If you have had your cancer misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, you may be wondering if you can claim compensation. This article will discuss the circumstances in which you might be eligible to pursue this type of claim.
All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. Fulfilling this duty means they must provide their patients with the correct standard of care. If they do not, a patient could experience harm that might have been avoided. This is known as medical negligence. If you can demonstrate that this occurred, you could be able to seek compensation.
However, not all misdiagnoses represent medical negligence and won’t form the basis of a valid claim. This guide will provide further information on when you could seek compensation, the steps you can take to do so, and the payout you could receive if you are successful.
Keep reading for more information about claiming compensation for the misdiagnosis of cancer. Alternatively, our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions. To get in touch, you can:
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- Cancer And Rheumatoid Arthritis
- How Could Cancer Being Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect You?
- How Often Is Cancer Misdiagnosed?
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- Get Advice On No Win No Fee Claims If Your Cancer Is Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to the NHS, rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition that is generally experienced over a long period of time. It is an autoimmune disease and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the linings of a person’s joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes a person’s joints to swell and become stiff and can be painful. It can also make a person very tired and lose weight.
There are forms of bone cancer that display similar symptoms to that of rheumatoid arthritis. One type, known as osteosarcoma, most commonly affects individuals under the age of 20 and a second type, called chondrosarcoma, tends to affect those over 40. Symptoms can include:
- Aches and pains in the bones
- Swelling, which can occur near the joints
- Unexplained weight loss
Read on to learn more about how a medical misdiagnosis could affect your health. Alternatively, you can contact our advisers if you would like to speak to someone about claiming for delayed treatment or delayed diagnosis of cancer.
If your cancer is misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, you could be given a treatment plan that does not treat your condition effectively. This could mean that your cancer spreads or grows worse in the meantime.
Additionally, a healthcare professional may prescribe medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis that causes side effects or other problems that you would not have otherwise experienced.
If you are eligible to make a medical negligence claim, you could be awarded compensation that takes into account the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the avoidable harm caused. Factors that can be considered include:
- Future prognosis
- Recovery period
Contact our advisers if you have evidence to show that you have received a cancer misdiagnosis that worsened your health. Our team can offer legal insight into the likelihood that you are eligible to claim compensation.
The NHS Resolution recorded the following statistics about the failure or delay to diagnose cancer:
- 217 claims were made in 2019/20
- 211 claims were made in 2020/21
- 281 claims were made in 2021/22
In total, there were 709 claims. Collectively, the claims received £82,994,946 in damages.
There are several ways your cancer could be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis. For example:
- A technician does not follow laboratory procedures and contaminates your test results. The test could therefore incorrectly indicate you do not have cancer.
- A doctor misinterprets your scan results. This could mean your cancer goes unnoticed, giving it time to spread to other areas of your body.
- A GP could ignore several symptoms you report. This could mean your cancer progresses during the time you are being treated for a different condition.
Not every misdiagnosis will occur because of medical negligence. However, in order to claim, you must demonstrate that medical negligence has occurred. As mentioned, this involves a medical professional failing to provide care that meets the minimum standard and causing you avoidable harm as a result.
For more information on when you could be eligible to seek compensation, get in touch on the number above.
You may be asked to produce certain pieces of evidence to support your claim that medical negligence occurred. As such, it may benefit your claim if you:
- Take notes about the date you received a diagnosis or any treatment
- Request a copy of your medical records, such as a doctor or hospital report
- Keep a journal of the symptoms you experience
- Seek legal advice from one of our advisors
Our advisors can provide free legal advice and may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel to help you navigate the claims process.
An advisor can also ensure that you are within the time limit to start your claim. Generally, you must start proceedings:
- Within 3 years of the date of the incident
- Within 3 years of learning that medical negligence occurred.
A settlement for a cancer misdiagnosis claim that succeeds could comprise general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of medical negligence. When assessing this head of claim, solicitors can turn to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document that contains compensation brackets for various categories of harm. The table below contains some JCG figures, though these are intended as guidelines only.
|Type Of Harm
|Very Severe Brain Damage (a)
|£282,010 to £403,990
|The person needs full-time nursing care. Different factors are considered when assessing the award, such as life expectancy and physical limitations.
|Moderately Severe Brain Damage (b)
|£219,070 to £282,010
|A very serious disability with the need for constant professional care and causing the person to rely substantially on others.
|Lung Disease (a)
|£100,670 to £135,920
|A young person with serious disability whose condition has a probability of worsening progressively, ending in premature death.
|Lung Disease (b)
|£70,030 to £97,330
|Lung cancer causing both severe pain and an impairment of function and quality of life.
|Lung Disease (c)
|£54,830 to £70,030
|Disease causing significant lung function that worsens alongside other symptoms.
Additionally, you could also receive special damages. This head of claim compensates for financial losses caused by the incident of medical negligence. For example, you may be able to reclaim lost earnings because you needed to take time off work to recover. Other financial losses you could recoup include:
- The cost of medications and prescriptions
- Care costs
- Travel expenses
To learn more about the compensation you could receive following a successful claim the avoidable harm you suffered due to having your cancer misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, please get in touch on the number above.
The medical negligence solicitors on our panel may be able to offer you a type of No Win No Fee agreement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Using this agreement means you generally won’t have to pay for the solicitor’s services if your claim fails. Instead, your solicitor would take a success fee at the end of the process, but only if your claim is successful. This amount is subject to a legal cap.
If you have evidence to show that medical negligence contributed to your cancer being misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, contact our team of advisers. During a free legal consultation, they tell you more about the process of seeking compensation. This consultation is free and there is no obligation to continue using our services after the conversation has ended. To learn more, you can:
Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims
More of our medical negligence guides that may be helpful:
- What Counts As Medical Negligence?
- Medical Negligence At A Walk-In Centre – No Win No Fee Compensation Claims
- A&E Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
External information that could be helpful:
- Cancer Symptoms – Information about cancer signs and symptoms from Cancer Research UK
- Good Medical Practice – Guidance from the General Medical Council regarding the standards that should be upheld by a doctor
- NHS Constitution For England – Government information on the principles and values of the NHS in England
Thank you for reading this article about claiming after your cancer was misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis. If you have other questions, contact us using the details we’ve provided above.