Failure to Diagnose Cancer Settlements – How To Make A Claim

Failure to diagnose cancer settlements could be owed when harm is caused by a healthcare professional’s failure to recognise cancer symptoms. In this guide, we explore what a medical professional’s duty of care is and how this could be breached, resulting in harm. 

failure to diagnose cancer settlements

Failure to diagnose cancer settlements guide

We look at examples of cancer symptoms and how a medical professional might diagnose this condition. This guide will also touch upon how cancer is treated and how the treatment you receive could be affected by a delay in diagnosis. 

All healthcare professionals must provide the correct standard of care to their patients. Failure to do so is medical negligence. If you’re harmed as a result of substandard care, then this could lead to a claim. 

We look at examples of the medical negligence compensation that could be awarded in a successful claim. In addition, we explore No Win No Fee arrangements and why using one might be beneficial in funding the work of a lawyer.

Our advisors are standing by to discuss how negligence could result in a failure to diagnose cancer, and confirm whether you have a valid claim. 

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Select A Section

  1. What Is The Failure To Diagnose Cancer?
  2. Could The Cancer Have Been Diagnosed Earlier?
  3. Check If You Could Claim For Negligence Cancer Care
  4. How Could A Doctor Have Failed To Diagnose Cancer?
  5. Failure To Diagnose Cancer Settlements
  6. Get Help With Claiming Failure To Diagnose Cancer Settlements

What Is The Failure To Diagnose Cancer?

According to the NHS, cancer is a condition where cells grow and reproduce at uncontrollable levels. These cancer cells then invade and destroy healthy tissue. 

Those who have been harmed by medical negligence may be able to pursue failure to diagnose cancer settlements. Medical professionals are expected to provide you with a minimum standard of care. If they fail to do this and you come to harm as a result, you might have a valid medical negligence claim. 

Failure to diagnose cancer could have a number of different effects. In some cases, if there’s a delay in diagnosing the cancer, then you might need more intensive treatment than you would otherwise have needed. Cancer can be fatal if it is untreated, and may result in wrongful death.

The Bolam Test is a tool often used to determine whether negligence occurred in a medical setting. It involves a panel of similarly-trained medical professionals being asked to judge whether or not the care delivered was of an acceptable standard.

You can discuss potential failure to diagnose cancer settlements with our advisors. If you have a valid case, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel. 

Could The Cancer Have Been Diagnosed Earlier?

According to the NHS, cancer symptoms could include:

  • The sudden appearance of a lump underneath your skin.
  • Unexplained bleeding and bruising. 
  • Bowel changes. 
  • Bloating.
  • Moles and skin changes.
  • Coughing for three weeks or more.

Symptoms such as the ones above that cannot be ruled out by another pre-existing condition should be checked by a specialist. Failure to diagnose cancer settlements could be awarded in cases where GPs have failed to refer patients as a result of negligence. It could also occur where a hospital has failed to make the right diagnosis because they performed a scan incorrectly. 

Unfortunately, symptoms of some cancers can be mistaken for a different illness. These could include:

If your doctor missed your symptoms because they misdiagnosed you with another condition, and it was reasonable for them to have done so, then you would not be able to claim. However, if they missed your condition because they breached the duty of care that they owed you, then you may be able to claim.

Speak with one of our advisors today about when failure to diagnose cancer settlements could be awarded.

Rates Of Cancer In The UK

Cancer Research UK collects cancer statistics for the UK. 2016-2018 saw 375,400 new cases. 167,142 people died from cancer between 2017-2018. 

Check If You Could Claim For Negligence Cancer Care

Typically, the earlier cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat. This gives you a better chance of making a recovery. Furthermore, you might need less intensive treatment if the cancer is diagnosed earlier. 

In order to make a medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove you were owed a duty of care and it was a breach in it that caused you harm. Harm from a failure to diagnose cancer could include the cancer spreading, meaning that it is more difficult or impossible to treat. 

Failure to diagnose cancer settlements time limits

If you decide to claim medical negligence compensation, you need to start your claim within the time limit. The time limit is generally three years from the date of the negligence, or the date you connected a breach of duty of care with the impact on your health.

