Myeloma misdiagnosis can be life-changing. It does not form as a lump, lesion, or tumour, and because of this, it can be difficult to identify.
You will not be able to claim compensation just because your condition was misdiagnosed. However, if your myeloma was misdiagnosed as a result of medical negligence, you could be eligible to make a claim.
Misdiagnosis of myeloma can result in the worsening of symptoms and mental distress. It could even allow the cancer to spread to the point that treatment is no longer effective. In this article, we’ll explain what medical negligence is, how much compensation you could potentially receive, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you manage your claim.
Contact our team of advisors today for a free consultation by:
- Calling us on 0800 652 3087
- Starting your claim online
- Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen
Select A Section
- What Is Multiple Myeloma?
- Symptoms Of Multiple Myeloma
- How Is Myeloma Medically Diagnosed?
- Can Myeloma Be Misdiagnosed?
- Calculating Myeloma Misdiagnosis Compensation Payouts
- Talk To Us About Myeloma Misdiagnosis Claims
Myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer that affects your blood. It is also known as multiple myeloma, as it often affects multiple parts of the body. It starts in your bone marrow, and it does not cause a tumour or lump. Because of this, it can be difficult to identify.
As such, there may be some instances of myeloma misdiagnosis that you can not make a claim for. For example, if you did not show symptoms related to myeloma, or if the tests you took did not show the presence of any cancerous cells, then the doctor could have missed the condition while adhering to the duty of care that they owe. In these cases, you would not be able to claim.
However, if your misdiagnosis was a result of medical negligence and you’ve suffered harm as a result, you may be able to make a claim. All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, a responsibility outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). This means that the care they provide must meet a minimum expected standard.
If the treatment you receive does not meet this standard, and you suffer harm as a result, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.
If you have suffered harm due to medical negligence, contact our advisors today. They can provide free legal advice and more help starting your medical compensation claim.
How Long Do I Have To Claim For Myeloma Misdiagnosis?
According to the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have three years to start a medical negligence claim. This starts on the date of your misdiagnosis, or on the date you connect your worsening condition with negligence. However, there are some exceptions, including:
- Those under the age of 18: If you are under the age of 18, the time limit is suspended until your 18th birthday. The three years will then end on your 21st birthday. However, someone else can claim on your behalf while the limit is suspended as your litigation friend.
- Lack of mental capacity: The time limit is frozen for those who cannot claim for themselves because they lack the capability to do so. For example, if you have cognitive disabilities, or if you suffered brain damage due to your injuries, then you might not be able to make your own claim. The time limit remains frozen unless you recover, but someone else can claim on your behalf during this time as your litigation friend.
According to the NHS guide to multiple myeloma, you may not experience any symptoms when the disease is in the early stages. However, some common symptoms can include:
- Persistent bone pain
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision and dizziness
- Bruising and heavy bleeding
- Kidney problems
- Weak bones
If you experience any of these symptoms, it can be a good idea to seek medical attention from a doctor or GP. If you suspect that medical negligence has contributed to your myeloma misdiagnosis, contact our team of advisors today.
Rates Of Myeloma In The UK
According to statistics published by Cancer Research UK, there are 5,951 new cases of myeloma diagnosed every year in the United Kingdom. This number makes up 2% of all diagnosed cancer cases in the UK between 2016-2018.
There are a few ways that myeloma can be diagnosed. According to the NHS, common methods of diagnosis can include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- Bone marrow biopsies
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
If your tests revealed signs that you may have multiple myeloma but your doctor failed to make a diagnosis, you may be eligible to make a claim for misdiagnosed cancer. Contact our team of advisors for more information.
As we mentioned earlier, not all cases of myeloma misdiagnosis can form the basis of a claim. Multiple myeloma can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms may not appear in the earlier stages. However, some cases of myeloma misdiagnosis occur due to medical negligence, and in these cases, you may be able to make a claim.
- Failure to refer: If you show symptoms of myeloma, your doctor should refer you for more tests or to a cancer specialist (oncologist.) If they fail to do so, and your myeloma is misdiagnosed as a result, you may be eligible to make a claim.
- Misreading test results: You may be referred to a specialist for blood testing, urine tests, or scans. If these scans show the presence of myeloma and your doctor fails to identify this, they may be found negligent.
- Ignoring patient concerns: If your doctor negligently disregards your symptoms and concerns, leading to misdiagnosis, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Our advisors can provide a free consultation and free legal advice surrounding your medical negligence claim. If your claim is valid, they may forward you to our panel of expert medical negligence solicitors.
If your claim is successful, there are two heads of claim that can come together to form your final compensation payout: general damages and special damages.
General damages cover the harm you suffer as a result of your misdiagnosis. The average settlement for cancer misdiagnosis can be difficult to calculate, as these values are awarded on a case-by-case basis. However, a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) provides legal professionals with guideline compensation brackets for various injuries and illnesses. You can find some examples of these brackets in the table below.
Injury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Kidney Injuries (a) £169,400 to £210,400 Permanent damage or loss of both kidneys.
Kidney Injuries (b) Up to £63,980 Damage with risk of future UTIs or other loss of function.
Kidney Injuries (c) £30,770 to
Loss of one kidney with no damage to the remaining.
Below-knee Amputation of One Leg (iv) £97,980 to £132,990 Amputation of the leg below the knee.
Below-elbow Amputation (b) (iii) £96,160 to £109,650 Amputation at the forearm with continuing phantom pains.
Amputation of One Foot (b) £83,960 to £109,650 Similar to below knee amputation as a result of the loss of the ankle joint.
Severe Pain Disorders (i) £42,130 to £62,990 Symptoms ongoing despite treatment, with an effect on the ability to work.
Moderate Back Injuries (b) (i) £27,760 to £38,780 Invertebral disc damage, with nerve root irritation and a reduction in mobility.
Moderate PTSD £5,860 to £19,070 Cases where large recovery takes place, with no disabling effects continuing
Fractures of Ribs (g) Up to £3,950 Fracture of ribs causing pain and disability over a number weeks.
Special damages cover the financial impact of your condition. For example, if your myeloma misdiagnosis resulted in the amputation of your foot, you may need special mobility aids or prosthetics. In this case, you could claim the costs of these aids or prosthetics under the special damages head of your claim.
However, you must be able to provide proof of these expenses to claim. As such, it can be a good idea to keep any relevant bills or receipts during this time.
The JCG can only provide guideline figures. For a valuation of your claim, contact our advisors today.
It can be helpful to use a medical negligence solicitor to handle your myeloma misdiagnosis claim, as they can help guide you through the legal jargon and the sometimes complex legal process.
Our panel of expert solicitors offers their services on a No Win No Fee basis– this means that if they find your claim to be valid, they may offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under a CFA, you pay no upfront or ongoing costs to your solicitor, and you only pay their success fee if your claim succeeds. In this case, their success fee has a legal cap, which helps ensure that you receive the majority of your compensation. However, if your claim fails, you do not pay any fees to your solicitor.
Contact our team of advisors now to find out how our panel of solicitors could help you claim myeloma misdiagnosis compensation by:
- Calling on 0800 652 3087
- Starting your claim online
- Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen
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Writer Cat Hatton
Publisher Fern Stiles