Delayed or Misdiagnosis Claims

If your GP, consultant, dentist or other health care provider was negligent and made mistakes when assessing your symptoms and diagnosing your condition, you could be entitled to compensation through a medical misdiagnosis claim. Contact Devonshires Claims for a free case assessment where we will review the circumstances of your treatment and determine, at no cost to you, whether your case has a good chance of success.

Examples of misdiagnosis or late diagnosis include:

  • Your doctor failed to diagnose your condition at all, leading to a deterioration in your health or mental wellbeing. This could be the result of failures in examining you, referring you to an appropriate specialist and misinterpreting your test results.
  • Your doctor gave you incorrect or unsuitable medication or treatment based on their incorrect diagnosis, and your health has been negatively affected as a result.
  • Diagnosing the wrong condition, leading to wrong and potentially harmful (or at least ineffective) treatment

The misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of a medical condition can have severe consequences on your physical and mental health and could affect your recovery from the disease or injury. A claim against a healthcare provider could not only help you obtain compensation for the negligent treatment you received, but could also provide the money required for private medical treatment, carers, medical equipment and loss of earnings. 

Our experienced medical negligence solicitors offer a ‘No Win No Fee agreement for misdiagnosis claims as well as access to a network of medical experts and specialists barristers. 

For more information or to request your free no-obligation case evaluation please contact us on  0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

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Medical Conditions Often MisdiagnosedExamples of the Misdiagnosis
Appendicitis If you reported pain in your lower right abdomen, along with other symptoms such as a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea, but your GP, paramedic or A & E department failed to act quickly leaving you with a burst appendix and an infection, you may be eligible to make a medical misdiagnosis claim.
Broken bones / fractures These include easily missed fractures and injuries such as: scaphoid fracture – a break of the scaphoid bone in the wrist.

Complications of a missed fracture may include:

  • Non-union of the fracture
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal instabilities
  • Hamate fracture
Cancer

One of the most common conditions to be misdiagnosed is cancer, because it presents symptoms similar to many other, less serious, illnesses.  These include cancers such as :

  • Pancreatic
  • Brain tumours
  • Bowel
  • Breast
  • Thyroid
  • Ovarian
  • Cervical
  • Prostate
Cauda Equina syndrome

This condition requires urgent medical attention to stop a slipped disc pressing on the nerves. Signs of its onset include a loss of sensation in the genital area, incontinence and urinary retention. If you reported symptoms such as these to a medical professional and they failed to act, you may be able to make a medical misdiagnosis claim.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg. Blood clots that develop in a vein are also known as venous thrombosis. if the clot breaks away from its location, it can travel via the heart to the lungs where it can cause a pulmonary embolism, restricting blood flow, and resulting in breathing difficulties and possibly death. Deep Vein Thrombosis is often misdiagnosed as the symptoms can be confused with a range of other conditions such as muscle stain and arthritis.
DiabetesType 1 diabetes is often misdiagnosed as type 2.
Ectopic pregnancy An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb in one of the fallopian tubes. As the embryo grows, the tube stretches and, if the pregnancy continues, the tube can rupture. This causes pain and bleeding which requires urgent medical attention.
Gall stones

Misdiagnosis of gallbladder disease and gall stones cholecystectomy as IBS or other digestive conditions.


In the case of large common bile duct stones – these may not show the characteristic features of gall-stones and so may be misdiagnosed as tumour masses.  (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6309313)
Group B Strep Group B strep is a type of bacteria called Streptococcal bacteria.  In newborns, group B Streptococcus infection is acquired through direct contact with the bacteria while in the uterus or during birth. Strep B infections in babies can be very serious especially if the condition is diagnosed late or is misdiagnosed.
Heart disease

Misdiagnosis of Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

 
Heart attack symptoms are often mistaken for symptoms of other less dangerous medical problems, such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Esophagitis
  • Angina
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Anxiety attack
  • Gallstones
  • Musculoskeletal pain
Head injuries

Failure to diagnose injury/severity of injury: This can include a failure to carry out the appropriate tests in relation to a head injury as well as misreading the results of tests.


Incorrect treatment of a head injury: This can include a failure to administer any treatment for a head injury as well as the administration of the incorrect treatment in relation to a specific head injury.

Infections

An infection occurs when an organism enters your body and causes disease. They can include organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.


You can acquire an infection in many different ways, such as directly from a person with an infection, via contaminated food or water, and even through the bite of an insect. A delay in diagnosing and treating an infection could have significant consequences and a debilitating affect.
Internal bleedingInternal bleeding is a condition which involves blood from an artery or vein bleeding into the body cavity. While you often cannot see internal bleeding from outside the body, it can still be dangerous if it is not identified and treated promptly.
Other orthopaedicOrthopaedic is anything relating to bones and can include:

  • Delays or mistakes in diagnosing a fracture
  • Delays or negligence associated in recognising misaligned fractures
  • Negligence or mistakes made when assessing the success of orthopedic surgery (eg. failed hip operations) and failing to correct these surgical errors.
Meningitis

Getting a proper diagnosis is further complicated by the fact that the signs and symptoms of meningitis are easily mistaken for any one of a number of different conditions such as a flu.