Some exceptions do apply, however. Exceptions include:

  • Those who are under 18 cannot claim on their own behalf. The time limit is suspended until they turn 18, at which point they have 3 years to pursue their own claim. However, a litigation friend could begin one on their behalf while they’re underage, and no time limit applies. 
  • If you don’t have the mental capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended and a litigation friend could claim on your behalf. The time limit starts again in the event that you regain mental capacity. 

If a loved one has passed away, failure to diagnose cancer settlements could still be awarded. Get in touch with our team of advisors to find out more about claiming. 

How Could A Doctor Have Failed To Diagnose Cancer?

There are a number of ways that a doctor could fail to diagnose cancer. However, failure to diagnose cancer settlements will only be appropriate in cases where this happens because of a breach of duty of care.

Your GP may also miss symptoms that could alert them to the fact that you have cancer. Alternatively, you may explain your symptoms but the GP may dismiss them. You may not be referred for additional tests, such as blood tests and a biopsy, resulting in the cancer being missed. 

Misinterpretation of test results could occur. For example, a test might be performed incorrectly because of negligence. Alternatively, they could perform the test correctly but misinterpret the results. 

If you think your doctor failed in their duty of care and this resulted in a diagnostic delay, our advisors can discuss your potential claim. 

Get Help With Claiming Failure To Diagnose Cancer Settlements

Clinical negligence claims could be made up of two heads; general damages and special damages. We explore each in further detail below.

As part of the claiming process, you might be invited to attend an independent medical exam. This is to help determine what impact the failure to diagnose cancer could have on your life and future. 

General Damages

Your physical injuries and mental suffering are compensated for under general damages. To help assign value to your injuries, legal professionals turn to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains a list of injuries with their potential compensation bracket. 

We’ve provided examples from the 16th edition, published in April 2022 in the table below. 

InjuryPotential CompensationNotes
Kidney (a)£169,400 to £210,400Loss of both kidneys or permanent serious damage.
Moderate brain damage (i)£150,110 to £219,070Senses impacted with a personality change and moderate to severe intellectual deficit and significant epilepsy risk.
Bowels (b)Up to £150,110Natural function loss and colostomy dependence.
Lung disease (b)£70,030 to £97,330Severe pain, function and life quality impairments from lung cancer.
Asbestos-related disease (a)£63,650 to £114,460Severe pain, life quality and function impairments from mesothelioma.
Bladder (c)£63,980 to £79,930Some pain and incontinence with serious control impairments.
Female reproductive system£56,080 to £71,350A young person without children experiencing infertility with no aggravating features.
Epilepsy (b)£54,830 to £131,370Petit Mal epilepsy.
Male reproductive system£43,010 to £88,750Likely permanent significant sexual dysfunction or impotence in the case of a childless person, or someone who wouldn't have had children.
Spleen (a)£20,800 to £26,290Internal infection and disorder risk from immune system damage due to loss of spleen.
Moderately severe psychological damage (b)£19,070 to £54,830Significant problems functioning in life but with an optimistic prognosis.

Special Damages

As part of failure to diagnose cancer settlements, you might be able to recover costs associated with your delay in diagnosis. In order to recover your costs, you must supply evidence, such as receipts or payslips. 

You could recover:

  • Medical expenses. 
  • Travel costs. 
  • Lost earnings and loss of future wages. 
  • Home adaptations. 

Advice about what costs could be recovered is available from our advisors. If they feel you have a valid case, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. 

Get Help With A Cancer Negligence Claim

The legal process may feel easier with the support of a solicitor. Having legal representation can be expensive if you’re expected to pay large upfront solicitors fees. You could hire a solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement) to avoid these upfront costs. 

Under a CFA, you will not pay an upfront solicitors fee. Your solicitor receives a payment taken from your award if your claim is successful. This is called a success fee and is a percentage of the compensation you’re awarded; this percentage is subject to a legal cap. Unsuccessful claims will not have a success fee taken from them, however, and you won’t pay your lawyer for their services. 

Our advisors can provide more information on failure to diagnose cancer settlements. If your claim is valid you could be passed onto our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors. 

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Related Cancer Negligence Claims

The following links might be helpful:

And more guides:

Other Misdiagnosis Claims

Thank you for reading our guide on when failure to diagnose cancer settlements might be awarded.

Writer Danielle Bibby

Publisher Fern Stiles