If you’ve suffered harm due to your doctor’s failure to treat breast cancer, you could be eligible to make a claim. However, you would need to show that the doctor was negligent in a way that negatively affected your health.
Due to the nature of illnesses like cancer, delayed treatment or failure to treat can have serious consequences. For example, cancer could begin to spread, causing symptoms to worsen and for treatment to potentially become less effective. In some cases, this might cause death.
As such, if you have experienced harm following a medical professional failing to treat your cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. In this article, we will discuss what medical negligence is, potential settlement amounts, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you.
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- What Is A Failure To Treat Breast Cancer?
- Can You Claim For The Failure To Treat Breast Cancer?
- What Can You Do If A Doctor Failed To Treat Cancer?
- Failure To Treat Breast Cancer Settlements
- How Could We Help You Claim For The Failure To Treat Breast Cancer?
Failure to treat breast cancer can have serious and even fatal results, but not all instances can form the basis of a successful claim. To make a valid claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.
Every medical professional must meet an expected minimum standard of care; you can find an example of how medical professionals are expected to act in the duties of a doctor set out by the General Medical Council. If the care you receive falls below this standard, and you suffer harm consequently that you would not have experienced if the level of care was right, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Time Limits In Medical Negligence Claims
According to the Limitation Act 1980, there is generally a three-year time limit for starting a medical negligence claim. This starts on the day you connect your worsening condition with negligence and ends three years later.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including:
- Under 18s: If you are under 18, the time limit is suspended until your 18th birthday, and you then have until your 21st birthday to claim. During the suspended time period, someone else can make a claim on your behalf as your litigation friend.
- Lack of mental capacity: If you lack the mental capacity to claim for yourself, the time limit is suspended. Someone else can claim on your behalf during the suspended period as your litigation friend. If you regain the capacity to claim yourself, the three-year limit starts again.
To learn more about breast cancer negligence claims, contact our team of friendly advisors today.
Sometimes the care you receive meets the minimum standard, but you may still suffer harm. For example, you may not show symptoms of breast cancer until it is already in the later stages. In this case, you may not be able to claim, as no negligence was involved in the failure to treat your cancer.
Furthermore, sometimes harm can be a necessary part of medical care. For example, you could need a mastectomy as part of your treatment for breast cancer. Although this causes you harm, it’s necessary for the course of your medical treatment.
However, medical negligence can still contribute to the failure to treat cancer. Some examples of this can include:
- Misdiagnosis: If you suffer a misdiagnosis due to negligence, this can lead to a delay or failure in treatment. For example, if your doctor or GP fails to spot growths or lesions on a scan even though they are very clear and apparent.
- Failure to refer: For example, if your doctor knows you are suffering from symptoms of breast cancer, but fails to refer you to a specialist, this could prevent you from accessing the treatment you need.
- Administrative errors: Oftentimes a doctor or service will contact you by letter or email to let you know that you are ready for treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If a medical professional fails to contact you, this could result in missed treatments and a delay that sees your condition get worse.
Our team of advisors can help you find out if you are eligible to make a medical compensation claim. Contact us today to find out more.
If you start a hospital negligence compensation claim, you must be able to prove that the harm you suffered was a direct result of negligence. If you choose to hire legal representation, a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you do this. They may advise you to gather evidence to support your claim, for example:
- Medical records: Medical records and prescriptions that illustrate the treatment or mistreatment you receive can help strengthen your claim.
- Witnesses: Collect the contact details of anyone who might have witnessed the negligence or your worsening condition, so that their statements can be taken at a later date.
- Symptoms diary: Keeping a symptoms diary creates a record of any worsening symptoms you may experience due to suspected negligence. This can then help strengthen your claim.
Another step you can take following a failure to treat cancer is to get legal advice. Our advisors can provide free legal advice and can advise you on how a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you strengthen your claim.
Mediation And Arbitration
Not all claims go to court. Some claims use Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs) to settle out of court, through processes such as:
- Mediation: Mediation is when an independent mediator helps both parties mediate an acceptable settlement. Unlike arbitration, the decisions of the mediator are not legally binding, and it is a completely voluntary process.
- Arbitration: In arbitration, both parties agree to be bound by the decision of an independent arbitrator. Unlike mediation, this decision is legally binding.
If your claim succeeds, you will be awarded general damages. General damages cover the physical and mental effects of your injury or illness, and as such, it can be difficult to estimate how much you could receive. This is because each case is unique, and will merit a different level of award.
However, legal professionals often use a document known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to value potential claims. The JCG provides a list of guideline compensation brackets for a variety of injuries and illnesses, with values based on past settlements. You can find some examples of these figures in the table below that are based on figures from the latest version of these guidelines:
Injury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Severe Psychiatric Damage (PD) (a) £54,830 to £115,730 Problems coping with life, work, relationships and education, with an extremely poor outlook.
Moderately Severe PD (b) £19,070 to £54,830 Like the above case, but with a slightly more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate PD (c) £5,860 to £19,070 Some problems coping with education, work and life, but with some improvement and a good outlook.
Less Severe PD (e) £1,540 to £5,860 Disability severity and extent of symptoms considered.
Severe PTSD (a) £59,860 to £100,670 No function at the pre-trauma level.
Moderate PTSD (c) £8,180 to £23,150 Large recovery, with no grossly disabling continuing effects.
Moderately Severe PTSD (b) £23,150 to £59,860 Better prognosis with a chance of recovery with professional help.
Less Severe PTSD (d) £3,950 to £8,180 Cases of full recovery within 1-2 years, with minimal effects continuing.
A Single Disfiguring Scar £7,830 to £22,730 Cases of a single or multiple disfiguring scars to the chest.
Mental Anguish £4,670 Fear of death or reduction in life expectancy.
You might also be eligible to claim special damages. Special damages cover the financial impact of your injuries or illnesses, but you must be able to provide proof of your losses to claim.
For example, you may experience a reduction in mobility following a failure to treat breast cancer. As such, you could potentially claim back the cost of having a stairlift fitted to your home. Or, if you are required to travel to and from appointments, you could claim back the travel costs. However, you must keep any relevant tickets, receipts, or invoices.
To learn how a No Win No Fee lawyer from our experienced panel could help you make your claim, talk with our advisors today.
Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can guide you through the claims process with their years of experience and legal training, helping you get the compensation you deserve.
As part of our No Win No Fee service, a solicitor from our panel may be able to offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement that means you do not have to pay any upfront or ongoing costs to your solicitor.
If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee in the form of a small percentage of your award. This percentage has a legal cap, to ensure you get the majority of your compensation. However, if your claim fails, you will pay no fees to your solicitor.
To find out how our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors could help you, contact our advisors today by:
Negligent Cancer Treatment Resources
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Guide by Cat
Edited by Fern