacterial Meningitis misdiagnosis
- Cancer misdiagnosis
- Peritonitis misdiagnosis
- Septicaemia misdiagnosis
- Ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage misdiagnosis
- Unnecessary surgery compensation
- Missed Fracture Compensation Claims
- Tendon Injury Misdiagnosis Claims
- Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims
- Meningitis Misdiagnosis Claims
- Deep Vein Thrombosis Claims
- Diabetes Misdiagnosis
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm misdiagnosis
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are most common in men and women over the age of 65, and up to half of these cases are misdiagnosed. This is a lump in the main blood vessel from the heart, and can have grave consequences if your doctor neglects to offer an X-ray or dye test.
In recent years, technology for diagnosing appendicitis has come along in leaps and bounds. However, if your doctor mistakenly assumes that you have appendicitis, you may go through unnecessary surgery to remove the appendix, which could result in pain and possibly complications during recovery. Alternatively, if your doctor does not detect appendicitis, this could lead to more serious conditions such as peritonitis which is a rupture (breakage or bursting) of the appendix.
Appendicitis needs to be treated urgently through surgery in order to remove the appendix. If your appendix ruptures, it can result in infection or the development of abscesses or blood poisoning, any of which can be life-threatening. If you reported pain in your lower right abdomen, along with other symptoms such as a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea, but your doctor failed to act quickly, you may be eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis claim.
Bacterial Meningitis misdiagnosis
Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening condition and must be treated by medical professionals as a medical emergency. Though children are more at risk than adults, bacterial meningitis is extremely dangerous, and may lead to brain injury and hearing damage. Bacterial meningitis is associated with an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain.
Symptoms are known to include a combination of fever, a rash, vomiting, neck pain, drowsiness and convulsions. If a medical professional missed your meningitis symptoms or those of your child, you should go ahead and make a misdiagnosis claim.
One of the most common conditions to be misdiagnosed is cancer, because it presents symptoms similar to numerous, less serious, illnesses. The disease is caused by abnormal cells in the body which begin to divide uncontrollably, which causes them to multiply. This build-up of abnormal cells may form a tumour and the cells may also start to spread all over the body.
There are more than 200 types of cancer, and in some cases, medical professionals fail to diagnose the specific condition when symptoms first appear. As one of the top leading causes of death in the UK, it affects up to one in three persons.
While It is possible to treat and cure some cancers if detected early, late detection leads to a much shorter life expectancy. Misdiagnoses often occur in younger people, who are often wrongly thought to be too healthy to have cancer at a young age. In any case, when claims are brought, cancer misdiagnosis settlements are usually awarded to victims.
Peritonitis is a development of late-stage appendicitis which can cause the appendix to rupture. This can lead to extreme damage to other internal organs, or even death.
Septicaemia (Sepsis) misdiagnosis
Septicaemia is caused by bacteria in the blood and is commonly introduced from medical surgery such as dental work. If early diagnosis is not made, the rate of mortality can climb to as high as 40%, as it can lead to organ failure.
Ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis
An ectopic pregnancy is a condition which occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb in one of the fallopian tubes. As the embryo grows, the tube stretches and, if the pregnancy continues, the tube can break or burst. This causes pain and bleeding which requires medical attention.
Many claims involving ectopic pregnancy are made in respect to the pain and suffering caused by the delay in diagnosis, rather than from the damage to the fallopian tube itself. If you suffered due to a delay in the diagnosis of your ectopic pregnancy, you might have reasonable grounds for a medical misdiagnosis claim.
Subarachnoid haemorrhage misdiagnosis
A subarachnoid haemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding on the brain. Typical symptoms of subarachnoid hemorrhage include a stiff neck, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and vision problems. Most times, a patient’s symptoms will be mistakenly attributed to a migraine or a headache, but it is the combination of symptoms that should alert a medical professional to the fact that a subarachnoid haemorrhage needs to be diagnosed or excluded.
Do I need to make a claim?
You may be wondering what you stand to gain if you make a claim for misdiagnosis. To be fair, you stand to gain a lot. Once you have noticed delayed or incorrect diagnosis, causing potential delays in treatment, leading to serious long-term injury or worsening medical condition, it is advisable you make a claim for compensation within the space of three years.
Apart from the obvious benefit of monetary compensation, the defaulting medical practitioner will be brought to book and justice will take its course. When this happens, chances of a repeated case of misdiagnosis will be greatly reduced. In general, making medical negligence claims for misdiagnosis goes a long way in improving treatment outcomes.
