My Head And Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed, Could I Make A Claim?

This guide discusses whether you could claim compensation after your head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed by a medical professional. We will discuss the circumstances in which a missed diagnosis or late diagnosis could make you eligible to claim for medical negligence. Furthermore, we will explain how compensation payouts are calculated.

Head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed

A Guide To Claiming If Head and Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed

We will also explain the benefits of working with a medical negligence solicitor. For instance, the lawyers on our panel may offer you a No Win No Fee agreement; we will explain what this means further in this guide.

Read on to learn more about when you may be eligible to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim. Additionally, you can contact our advisers whenever is most convenient because our team is available 24/7. They can answer your questions about medical negligence claims during a free consultation, so contact us today:

Jump To A Section

  1. Can I Get Compensation If My Head And Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed?
  2. What Are The Main Causes Of Medical Misdiagnosis?
  3. What Do You Have To Prove For A Medical Negligence Claim?
  4. Estimating Payouts If Your Head And Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed
  5. How To Make A No Win No Fee Claim With Our Team
  6. Learn More About Claims With A Medical Negligence Solicitor

Can I Get Compensation If My Head And Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed?

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care, which means they must provide an adequate standard of care. If they don’t, a patient could suffer harm that might have been avoided if they’d received the right level of care. A breach of duty of care causing avoidable harm is called medical negligence.

You may be eligible to receive compensation after your head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed if you can show the misdiagnosis occurred due to medical negligence and that it harmed you unnecessarily. We will provide some examples of this later in the article, but an easy way to tell if medical negligence may have contributed to your medical misdiagnosis is to check the following criteria:

  1. A medical professional owed you a duty of care
  2. This duty of care was breached
  3. Due to this breach, you sustained physical and/or psychological harm that could have been avoided

Head and neck cancer is not a single kind of cancer; instead, it’s an umbrella term for different kinds of cancer that affect the neck and head. If head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed, it could allow the cancer time to get worse, affecting senses like your sense of smell (in the case of sinus or nasopharyngeal cancer) or requiring surgery that results in a large facial scar. Alternatively, the cancer could spread to your heart, liver or bones, which might make it harder to treat.

Speak to one of our advisers if you received a medical misdiagnosis regarding head and neck cancer. Our team may be able to answer the questions you have about cancer misdiagnosis claims.

How Long After My Head and Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed Could I Claim?

You must begin your claim within the legal time limits that apply. These are set out in the Limitation Act 1980, which states you must claim:

  • Within 3 years of experiencing the harm
  • Within 3 years of your date of knowledge, which is the time you became aware that medical negligence caused your worsening condition or additional harm

There are some exceptions to these time limits. Contact our team of advisers if you want to know more about these time limits or the potential exceptions that can apply.

What Are The Main Causes Of Medical Misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnoses could occur for a number of different reasons. Not all of these are grounds for a claim. In some cases, your condition could be misdiagnosed despite the right duty of care being administered.

Below we have included some examples of how head and neck cancer could be misdiagnosed:

  • Blood testing returns results that clearly indicate a cause for concern. However, your doctor does not order any follow-up tests and instead gives you the all-clear. This could cause a delayed diagnosis, during which time your cancer gets worse.
  • During surgery to remove a section of your jawbone, the doctor fails to identify and excise a large section of cancerous tissue. As a result, the tumours regrow faster than they would have otherwise.
  • You don’t actually have head or neck cancer. Instead, you were mistakenly told another patient’s test results due to a mix-up of medical records.

Contact our advisers for insight into whether medical negligence could have contributed to your misdiagnosis. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel.

What Do You Have To Prove For A Medical Negligence Claim?

