If the negligence of a healthcare professional has meant that your leukaemia was misdiagnosed, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Misdiagnosis of an illness can mean it does not get the treatment it needs. This can, unfortunately, lead to the condition worsening and spreading to other parts of the body.
In this article, we will explain when you could claim for a misdiagnosis and how a medical professional could misdiagnose you. This guide will also address the duty of care owed to you by healthcare professionals, and how a failure to meet this duty could lead to a misdiagnosis. Following this, we will look at how a solicitor could help you through the medical negligence claims process on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our advisors are here to help. Contact our team today if you have further questions regarding misdiagnosis medical negligence claims, or to access free legal advice. To get in touch:
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- Could I Claim If My Leukaemia Was Misdiagnosed By A Medical Professional?
- Reasons Why Leukaemia Could Be Misdiagnosed
- What Is Needed To Prove Medical Negligence Claims?
- Estimating Compensation If Your Leukaemia Was Misdiagnosed?
- Get Help In Making A No Win No Fee Claim For Misdiagnosed Leukaemia
- Find Out More Information On Misdiagnosis Claims
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of leukaemia can have serious, potentially life-altering consequences, but you can’t always claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of cancer. To form the basis of a valid claim:
- A medical professional has to owe you a duty of care
- They must breach this duty
- This breach has to cause you harm
For medical professionals to uphold their duty of care, they must provide the correct standard of care to patients they agree to treat so as never to cause unnecessary harm.
For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses your leukaemia because your symptoms do not indicate that you needed any further tests, you may not be able to claim. However, if your symptoms signal that you may have leukaemia, but your doctor ignores these symptoms or fails to refer you for further tests, you may be able to claim.
Time Limits That Apply To Misdiagnosis Claims
The Limitation Act 1980 outlines how long you have to start your claim for misdiagnosis. This is generally three years, beginning on the date that you realise negligence played a part in your misdiagnosis.
There are some exceptions to this time limit, including:
- Minors under eighteen: If you are under eighteen, the time limit is suspended until your eighteenth birthday, when it begins and lasts until your twenty-first birthday. Alternatively, a litigation friend could claim on your behalf at any time during the suspended or inactive time limit.
- Those lacking the capacity to claim: If you lack the mental capacity to make a claim, the time limit is frozen indefinitely. A litigation friend can claim on your behalf at any time, or if you recover the capacity to claim, the time limit will reinstate on your recovery date.
Our advisors are here to help if your leukaemia was misdiagnosed negligently. Get in touch today to find out if you are within the time limit to start your claim or to learn more about how long a claim can take.
As we have already mentioned, not all cases of misdiagnosis can be claimed for. Some examples of how medical negligence could cause leukaemia to be misdiagnosed include:
- A doctor or GP fails to refer you for further tests after exhibiting symptoms that signal a need for further testing that would have allowed a correct diagnosis and a referral to a specialist, such as an oncologist.
- Your blood tests are mixed up with another patient at the hospital. Therefore, you are diagnosed with a different condition.
- The doctor at the hospital requested you have further testing, but the administration office failed to send out your letter.
These are just a few ways in which misdiagnosis can occur as a result of negligence. If your leukaemia was misdiagnosed, contact our team today.
Evidence is an important part of making a claim. Providing the right evidence can strengthen your claim, and can also help establish that a medical professional owed you a duty of care and failed to fulfil this duty. For example, proof of medical negligence could include:
- Medical records, hospital charts, or other documents that detail your misdiagnosis.
- A diary of your symptoms, detailing whether they get worse over time and how they affect your daily life
- The contact details of witnesses, which a professional can then use to contact them and take their statements at a later date
It’s possible that your case could also be put to the Bolam test. In this case, a group of professionals relevant to the field of your case will review the treatment you received. Then, they will report whether your treatment met the minimum standard of care, or whether it was negligent.
If medical negligence caused the leukaemia to be misdiagnosed and you are wanting to pursue a claim, you may be interested in knowing what damages could be awarded should the case be successful. There are two heads of claim that you could pursue when making a medical negligence claim: General damages and special damages. General damages cover the pain and suffering caused to you by a misdiagnosis; for example, a misdiagnosis could allow cancer to spread, which can exacerbate your symptoms and even result in measures such as amputation.
Legal professionals often refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) when calculating general damages. This is because the JCG provides guideline compensation amounts for different illnesses and injuries. In the table below, we have included parts of the body, such as the brain, kidneys or spleen, that could be affected if the leukaemia is not treated or spreads.
General Damages Compensation
Injury Compensation Bracket Notes
Injury Resulting from Brain Damage - Very Severe £282,010 to £403,990 Little or no response at all to the environment and constant professional care is needed around the clock.
Injury Resulting from Brain Damage - Moderate (i) £150,110 to £219,070 No prospect of employment and the risk of epilepsy is great.
Kidney Injuries (c) £30,770 to £44,880
Loss or damage to one kidney, with the other remaining unharmed.
Leg Injuries (a) (iii) £104,830 to £137,470 Above-knee amputation of one leg, with the presence of phantom pains and the level of amputation considered.
Spleen Injuries (a) £20,800 to £26,290
Where the loss of the spleen leads to an increased risk of disorders and internal infections due to the damage done to the immune system.
Spleen Injuries (b) £4,350 to £8,640
Loss or injury where the risks above are minimal or not present.
Further Information On Special Damages
If you suffered financial losses because your leukaemia was misdiagnosed, you may be able to claim them back under special damages. This head of claim can cover expenses such as:
- Travel to and from appointments
- Prosthetics, for example
- Medical bills
- Domestic help and care costs
To learn more about compensation in medical negligence claims, contact our team today.
If your leukaemia was misdiagnosed because of medical negligence, then you may be looking at pursuing a claim. This can be less stressful with the help of a solicitor. Under a No Win No fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), our solicitors could offer you their legal services, generally without requiring an upfront fee. You also won’t be asked to pay any ongoing costs for your solicitor to work on your claim.
If you make a successful claim, your solicitor takes a success fee from your compensation as a percentage. However, this percentage has a legislative cap. This means you keep the majority of your settlement. If your claim is unsuccessful, then you will not pay this fee.
Contact Us For Help And Advice
An advisor from our team could tell you if you could be eligible to work with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis for your leukaemia misdiagnosis claim. To start your free consultation:
For more helpful guides regarding medical negligence claims:
- Can You Claim For The Failure To Treat Breast Cancer?
- Delayed Fracture Diagnosis Compensation Claims
- Delayed Finger Fracture Diagnosis Compensation Claims
Or, to access further resources:
Get in touch with our team to get more information on claiming after your leukaemia was misdiagnosed.