You can make a medical misdiagnosis claim for any of the following:
- Pain, disability and discomfort caused
- Reduction in life expectancy
- Financial losses
- Cost of medication and equipment
- Cost of treatment, including travel expenses.
Who can make Medical Misdiagnosis Claims?
Anyone who believes they have been victims of misdiagnosis in the hands of a medical practitioner can bring forward a claim for compensation. The major evidence necessary to support your claim involves proving that:
- The medical practitioner administered treatment to you below the required and acceptable medical standard.
- The treatment received or wrong diagnosis has caused you harm or further deteriorated your existing condition.
Can I make misdiagnosis claims against the National Health Scheme (NHS)?
If you have been misdiagnosed by the NHS within the last three years, then you may be eligible to make an nhs misdiagnosis claim once negligence is proven. Many people who want to make claims for wrong diagnosis NHS get worried that they are reducing the NHS budget.
However, the reality is that making a Claim against the NHS will actually not affect the NHS budget in any way. This is because all claims against the NHS for misdiagnosis are handled by their own specialist insurance company, NHS Resolution. All National Health Scheme Trusts pay an annual premium to NHS Resolution, therefore there is sufficient funds available to attend to any patient’s claims against the NHS.
Can I make a misdiagnosis claim against a private healthcare provider?
Yes. When it comes to making misdiagnosis claims, no form of negligent act is exempted. Most people tend to ask; can I sue a doctor for misdiagnosis? It is very possible to submit a misdiagnosis claim if you have suffered a delayed diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis or a total misdiagnosis from a private healthcare provider. However, you must make your claim within three years of the incident occurring.
Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can sue a hospital for misdiagnosis! Whether the resulting act of negligence occurred in a private hospital or whether it was an NHS medical misdiagnosis UK, a claim for misdiagnosis compensation is possible.
It is worthy of note that medical misdiagnosis claims against private hospitals or Trusts work differently to those against the NHS. This is solely because medical professionals in the private sector have their own liability insurance to cover any disputes as stated by the General Medical Council (GMC). As a result of this, private misdiagnosis claims are usually more complicated and can therefore take longer to resolve than that of the NHS.
Are misdiagnosis claims possible with No Win No Fee?
Absolutely yes! Making misdiagnosis claims with us at Medical Negligence Direct is completely risk-free, many thanks to our no win no fee agreement. This agreement means that you will not make any payment if the case is lost. However, if your claim turns out successful, you will be required to pay success fees from your compensation recovered.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors will reach an agreement with you before starting work on your case. If need be, they may take out a special legal protection insurance policy for you. The insurance policy pays the costs if your claim were to fail and ensures claiming is risk-free.
Zero upfront and no hidden charges, if this sounds like a great funding option for you, contact us today.
How Do I Prove Medical Misdiagnosis?
In order to prove medical misdiagnosis, you have to show that you have suffered physical harm and that your healthcare provider was at fault. This physical harm may be caused by your healthcare provider understating the severity of your condition, or on the other hand, overstating its severity as the case may be. Ability to provide evidence to this claim will prove that you have in one way or another, been a victim of medical misdiagnosis.
Steps to take in making Misdiagnosis Claims
If you are wondering how to file lawsuit against a hospital for misdiagnosis, it helps to know the steps to take.
Speak to a misdiagnosis lawyer
If you are convinced that you are suffering as a result of medical misdiagnosis in the UK, the first thing to do is speak to experienced medical misdiagnosis lawyers, who are experts in making misdiagnosis claims. If the wrong diagnosis was carried out by the nhs, your solicitor will also be in the best position to guide you.
Present your evidence
Without solid evidence to back your claim, your misdiagnosis lawyer may not be able to bring a successful claim. This is why it is advised that evidence of all events, detailed witness statements, receipts, test results and any other supporting evidence should be gathered and presented to the solicitor you have instructed
Choose a Funding option
Having presented all evidence to your medical misdiagnosis solicitor, he will proceed to investigate your evidence to ensure your case is worth a claim. Next you will be advised on the available finding options and what is best for you.
Presenting your claim
In a Letter of claim issued to the defendant, your solicitor will put together every piece of evidence brought by you and present it as a solid case on your behalf.
