In this guide, we will explore when you may be able to claim following a skin cancer misdiagnosis. According to the NHS, skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, with around 147,000 new cases of non-melanoma diagnosed in the UK each year. There are two types of skin cancer, called melanoma and non-melanoma. A statistic from the NHS highlighted that around 9 out of 10 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are successfully cured.
If you have experienced a misdiagnosis of cancer, it could lead to additional complications and delayed treatment. All medical professionals have a responsibility to provide their patients with the correct standard of care. In cases where they fail to uphold the correct standard of care causing you avoidable or additional harm, you may be able to seek compensation.
This guide will explore the process of seeking medical negligence compensation, including the steps you could take to build a strong claim.
Additionally, we will provide examples of how a misdiagnosis could occur and the ways in which it could impact you.
For more information, you can get in touch with our helpful team of advisors. They can provide further clarification on what we have discussed in our guide. To get in touch, you can:
- Call on 0800 652 3087
- Fill out our claim online form
- Speak with an advisor via the live chat feature below
Select A Section
- What Are The Different Types Of Skin Cancer?
- Skin Cancer Symptoms And Causes
- How Could Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Happen?
- Has A Medical Professional Acted Negligently?
- Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Calculator
- Getting Advice On No Win No Fee Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
There are two main categories of skin cancer called melanoma and non-melanoma. The former affects cells in the skin called melanocytes. It can also spread to other organs in the body. There are different types of melanoma cancer such as:
- Superficial spreading melanoma
- Nodular melanoma
- Lentigo maligna melanoma
- Acral lentiginous melanoma
- Amelanotic melanoma
Non-melanoma cancer more often develops in the epidermis which is the outermost layer of the skin. There are different types, such as:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Bowen’s disease
- Actinic keratoses
There are complications with each type of cancer. If you experience complications due to a skin cancer misdiagnosis caused by negligence, call us on the number above.
Skin Cancer Statistics
According to the NHS, melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK with around 16,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Additionally:
- 1 in 4 cases are diagnosed in people under 50.
- More than 2,300 people die every year in the UK due to melanoma.
The symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include:
- A lump or discoloured patch on the skin
- Skin discolouration
- Flat and scaly patch
- Red and firm lump
The symptoms of melanoma skin cancer include:
- The appearance of a new mole
- Change in an existing mole, such as shape or colour
- A mole that has become itchy or starts bleeding
If you have symptoms of skin cancer, you should visit a doctor or seek medical advice from another trained professional.
What Are The Causes Of Skin Cancer?
The causes of non-melanoma and causes of melanoma skin cancer are similar. For example, over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can cause both conditions to develop. However, there are other risk factors, including:
- Having pale skin that doesn’t tan easily
- Having blonde or red hair
- Being of an older age
- Having a condition or taking medicines that affect your immune system
- Having lots of moles or freckles
There are various ways a skin cancer misdiagnosis could occur. For example:
- A GP fails to examine the symptoms of skin cancer properly. This means they fail to refer the patient for necessary further testing.
- Despite the clear symptoms of skin cancer, a doctor diagnoses you with another skin condition, such as dermatitis. As a result, the misdiagnosis of cancer causes you to experience further harm.
- Hospital doctors misinterpret the results of cancer tests or biopsies leading to your condition worsening due to receiving the wrong initial diagnosis.
- An admin error sees your test results sent to someone else, leading to a delayed diagnosis and delayed treatment.
It’s important to note that not all cases of cancer misdiagnosis mean a claim can be made. You have to prove that medical negligence caused you to suffer harm. This could include GP negligence, hospital negligence or surgery medical negligence.
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As mentioned, all medical professionals must meet the correct standard of care when treating their patients. If they fail to do so, it could result in someone experiencing harm as a result of their negligence.
For example, a skin cancer misdiagnosis can lead to delayed treatment which can cause an original condition to worsen. In some cases, this can include cancer spreading to other organs. After receiving the correct diagnosis, it could mean the patient needs more extensive treatment.
