Misdiagnosis Claims & Medical Misdiagnosis Negligence
Medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical negligence claims made, and for good reason; if it happens to you, the impact can be devastating. Finding out that you are ill is always worrying, but we put our faith in our medical practitioners and trust that they will give us the best care and treatment available. Unfortunately, each year patients discover that their trust is misplaced, with the NHS alone paying out millions of pounds each year to settle misdiagnosis claims.
With diseases like cancer and meningitis, or with heart attacks, correctly identifying and treating a condition swiftly is crucial to give a patient the best possible chance. And yet we know that these are the conditions most likely to be misdiagnosed. Sometimes symptoms can be genuinely hard to assess, but if you think that that your diagnosis (or lack of) was negligent you may be able to take action. Whether your disease is misdiagnosed, delayed, or missed altogether, the far-reaching consequences of a wrongful diagnosis can leave you wondering which way to turn.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors have a strong reputation in the world of medical negligence and have helped many victims of misdiagnosis to claim the justice and recompense they deserve. A consultation with us will quickly establish whether what has happened to you is grounds for making a claim, and if so we will fight for you with all of our knowledge and expertise to get what you are entitled to.
Do I have a claim?
If you have been misdiagnosed, and have suffered any of the following as a result, you may well have a valid claim:
- a delay in treatment due to a misdiagnosis of something less serious
- unnecessary treatment following an incorrect diagnosis
- unnecessary surgery based on an incorrect diagnosis
- stress or trauma due to an incorrect diagnosis, for example being incorrectly told that you are terminally ill
- a total absence of diagnosis.
Speak to us as soon as possible if your situation falls under any of these categories and we will run through your claim with you to determine whether it stands a good chance of succeeding.
What am I entitled to?
If, having examined your claim we think that you have good grounds, we will assess your situation and determine what to include. General damages, or compensation for pain, suffering and/or loss of amenity are the most commonly awarded remedy. This is calculated by taking account several factors, including:
- the nature of your illness
- whether your life expectancy has been impacted
- the length of recovery time
- pain and suffering caused to you as a result of the misdiagnosis.
In addition to general damages, you may also be able to claim for loss of income if you have missed work or lost business as a result of your illness, and any other out of pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of your misdiagnosis. You solicitor will be able to give you an estimate of what is reasonable to expect in your circumstances.
Are there time limits for making a claim?
In general, there is a time limit of three years from the point of misdiagnosis in which to bring a claim – although there may be exceptions depending on certain circumstances. In most cases you probably will not instantly realise that the care that you were given was negligent; due to the nature of misdiagnosis any harm done may not become apparent until much later. When this happens, the 3 year time limitation to make a claim will start from the 'date of knowledge'. The date of knowledge is when it first becomes apparent that a misdiagnosis has occurred, and that some damage or injury has been caused as a result.
If you are in any doubt about your case, one of our solicitors will be able to advise you, but it is recommended that you speak to us at the earliest opportunity for the best possible outcome.
What is misdiagnosis?
Missed diagnosis generally breaks down into three distinct categories:
- Missed diagnosis – or a failure to diagnose, meaning that a health condition goes untreated, potentially worsening the condition or even causing an untimely death.
- Incorrect diagnosis – being given an incorrect diagnosis could result in being given incorrect treatment for a condition that you do not have. It could also mean that any condition that you do have which has not been recognised has gone untreated, potentially leading to a deterioration which could have been slowed or avoided entirely. It could also result in you being told that you have a disease that you do not have, causing stress and anxiety.
- Late diagnosis – if your health diagnosis has been reached later than it should have been, you may have suffered untreated for longer than you should have done. If your diagnosis has come so late that it is likely to impact negatively on your treatment or survival, then it is likely that you have grounds for making a claim.
What are the effects of a misdiagnosis?
The effects of a misdiagnosis depend on your particular circumstances, but many victims find themselves dealing with:
- ongoing illness
- delay in recovery time
- pain and disability
- changes to life expectancy
- lifestyle changes as a result of the misdiagnosis
- financial losses
- stress and trauma caused by the effects of the misdiagnosis.
A diagnosis of cancer is usually life altering - yet horrifyingly, each year healthy patients are mistakenly told that they have cancer, leading to untold anxiety and suffering, especially if they go on to have treatment for a cancer that they do not have.
What is delayed treatment?
Each day, for numerous reasons, patients slip through the cracks and their health is impacted. Vital tests and treatment can be delayed for several reasons; misdiagnosis, incorrect handling of test results, ineptitude or negligence. Currently, Cancer Research estimates that the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has left 2.4 million people waiting for cancer treatment, tests or screening. If you have been left waiting for treatment for any reason, and this has had an impact on your health or prognosis, talk to Sheldon Davidson Solicitors for a professional and thorough assessment of your options.
Examples of missed diagnosis
There are numerous illnesses and diseases that can be missed or misdiagnosed.
Cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases, as the symptoms of different types of cancer can often be attributed to other conditions. If you suspect that your cancer was misdiagnosed, or should have been detected earlier, you should speak to us as soon as possible. Early treatment is key with progressive illnesses such as cancer, and misdiagnosis can cost valuable time, allowing your condition to progress further than it might have done.
Other commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- fractures – missed injuries or misinterpreted x-rays make up a high concentration of misdiagnosis claims
- infection – failure to recognise the signs of meningitis, for example, particularly in children is common
- Crohn’s disease
- myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
Why trust Sheldon Davidson Solicitors with your claim?
We don’t believe that you should have to suffer when a mistake has been made. We know that we can’t undo what has happened, but we will work as hard as we can on your behalf to build you the strongest possible case.
We all understand that the sooner a condition is diagnosed and treated, the better, and that delayed treatment can have dire repercussions. When dealing with illness, every day counts. Based in the North West, our medical negligence solicitors have acted on behalf of hundreds of clients nationwide – you can rely on us to support you while tenaciously pursuing your best interests. Speak to us today for an initial assessment and we will quickly ascertain whether your case has a strong chance of success.
We are passionate about helping clients to seek appropriate justice and recompense, and our track record speaks for itself.
Based in the North West, we work with clients across England and Wales, and we can offer you an initial consultation and a no win, no fee service if we think that you have good grounds for a case.
Our experienced Medical Misdiagnosis Compensation Solicitors act regularly for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham, and Whitefield.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited law firm. The Lexcel standard is only awarded by the Law Society to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
With Sheldon Davidson Solicitors in Manchester, you can be confident that your misdiagnois claim is in safe hands.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.