Medical Misdiagnosis describes a condition where a medical professional makes an incorrect diagnosis of a medical condition after investigations or tests, or completely fails to even detect the presence of the ailment. It can also describe where the correct diagnosis is unnecessarily delayed.
Clinical negligence results in several complications and avoidable pain, injury or trauma for the victim. The family of the victim are also affected.
You are entitled to make medical negligence claims if you have suffered from misdiagnosis due to doctor negligence.
What happens when you have been misdiagnosed?
When medical conditions are misdiagnosed, it can shorten the lifespan of the patient, prolong treatment time, involve a more difficult treatment procedure or lead to debilitating disabilities- all of which could have been well avoided.
Making a claim for medical compensation due to misdiagnosis is your best chance to know what really happened and get a commensurate compensation for the harm done to you, which will be very vital for your recovery. Whether it was a missed diagnosis, late diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis which has caused you avoidable pain and complications, medical misdiagnosis claims can be lodged.
Can Misdiagnosis be Malpractice?
Of course, it can. Medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients and should use all available diagnostic tools and facilities to ensure that they make the right diagnosis for every patient as any wrong call could lead to very severe consequences.
It is therefore negligence or malpractice on the part of the medical professional to wrongly diagnose a patient’s medical condition.
Medical Misdiagnosis UK Statistics
Medical misdiagnosis UK according to the NHS Resolution (NHSR) for the 2014/2015 year shows that the NHS paid out £197.2m in compensation for medical misdiagnosis claims across several departments. The NHS Resolution describes misdiagnosis in two ways;
- Failure/delay diagnosis
- Wrong diagnosis
A breakdown of this figure shows that £185m was paid in compensation for successful failure/delay diagnosis claims (1,156 claims) while £12m was paid as settlement for successful medical misdiagnosis cases of wrong diagnosis (150).
Forms Of Misdiagnosis
Medical misdiagnosis can be described as existing in the following forms;
- Incorrect diagnosis – This refers to when a medical professional makes a wrong diagnosis. You could be diagnosed with a far less serious or even more serious health condition than you actually have. This of course leads to wrong treatment, unnecessary psychological distress and other complications for the patient.
- Late diagnosis – In this situation, the medical condition of the patient is rightly diagnosed but after several years or months which greatly affects the chances of survival. Effects of late diagnosis are that you may need a more aggressive treatment, the treatment will take longer than necessary or other complications may also arise.
- Missed diagnosis – This is a case of failure to diagnose. Here your doctor failed to detect your medical condition meaning that you don’t get any treatment at all. This is often dangerous as the ailment continues to spread becoming more complex and difficult to treat. In many cases, failure to diagnose has led to shortened life span, avoidable loss of some body parts through amputation and death.
Top Five Medical Conditions That Are Most Likely To Be Misdiagnosed
According to NHS Resolution, which represents the NHS Trust whenever a claim is made against them, the top five medical conditions that are most likely to be misdiagnosed are:
- Fracture (29%)
- Cancer (14%)
- Tendon (6%)
- Scaphoid (5%)
- Hip (5%)
This is based on the information provided by the NHS Resolution on the top 30 words that appear when looking at claims that were closed or settled in 2014/2015 relating to “failure/delay diagnosis” and “wrong diagnosis”.
What Are The Causes Of Misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis can be caused by the following negligent actions;
- Wrong interpretation of test, x-ray and scan results
- Failure to conduct proper diagnostic tests before making diagnosis
- Deficient expertise of your medical professional
- Failing to refer patient to a specialist for expert medical attention
- Performing wrong tests
If your condition has been misdiagnosed for some of the above-mentioned reasons or other similar ones, you may have strong grounds to file a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit against your doctor or healthcare provider.
What are the effects of being misdiagnosed?
The effects of medical misdiagnosis include;
- Increased stress
- Worsened condition
- Development of other diseases
- Nerve/organ damage
- Unpleasant adverse effect due to unnecessary medication/treatment
- Unnecessary financial expenses
- Worse case scenario, death!
Medical Misdiagnosis Claims We Handle
Suing for medical misdiagnosis can be a very sensitive issue. This is why you need expert medical negligence claims misdiagnosis solicitors to make your claims. We are able to undertake the following misdiagnosis claims;
- Incorrect diagnosis claims
- Missed diagnosis claims
- Late diagnosis claims
- Medical Negligence Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
- Hospital Misdiagnosis Claim
- GP Misdiagnosis Claim
- Mental Health Misdiagnosis Claims
What Should My Medical Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim Prove?
When claiming compensation for medical misdiagnosis through a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit, it is important that you contact a specialist medical misdiagnosis lawyer to assist you make your claims.
Here at Medical Negligence Direct, we have some of the best lawyers in the UK for medical misdiagnosis who have many years of experience in this area of civil law. It is our duty to share in your burden and pain, stand by you and see that you are well supported in this difficult time.
With our medical misdiagnosis solicitors, you can be sure that your medical malpractice misdiagnosis claims will be handled competently as you we will guarantee you the best legal representation for best possible settlement payouts.
