How Much Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?

By Cat Wayne. Last Updated 22nd September 2023. If you have suffered a misdiagnosis of cancer, then you may be feeling very worried about what this could mean for the progression of the disease and what situation you could be in if your diagnosis had been made earlier.

If you have been mistakenly diagnosed with cancer and you do not have the disease, then you may be feeling not only very relieved but also very traumatised that you thought you were suffering from cancer.

Either way, if negligence led to you being misdiagnosed with cancer, then you might wish to find out more information on making a misdiagnosed cancer or late-diagnosed cancer claim.

In the sections below, we will cover all you may need to know about starting a medical negligence claim. We look at what you can do after the likes of a breast cancer misdiagnosis, as well as skin cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer too.

Misdiagnosis of cancer

Misdiagnosis of cancer

However, if you’d like to take legal action today, we can help. Our No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors are specialists in medical misdiagnosis claims and can offer you the support you need.

To take advantage of our free case consultation, you can speak with us today by:

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  1. What Is A Cancer Misdiagnosis And Can I Claim Compensation?
  2. How Does A Misdiagnosis Of Cancer Happen?
  3. Examples Of Cancers That Could Be Misdiagnosed
  4. How Much Compensation Could I Get For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?
  5. Can I Claim For A Cancer Misdiagnosis On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims

What Is A Cancer Misdiagnosis And Can I Claim Compensation?

Misdiagnosis is when a medical condition is diagnosed as the wrong illness or injury. Not every incident of a misdiagnosis will mean a medical negligence claim is eligible. Medical negligence is when a medical professional deviates from professional standards and does not provide the patient with a service of reasonable skill and care. This is known as their duty of care. If a patient is harmed because of a breach in this duty then they could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim. 

When cancer is misdiagnosed, it can have significant consequences; misdiagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment and a delay in getting the correct diagnosis, which can allow the disease to spread. In some cases, it may allow the cancer to spread to the point that it is no longer treatable. 

To hold an eligible medical negligence claim for a cancer being misdiagnosed you must be able to prove that:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • This duty was breached
  • You suffered harm as a result 

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means that the care they provide must meet a minimum standard. While the actions they must take can vary between fields, the General Medical Council (GMC) outlines the professionalism they expect doctors to take in their Duties of a Doctor. 

Not all cases of misdiagnosis result from negligence; for example, you may not present with symptoms typical for cancer, or your cancer may not show up on scans or tests. In these cases, you may not be able to claim misdiagnosis of cancer compensation

If you have cancer and a wrong diagnosis caused you harm, contact our team of advisors today. They can evaluate your claim and, if it is valid, could connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Cancer Misdiagnosis?

Whether you have misdiagnosed bladder cancer, misdiagnosed bone cancer or any other misdiagnosis of cancer, if you’re looking to take action you might need to know the relevant medical negligence claims time limit for your claim. Generally, you will have three years from the date that you connect the harm you suffered with medical negligence. This is outlined by the Limitation Act 1980.

There are exceptions to these cases also that relate to people who have lacked the mental and/or physical capacity to claim at the time but have since recovered. We’d be happy to talk to you about this on the phone.

How Does A Misdiagnosis Of Cancer Happen?

It is not a patient’s responsibility to know whether or not symptoms that you are suffering from could be caused by cancer. If a suspicion of cancer exists, whether this comes about because of cancer screening or another lab test, or because symptoms you have mentioned to your doctor have warranted investigation, then it is your doctor’s responsibility to know whether cancer could be indicated.

Some ways in which cancer could be missed or misdiagnosed could include a failure in:

  • Performing a thorough physical exam
  • Taking a detailed and accurate history
  • Following up or communicating with the patient adequately
  • Recognising warning signs and early symptoms
  • Offering or recommending screening
  • Recommending tests because of financial constraints
  • Properly performing or interpreting lab or radiology tests
  • Referring patients to relevant specialists
  • Communications between medical clinics and doctors

There are just a few errors that could lead to a misdiagnosis of cancer. If your circumstances are not listed above, why not contact us on the number at the top of the page to check if you’re eligible to claim?