To bring a claim for medical negligence, you are expected to produce evidence to demonstrate that you received an inadequate level of care. For instance, it could benefit your claim to provide documents such as:

  • A copy of your medical records, which would provide insight into your doctor’s treatment decisions
  • A diary recording the symptoms you experience, including mental distress
  • Notes about the names of medical professionals involved, as well as dates and locations of certain decisions or treatments

It’s important to note that acquiring evidence is one aspect of claiming that medical negligence solicitors can help you with. If you have proof of medical negligence, one of the solicitors on our panel can help you locate and acquire the evidence to back up your claim. Contact our team to learn more.

Estimating Payouts If Your Head And Neck Cancer Was Misdiagnosed

A settlement for a cancer misdiagnosis could help compensate for two aspects of the harm you experienced. The pain and suffering caused by your injuries are compensated through a head of claim called general damages, while financial losses you experienced could be reimbursed through a second head of claim called special damages.

Medical negligence solicitors will usually turn to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them assess how much a claim is worth in terms of general damages. This document provides compensation guidelines for different injuries and their potential severities. We’ve provided some examples below, showing examples of the harm you could experience if your head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed.

Type of HarmJCG BracketsMore Information
Chest £100,670 to £150,110Serious heart damage with prolonged and serious suffering.
Chest £31,310 to £54,830Damage to chest and lung(s) causing continuing disability.
Very Severe Facial Scarring £29,780 to £97,330Relatively young claimants who experience very disfiguring cosmetic effect and severe psychological reaction.
Less Severe Facial
£17,960 to £48,420Substantial disfigurement and significant psychological reaction.
Significant Facial Scarring£9,110 to £30,090Worst effects reduced by plastic surgery with diminished psychological reaction.
Less Significant Facial Scarring£3,950 to £13,740One scar or a number of small scars, but overall appearance is not greatly affected.
Impairment of Taste and Smell£24,990 to £32,900Loss of smell.

Please remember these figures are intended only as guidelines. Your actual compensation could vary depending on your specific circumstances. For instance, long-term negligent treatment could cause more severe harm that affects your quality of life compared to a misdiagnosis of cancer that is spotted relatively quickly.

Learn More About Special Damages

A second head of claim, called special damages, could be awarded to help you recoup financial losses caused by the harm you experienced. For instance, you may be able to reclaim:

  • Travel costs, such as the price of catching the bus to and from hospital appointments
  • Healthcare expenses, such as prescriptions and specialist consultations
  • Lost earnings, past and future

Contact our team of advisers for more information about the special damages you could be entitled to.

How To Make A No Win No Fee Claim With Our Team

You are not legally required to hire a solicitor to pursue compensation, but it could be worth seeking the advice of a professional if you are considering making a medical negligence claim. The solicitors on our panel have a great deal of experience in this area and may be able to offer you a kind of agreement that means you do not have to pay upfront fees or ongoing charges to your lawyer.

Specifically, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under these terms, you typically wouldn’t have to pay your lawyer for their services if your claim fails. However, your solicitor would take a success fee if your claim is successful. This fee is subject to a legal cap and is worked out as a percentage of your settlement.

Get Advice On Claiming For Medical Negligence

Our advisers can answer questions you may have about the process of claiming medical negligence compensation. The team is available 24/7, so you can contact them whenever convenient. They can offer more information about the benefits of a No Win No Fee agreement and may be able to pass your case to our panel of solicitors. To learn more:

Learn More About How A Medical Negligence Solicitor Could Help You Claim

More of our guides on similar subjects:

How To Report Medical Negligence By A GP, Doctor, Dentist Or Hospital

How To Claim If A GP Failed To Diagnose Cancer

Could I Claim Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of Cancer?

Related third-party information:

Staging And Grading Of Head And Neck Cancer – Macmillan Cancer Support resource specifically for head and neck cancer

Head And Neck Cancer Conditions – NHS webpage detailing the symptoms of different cancers that could affect the head and neck

Cancer Research UK – Charity that funds scientists, doctors, and nurses dedicated to beating cancer

Thank you for reading this article about how to claim compensation after your head and neck cancer was misdiagnosed because of negligence. If you still have questions about this subject, contact us using the methods described above.

Guide by Morgan

Edited by Fern