Negotiations and compensation
This is usually the last stage for most misdiagnosis claims cases. You may be wondering why? Well most cases of this nature are usually settled. Once the defendant accepts liability for the suffering and harm you endured due to wrong diagnosis on his path, negotiations follow immediately and a worthy compensation is agreed upon.
What Are the Time Limits for Making Misdiagnosis Claims?
The time limit for making a misdiagnosis compensation claim is three years. As with other forms of negligence cases, this counts as three years from the date of the misdiagnosis incident, or three years from the date that you received the correct diagnosis.
However, the following are exceptions to the three-year time limit:
- If you were under 18 as at the time of the misdiagnosis, you can have somebody represent you until you are 18 years old. You can also represent yourself for up to three years after your 18th birthday (ie. your 21st birthday).
- If you or somebody else was mentally incapacitated as a result of the misdiagnosis (for example with a brain injury), there is no time limit to your compensation claim.
Compensation for Misdiagnosis Claims
If you are wondering how much compensation for misdiagnosis, the first thing you should know is, there are a number of factors that determine the value of every medical compensation claim. Hence, there is no set compensation amount. For instance, the effects the misdiagnosis has had on your personal life will be considered, as well as how severely your health has been affected by it, if there are any long-term damages, etc.
In a case of medical misdiagnosis claim, physical damages are classified as general damages, while other damages such as financial losses are classified as special damages.
Furthermore, if physical injury was caused as a result of misdiagnosis, you can use the Judicial Board Guidelines for a rough figure based on bodily injuries. For instance:
- Injury to internal organs can be worth upto £140,000
- Loss of senses such as hearing, can be worth as much as £214,000
- Brain damage can be worth upto £322,000.
How is misdiagnosis claims compensation calculated?
A number of factors are used to calculate your misdiagnosis claim. This largely depends on the effect the physical injury has had on your personal life. The following are usually considered:
- The severity of the damage, for example if the misdiagnosis led to very serious health conditions like cancer.
- Overall time required for your recovery or changes to your life expectancy.
- Any financial losses such as time spent away from work or travel to various appointments.
- Any necessary adjustments to your home or car.
- Any considerations for long-term damages or need for long-term care.
- Any lifestyle changes you need to make, such as no longer being able to enjoy hobbies, or an impediment to your freedom in any way.
If you want to know how much your misdiagnosis claims uk is worth, our medical misdiagnosis solicitors, using a medical negligence claim calculator can give you an estimated value of your misdiagnosis claims worth.
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Frequently Asked Question about Misdiagnosis Claims
How common is misdiagnosis?
In the United Kingdom, 12 million people are affected by medical diagnostic errors each year.
An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 people lose their lives annually as a result of complications from these misdiagnoses. Research confirms that women and minorities are 20 to 30 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed.
What is the most misdiagnosed disease?
Cancer is the most common misdiagnosed disease. There are many different types of cancer and this makes it very difficult for health care providers to determine the exact type of cancer. Failure to ascertain the exact cancer type will very likely lead to a case of cancer misdiagnosis. Sadly, this happens frequently.
Can I sue for misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can sue for misdiagnosis when a doctor gives a wrong treatment to your medical condition, either by understating or overstating the severity of the condition. This is a part of the legal field called medical malpractice.
The umbrella to this legal area is known as personal injury law. Personal injury cases are civil cases and not criminal cases. However, cases that were misdiagnosed intentionally or that result in death may have some criminal case elements.
How can I avoid misdiagnosis?
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid a misdiagnosis:
- Ask questions – If you have unanswered questions or you do not understand what your doctor is telling you, ask as many questions as necessary to fully understand your situation. A lack of communication is a contributing factor to medical misdiagnosis. Talk openly and clearly with your doctor. Part of their job is to help their patients understand their conditions.
- Get a second opinion – Do not be afraid to see several doctors. Getting a second opinion is always an advisable course of action. A specialized health care provider can have different insights that could help with your diagnosis. Do your homework and find a doctor who has helped other people who were in your position.
- Keep detailed records – You need to maintain an organized timeline of your symptoms and treatments. While lab tests and hospital records are always good to have, think about documenting your symptoms in a journal chronologically. You may not always remember the specifics of your symptoms after several months, so a log of symptoms can help a doctor identify your illness.
- Treat your symptoms – If you have visited several doctors and still feel like you are being misdiagnosed, try having a doctor treat those symptoms. It can take a long time to reach a diagnosis, and in the meantime, there is no reason to suffer from symptoms that can be treated with the appropriate medication.