When you visit a medical professional, you expect to receive adequate treatment or advice.
This is especially the case when you are dealing with worrying, or disabling symptoms. You may even have prepared a checklist of questions to ask at your appointment, just to make sure you’ve covered everything.
But unfortunately, medical treatment and advice isn’t always correct, and patients leave appointments with a medical misdiagnosis.
This article is about medical misdiagnosis and how you may be entitled to compensation for being misdiagnosed.
What Is Medical Misdiagnosis?
There are three types of medical misdiagnosis, each of which having the potential to result in serious harm:
- Incorrect diagnosis;
- Lack of diagnosis; and
- Late diagnosis
An incorrect diagnosis occurs when your GP (or other medical professional) misinterprets your symptoms, and diagnoses you with a condition that you don’t have.
If you’ve received an incorrect diagnosis, you may have undergone unnecessary treatments or procedures. This could cause you unnecessary pain, suffering or loss.
Further, your ‘true’ condition may go untreated, or its treatment may get delayed, meaning that you could require a more invasive treatment in the future.
Lack of diagnosis
A lack of diagnosis happens when a medical professional fails to identify that you are suffering from the symptoms of an underlying health condition.
If a diagnosis is not made quickly, your condition might develop into a more advanced stage. This may impact negatively on your treatment options and prognosis.
A late diagnosis takes place when a medical professional manages to identify your condition, but does so following an unnecessary delay.
Like the other forms of misdiagnosis, a late diagnosis may lessen your prospects of recoverability, reduce your treatment options, and necessitate more invasive treatment plans.
Indeed, these outcomes can all increase your level of damages.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive?
The amount of compensation recoverable depends on a number of factors, and is difficult to assess without knowing the exact facts of your claim. That’s why we always recommend that you get in touch to discuss your claim.
Nevertheless, the level of compensation in medical misdiagnosis claims can be considerably high, and will reflect the nature and severity of your injury and loss.
Compensation for medical misdiagnosis can be broken down into the following categories:-
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA)
- Special Damages; and
- Future losses
The amount recoverable for PSLA will depend on:
- The nature of your ongoing illness;
- The extent of your pain and suffering;
- The changes to your life expectancy; and
- The impact on your quality of life
In addition to damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, you may also be able to secure special damages. Special damages are losses that have previously occurred, and include:
- Past losses of earnings;
- Previous medical expenses;
- The costs of previous care; and
- Previous prescription fees
Further, you may be able to receive compensation for your future losses, such as:
- Future loss of earnings;
- Loss of pension;
- The provision of future care; and
- The provision of future domestic experience
You have three years from the date of injury to bring a claim. However, often you will not be aware of the negligence until a later date. In this situation you will have three years from the date you knew or ought to have known that you had suffered an injury and that it was a result of negligence.
Where a child is injured, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim.
Each case is different depending on the facts and merits. Due to the complex nature of these types of cases, they can take up to five years (and sometimes much longer) before a case is settled.
As advised above, it is difficult to say how much the claim is worth from the outset as we will require expert medical evidence to fully assess the extent of your injury. Once we have the medical evidence, we will be able to accurately value your case using the guidelines.
If you would like to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your case or ask any questions, feel free to call us on 0113 200 9787.
Medical Misdiagnosis FAQ's
Which Conditions Are Commonly Misdiagnosed?
Some conditions may be hard to diagnose or/ there’s possible chance a condition may be misdiagnosed. This may be because their symptoms are difficult to detect and measure, or because they’re easily mistaken for another condition.
Our solicitors have a vast amount of experience helping people who have suffered from all forms of misdiagnosis.
The most common forms of misdiagnosis include:
- Cancer misdiagnosis
- IBS misdiagnosis
- Diabetes misdiagnosis
- Misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy
- Meningitis misdiagnosis
- Epilepsy misdiagnosis
- Misdiagnosed or undiagnosed broken bones
- Stroke misdiagnosis
How To Know Whether You’re Doctor Has Been Negligent?
We fully acknowledge the vast majority of medical professionals provide an excellent level of care, there’s occasions, however, when their services do not meet the standard we expect.
Our clinical negligence solicitors have been involved in numerous cases where doctors have failed to diagnose an illness or infection in a quicker enough time, sometimes with tragic consequences.
The most common mistakes involve medical staff failing to:
- Examine you properly
- Take your medical history into account when diagnosing a condition
- Refer you for the correct tests
- Interpret the results of a scan or test
- Refer you to a specialist
What’s The Difference Between Misdiagnosis And Delayed Diagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is when your doctor mistakes your illness for something different, misreading your initial symptoms or failing to interpret the results from a test correctly. Errors in this nature of work can have long-term, devastating effects on someone’s health. It’s vital that conditions are diagnosed as quickly as possible, to avoid misdiagnosis from occurring.
Delayed diagnosis, on the other hand, is when a doctor ignores or fails to recognise your symptoms, perhaps even dismissing them. The illness may go undiagnosed for months/years, by which time it can be harder to treat the illness as the illness could be more progressive and manifested into something more serious.
Get In Touch Today
It’s easy to find out whether you have a claim for Medical Misdiagnosis. Simply contact our team of specially trained solicitors and legal professionals by calling 0113 200 9787 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Lewin Solicitors have a specialist team dedicated to helping their client’s secure compensation for medical misdiagnosis. We run most of our claims under the terms of a conditional fee agreement (commonly referred to as a no-win-no-fee agreement), meaning that we won’t charge you a penny upfront.