Examples Of Cancers That Could Be Misdiagnosed

The average payout for cancer misdiagnosis could hinge on the type of cancer, the prognosis of the claimant and more. Here, we look at the different types of cancer that could be misdiagnosed.

While almost any cancer could be misdiagnosed, there are some that could be considered commonly misdiagnosed, and these could include:

  • Misdiagnosed breast cancer – other conditions could present similarly to breast cancer and it could be that the doctor might assume another condition is causing symptoms. However, if risk factors exist, and they do not take heed of these, then this could lead to a cancer misdiagnosis.
  • Misdiagnosed pancreatic cancer – This could be mistaken for IBS, pancreatitis or gallstones.
  • Misdiagnosed colon cancer – This could be mistaken for IBS or colitis.
  • Misdiagnosed lung cancer – Shortness of breath and cough could be symptoms, but these could be assumed to be issues with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Of course, there could be other misdiagnosed cancers, such as misdiagnosed cervical cancer, misdiagnosed brain cancer, misdiagnosed bile duct cancer and more, but those above could be considered the most common.

How Much Compensation Could I Get For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?

If you successfully claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of cancer, your settlement will include general damages. This is the head of claim that compensates you for the harm you have suffered due to the misdiagnosis of your cancer.

When valuing medical negligence claims, legal professionals could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for help. The JCG provides guideline payout brackets for different forms of harm.

We have put together a table below with figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. However, these are only meant to be used as guidance.

Type of InjurySeverityGuideline Compensation Bracket
BowelsTotal loss of function, colostomy dependent.Up to £150,110
BowelsSevere injuries to the abdomen that cause function loss, restricting emplyment/diet and sometimes requiring colostomy£44,590 to £69,730
BladderComplete loss of control and function.
Up to £140,660
Lung DiseaseLung cancer impairing quality and life and function.£70,030 to £97,330
Reproductive System: MaleSterility without impotence£56,080 to £71,350
KidneyLoss of a kidney but with no damage to the other.
£30,770 to £44,880
SpleenLoss of spleen with risks of infection and immune system disorders continuing.£20,800 to £26,290
Psychiatric DamageModerately Severe - Significant problems with usual daily life, but where there is an optimistic prognosis.
£19,070 to £54,830
Reproductive System: FemaleInfertility but where the person would not have had children anyway.£17,960 to £36,740

Additionally, a successful misdiagnosis of cancer compensation claim could result in a payout for special damages. The head of claim compensates you for the monetary losses caused by the harm you suffered.

Some examples of expenses you could recover under special damages include:

  •       Care costs.
  •       Travel expenses.
  •       Loss of income.
  •       Medical expenses.

You will need to be able to provide evidence of these financial losses to be eligible to receive special damages. Examples of evidence could include your payslips, bank statements and invoices.

For more insight into the compensation you could receive for a successful medical negligence claim, you can contact our advisors.

Can I Claim For A Cancer Misdiagnosis On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you’re considering making a claim for compensation and you’re not sure whether you have the funds to retain the services of a lawyer, you may be interested to learn about No Win No Fee claims.

You would not need to pay your lawyer to begin the claim. Instead, you would sign a conditional agreement which agrees to pay them a small percentage of your compensation. There is a government cap on how much of a fee your injury lawyer could take from the settlement for legal fees.

This way, you aren’t risking losing all of your compensation. If your claim does not succeed, you will not have to pay any of your lawyer’s fees in pursuing your case.

Make A Medical Negligence Claim Today

Whether you’re ready to make a No Win No Fee claim, or you’d like to speak to us so we could help connect you with a solicitor who could help you make a cancer misdiagnosis claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can reach us on 0800 652 3087. We will aim to help you quickly and efficiently, whatever it is you need to know.

Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims

Below, we’ve included some more guides on medical negligence claims that you may find useful.