If a healthcare provider has missed or incorrectly diagnosed your illness as something else because of negligence, you may be wondering if you can sue for the misdiagnosis of cancer. When cancer is misdiagnosed, the consequences can be serious, and in some cases even fatal.
Through this article, you can find out more about how cancer misdiagnosis can happen and what you could be awarded in the event of a successful claim. We will also look at the benefits of choosing a No Win No Fee solicitor to guide you through the legal process.
Our advisors are available 24/7 to provide you with free legal advice. They may also be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel if you have a strong case. To start your claim today, contact us now by:
Select A Section
- What Percentage Of Cancers Are Misdiagnosed?
- Types Of Cancer Which Could Be Misdiagnosed
- How Long Do I Have To Sue For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?
- Can You Sue For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?
- How Much Can You Sue For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?
- Contact Us About Your Medical Negligence Claim
Misdiagnosis of cancer can have life-threatening consequences. But in order to make a medical compensation claim, you must be able to prove that:
- A medical professional owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty of care
- This breach led to you suffering harm
Every medical professional owes a duty of care to their patients. This means that any actions they take regarding you and your treatment must meet a minimum standard of care, which is outlined in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) duties of a doctor. If they fail to meet this standard, and you suffer avoidable harm as a result, this could be the grounds for a claim.
Every year, around 375,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer according to statistics provided by Cancer Research UK. Of this number, around 45.5% of all cases with a known stage at diagnosis were diagnosed at stages 3 & 4. If your cancer was misdiagnosed, this could mean that the disease has progressed further and the treatment you need is more intensive.
To find out if you can claim for the misdiagnosis of cancer, call our team of expert advisors today.
When cancer is misdiagnosed, it can cause a variety of complications. For example, your cancer may have spread by the time you get your diagnosis, and the delayed treatment you do receive may be less effective. Or, you may have to undergo an operation or surgery such as a mastectomy that you would not have had to if your doctor had caught it earlier.
Some examples of the types of cancer that could be misdiagnosed due to negligence include:
When Can You Sue For Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?
As we mentioned above, to make a successful medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove that the harm done to you was a result of negligence. This means that in some circumstances, you may not be able to make a claim.
For example, your condition may have been symptomless for a long time. This means that a medical professional could not have been expected to make a diagnosis based on the information they had.
To find out if you can sue for misdiagnosis of cancer, contact our advisors today. If you have a valid claim, they could put you in contact with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.
According to the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have three years to start a medical negligence claim, with some exceptions. This time limit begins on the date of knowledge that negligence contributed to your misdiagnosis. For example, your cancer may have been misdiagnosed and then diagnosed correctly a year later. The time limit would run from the date you became aware of the misdiagnosis and not the misdiagnosis itself.
The exceptions to this include:
- Children under 18: You can make a claim for a child under the age of 18 at any time as their litigation friend. If someone hasn’t made a claim for the child by this point, they have until their 21st birthday to make their own claim.
- Cases of incapacity: If you lack the mental capacity to make your own claim, the time limit is frozen until you regain the appropriate capacity. For example, if you are comatose, or if you suffer severe brain damage, someone else can claim on your behalf during this time as your litigation friend.
For more information on if you can sue for misdiagnosis of cancer, get in touch with our team today.
If you choose to hire a No Win No Fee solicitor to help guide you through the claims process, they can help you gather all the evidence you might need to help strengthen your claim. To form the basis of a successful claim, you must be able to connect negligence with your worsening condition. Some examples of the steps you can take to prove this connection include:
- Request your medical records: Any medical records or patient notes that show your symptoms or the treatment you received could be used to strengthen your medical misdiagnosis claim.
- Keep a symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of any symptoms that may worsen due to suspected negligence can be helpful, as this can then be used as evidence. For example, you could keep a note of worsening pain such as headaches, or difficulty breathing.
- Witness statements: Taking the contact details of anyone who might have witnessed the potential negligence, such as a family member or spouse, means that their statements can be taken later on in your claim.
Your case could also be put to the Bolam test. This means that a group of professionals in the field relevant to your case will review the actions of the medical professional involved. They will then report if the actions were negligent or fell within the acceptable standard of care.
Mediation And Arbitration
Not all claims go to court. Mediation is a voluntary alternative to litigation in which an independent mediator helps both parties come to an amicable agreement. In this case, the agreement would be a settlement amount.
Arbitration is another out-of-court process in which both sides agree on a third party, usually with extensive legal training, to make a decision on their behalf. Unlike mediation, this decision is usually legally binding.
To find out more about how you can sue for misdiagnosis of cancer, our advisors are available 24/7.
If your failure to diagnose cancer claim is successful, you will receive general damages. General damages cover the pain and suffering that your condition has caused you.
A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is often used to help value the general damages head of a claim. This document consists of a list of different ways that your health can be impacted. Alongside these, they’ve included guideline compensation brackets. You can find some examples of these in the table below:
Health impact How much? Additional information
Severe Moderate Psychiatric Damage £5,500 to £17,900 A marked effect on the ability to cope with life, work and education, with a poor prognosis.
Spleen (a) £19,510 to £24,680 Where the spleen has been lost, causing a continuing risk of infection.
Scar £7,350 to £21,330 A single scar that causes disfigurement on the legs, arms, hands, back or chest
Moderate Brain Damage (i) £140,870 to £205,580 Severe intellectual deficit, pesronality change, change in mood, and risk of epilepsy.
Total Loss of One Eye £51,460 to £61,690 Consideration given to psychiatric effect, age, and cosmetic effect.
Kidney (c) £28,880 to £42,110 Complete loss of kidney where the other remains undamaged.
Lung Disease (a) £94,470 to £127,530 Where a young person is seriously disabled by lung disease and it's likely to worsen leading to death.
Lung Disease (b) £65,710 to £91,350 Lung cancer causing impairment to quality of life, pain, and discomfort.
Female Infertility (a) £107,810 to £158,970 Infertility due to injury or disease, with scarring and effect on mental health.
Bladder Injuries (b) Up to £132,040 Complete loss of natural function and control.
You may also be able to claim special damages. Special damages are the part of your claim that covers any financial losses you might incur as a result of your condition.
For example, if a medical professional misdiagnosed your cancer and it spread as a result, reducing your mobility, you may need to have special aids fitted to your home. In this case, you could potentially claim the cost of these aids back.
You must be able to provide proof of financial loss in order to claim. It can be helpful to keep any receipts or bills that might be relevant. Get in touch with our team to find out more about what you could claim back.
A No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel can help make the claims process run more smoothly with their years of legal knowledge and experience. When you enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, you get the security of experienced legal representation without the financial risk of hiring a solicitor in the usual way.
In a No Win No Fee agreement, you do not need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor. Then, if your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a percentage of your award as their success fee.
This percentage is capped by law to help ensure that you get the majority of your award. However, if your claim does not succeed, you do not need to pay any fees to your solicitor at all.
Our advisors can offer free legal advice and a no-strings estimation of what your claim could be worth. If your claim is valid, they could put you in contact with our panel of experienced No Win No Fee solicitors.
Get in touch today and find out if you can sue for misdiagnosis of cancer by:
Find Out If You Can Sue For Misdiagnosis Of Cancer
For more helpful articles, try:
- How To Report Negligence By A GP, Doctor, Dentist or Hospital
- How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
- Brain Injury Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
Or, for more resources:
If you have any more questions on whether you can sue for the misdiagnosis of cancer, please get in touch.
Guide by Cat
Edited by Fern