Another example could include a wrongful death occurring. In these cases, qualifying family members may be eligible to claim compensation on behalf of the deceased.
Call us to discuss your potential cancer misdiagnosis claim.
If your claim following a skin cancer misdiagnosis is successful, you could receive up to two heads of claim. These are known as general damages and special damages. General damages seek to award compensation for the harm you sustained as a result of medical negligence. It takes into consideration the extent of the harm you sustained, the severity of your pain and suffering and the impact on your quality of life.
Although you may want to use a compensation calculator to estimate how much you could receive for the general damages portion of your claim, they don’t always give an accurate estimation. Instead, we have included a table using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which contains compensation brackets relating to different types of harm.
Medical negligence solicitors can use these guidelines to help them value the general damages head of claim alongside other resources, such as medical evidence. However, the final amount of compensation you are paid out may differ from the table’s contents. This is because different factors are considered when valuing settlements.
For instance, you may be invited to attend a medical assessment that’s completed by an independent medical professional. This can produce a report containing details on the nature of the harm you sustained. The report can be used alongside the JCG.
|Type Of Harm
|Less Severe Psychiatric Injury (d)
|£1,540 to £5,860
|The award given will depend on how long someone was impacted.
|Very Severe Facial Disfigurement (a)
|£29,780 to £97,330
|The cosmetic effect will be very disfiguring and cause a severe psychological reaction.
|Less Severe Facial Disfigurement (b)
|£17,960 to £48,420
|There is a substantial disfigurement with a significant psychological reaction.
|Significant Facial Disfigurement (c)
|£9,110 to £30,090
|The worst effects have been made better with surgery and the psychological reaction is better.
|Less Significant Facial Disfigurement (d)
|£3,950 to £13,740
|Cases in this bracket include one scar or a number of very small scars.
|Trivial Facial Disfigurement (a)
|£1,710 to £3,530
|The effect of any scarring is minor.
|Scarring To Other Body Parts
|£7,830 to £22,730
|This case includes multiple scars that are noticeable or one scar that's disfiguring on the legs, arms, hands, back or chest.
|Scarring To Other Body Parts
|£2,370 to £7,830
|One noticeable scar or multiple superficial scars to the legs, arms or hands.
|Very Severe Brain Damage (a)
|£282,010 to £403,990
|The person will require full-time care and will experience various issues.
|Moderate Brain Damage (c) (i)
|£150,110 to £219,070
|The person will experience an intellectual deficit, change in personality and an impact on their senses.
You could also receive compensation for the financial losses caused by the harm you sustained due to medical negligence. For instance, if you missed out on income due to being unable to work while unwell, you can seek reimbursement of lost earnings.
To find out more about seeking medical compensation after negligence, call us on the number above.
If you claim compensation for skin cancer misdiagnosis, you could make a No Win No Fee claim. In doing so, you may sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Generally, as part of this agreement, you won’t pay a fee for your solicitor’s services upfront or while your claim is ongoing. You also won’t be required to pay a fee for your solicitor’s services if the claim fails.
A success fee is deducted from your compensation if your claim succeeds. However, this is taken as a legally capped percentage. The fee is outlined in the CFA you sign before your claim goes ahead.
This is a service our panel of solicitors can offer. If you would like to find out whether you’re eligible to have a solicitor from our panel represent your claim, please get in touch with our team. They can also discuss your potential skin cancer misdiagnosis claim in more detail.
You can contact us by:
- Calling on 0800 652 3087
- Filling out our claim online form
- Speaking with an advisor via the live chat feature below
We have included some additional resources that you may find helpful below:
- NHS Hospital Negligence Compensation Guide
- How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
- What Is The Average Settlement For A Cancer Misdiagnosis?
- GMC: What To Expect From Your Doctor
- Cancer Research UK: Statistics
- GOV: NHS Constitution For England
We hope our guide on claiming compensation after a skin cancer misdiagnosis has helped. If you need any other information, call our team on the number above.
Writer Hana Clarke
Editor Meg Miller