Your misdiagnosis claim should be able to show that;
- Your healthcare provider had a responsibility to care for you (duty of care)
- Your healthcare provider was negligent and so failed in his or her duty of care to you.
- The negligent treatment and substandard care you received caused you pain, suffering or other complications
- You have also suffered damages to your health, general wellbeing and even financially as a result of the injury, pain or complications suffered.
What To Do If You Have Been Misdiagnosed?
If you think that your condition was misdiagnosed, you can take the following actions;
- Make complaints
- Make a misdiagnosis claim
Making Complaints For Misdiagnosis
By law, you are allowed only a period of 12months to express your dissatisfaction and make complaints to the relevant NHS body or private establishment about your negligent treatment. The response you receive can help you to understand what actually happened, if there was actually misdiagnosis and also help you gather facts or evidence to make a claim. You can address your complaints to your GP/ the doctor responsible, the Practice Manager or the NHS Governing Body.
The following are important to be included in your complaint letter;
- The main subject of your complaint
- The GP or healthcare provider responsible
- Diagnosis or treatment you received, other events that transpired and why you think he or she was negligent
- Your questions, queries and the explanations you seek
- How you would like to be contacted for feedback
The NHS PALS office can give you a guide on how to make NHS complaints.
Although you do not need a medical negligence solicitor to write complaints, we will be glad to help you should you wish that we help you make your complaints.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your initial complaints to the NHS, you can write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO is an independent body from the NHS and Government. They investigate complaints that couldn’t be resolved in the local resolution stage. They will require that you provide details of your original complaint to the NHS, the response you received and every other relevant document to your case.
It is therefore important to keep these documents safe as they will be vital if you decide to proceed with your claims. You can find guidelines on how to make your complaints to the PHSO on their website. Alternatively, our solicitors are ready to help you with this
It is important that you make haste with your complaints as you have limited time to make your claims and the time will continue to run regardless of the outcome of your complaints.
Making Medical Misdiagnosis Claim UK
After making your complaints, you can decide to proceed with your claims if you are not satisfied with the way your complaints were handled or you have become fully convinced that you suffered negligent treatment which was why your condition was misdiagnosed.
What to do if you think you have been misdiagnosed
Follow the steps outlined below to make your medical misdiagnosis compensation claim;
- Contact Your Lawyer
- Fund Your Claim
- Gathering Facts and Evidence
- Establishing Liability
- Negotiations and Settlement Payment
During our free consultation session, our medical negligence solicitors will give you more explanation of what your misdiagnosis claim entails, give you free legal advice and support you in whatever way you require to make the entire process stress-free for you.
Claiming Compensation For Misdiagnosis
Compensation figures for misdiagnosis claims like all medical negligence claims are not fixed. The facts and circumstances surrounding each case of misdiagnosis determines what the compensation amount will be. Some factors which will affect your settlement payout include;
- Severity of injury or harm caused by the misdiagnosis
- Future prognosis and estimated time for recovery
- Damages suffered as a result of the negligence
- Costs of further medical treatments, rehabilitative care
- Costs of mobility aids and assistive devices
- Financial losses such as loss of income, pension, inheritance, etc.
- Costs of hiring caregivers
- Housing adjustments
However, using our medical misdiagnosis calculator, our medical misdiagnosis claims Solicitors will give you an idea of what you can expect as compensation award. According to the NHS resolution, the average medical negligence compensation amount in the UK is £50,000. Settlement payouts can however fall anywhere between £1,000 and several millions of pounds.
Medical Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limit
The Limitation Act of 1980 stipulates that you have only three years starting from the date of the negligent treatment or the date you became aware of it, to make your medical malpractice claims. In a situation where the victim dies, the three-year time limit starts to count from the date of death.
The few exceptions to this rule are;
- Claims Involving A Child: If the victim is not up to 18years of age, the individual has until his or her 21st birthday to make claims. This is because the three-year time frame applies to someone who is an adult. However, the parents and guardians of the child can make claims on their behalf rather than waiting till the child is of age to bring claims by themselves.
- Claims Involving persons who are physically or mentally incapacitated- persons in this category can be allowed enough time until they are able to make claims. Alternatively, a loved one or next of kin also known as litigation friend can make claims on behalf of such a person.
No Win No Fee Claim
At Medical Negligence Direct, we handle our medical malpractice misdiagnosis claims under our no win no fee policy or conditional fee agreement.
Under this policy, we will proceed to represent you with no financial implications to you once we have evaluated your claims and are convinced that you have strong grounds for a claim. With our No Win No Fee policy you do not have to pay any legal fees even if the case is unsuccessful.
However, at the end of a successful case, we will deduct 25% of your total compensation award value while you get the rest of the compensation amount. This is known as “success fee”.
For your claims on medical misdiagnosis, contact us today as we offer you a free claim assessment where we look at the facts and determine if you have a valid claim or not. Our lawyers are friendly, understanding, dedicated and very professional. It is our duty to ensure that you get the best legal representation and we will do nothing short of that to see you get the justice you deserve.