Sepsis Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Sepsis misdiagnosis or late diagnosis often occurs because the condition can follow an initial infection such as the flu, heart disease, kidney infection, or even a sinus infection. Therefore there may be confusion as to the cause of the autoimmune reponse and it may be attributed to the initial infection.
Stroke

Stroke misdiagnosis occurs most frequently in young patients because they are rare in this population and in the elderly because the symptoms of stroke are easily mistaken for other age related diseases. 

Subarachnoid haemorrhage

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a bleed on the brain. Typical symptoms include a stiff neck, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and vision problems. Often, a patient’s symptoms will be mistakenly attributed to a migraine or a headache.

GlaucomaThe misdiagnosis or the late diganosis of Glaucoma could result in loss of vision and blindness.  The failure to set up regular follow up consultations or referrals to ophthalmologists, could also pontentially lead to vision loss and blindness as these may have contributed to the delay in receiving Glaucoma treatment.
Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome occurs when nerves and blood vessels are compressed within a muscle , leading to constricted blood flow. The late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of compartment syndrome can lead to severe and permanent damage to the muscles and nerves.

The condition can develop following a fracture or crush injury and also after surgery. It can also occur from external compression (i.e. bandages or a plaster cast that is too tight) or internal compression (such as internal bleeding).

EndometriosisEndometriosis is a painful condition which affects an estimated 1.5 million women in the UK. The misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of endometriosis and the delay in treatment, could result in the condition becoming worse. Infertility is also a potential consequence of endometriosis.

If your GP, consultant, surgeon, dentist or other healthcare provider has made mistakes or was negligent in assessing your symptoms, interpreting your test results, referring you for tests or to the relevant specialists, you could be entitled to compensation.

There are generally two main types of misdiagnosis:

  • Incorrect or missed diagnosis: This occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose any condition or diagnoses you with the wrong condition. This can result in improper medication or treatment being administered as well as a delay in receiving the required treatment and medication.
  • Late diagnosis: As the term implies, this occurs when a condition is identified late, causing delays in receiving the correct treatment and medication and a deterioration in your health.

The consequences of an incorrect or late medical diagnosis could be:

  • A deterioration in your health
  • A reduced life span
  • A life changing medical condition which may require medical equipment, aids, home adaptations, rehabilitation
  • Financial loss associated with medical and travel expenses and loss of income
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Short and long term care support

If you believe that your GP, consultant, dentist or other health care provider has been negligent in diagnosing your condition or injury contact Devonshires Claims for a free case evaluation.

How our misdiagnosis claims service works:

  1. We advise our clients to gather important information such as dates of GP visits and any correspondence received.
  2. We provide a free case evaluation and will review the details of your case. We may request further information if we need this to assess your claim.
  3. If we believe that there are strong grounds for a medical misdiagnosis claim we will discuss the funding options available to you including our “No Win- No Fee” agreement.
  4. We will consult our extensive network of medical experts to review your medical reports. These experts will determine whether the treatment you received fell below the standards that could be expected from a similar medical professional and the future requirements and implications to your health.
  5. We will then contact the parties involved in the misdiagnosis to see if they accept blame for the misdiagnosis of your medical illness or injury.
  6. If they accept liability or blame, we will try to secure interim compensation payments which could fund any private medical treatment, care, equipment and other expenses before your claim settles. These early payments help you to receive the treatment you may require.
  7. If they do not accept they are to blame then we will issue proceedings and fight for compensation on your behalf.
  8. We will always try to negotiate your claim out of court. However if the defendant does not accept liability or disagrees with the amount of compensation we are requesting, then we will take the matter to a trial if required. We will guide you through the entire process.

The amount of compensation awarded in a medical misdiagnosis claim will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The circumstances surrounding your misdiagnosis, the delay and the severity of your misdiagnosis
  • The nature of your illness or injury, the treatment and care required and the recovery time
  • The impact of the misdiagnosis on health, quality of life and life expectancy
  • The acceptance of liability or acknowledgement by the healthcare provider
  • Financial loss and any future losses associated with expenses, medical aids, care and treatment, loss of income, loss of employment promotion

Other factors which will impact your compensation payout include:

  • Your pain and suffering – physical and mental
  • The chances of making a full recovery
  • Any long-term health effects or requirements

If you believe that there were mistakes or negligence associated with the diagnosis of an injury or illness you could be entitled to compensation.  This means that a misdiagnosis claim could be made against an NHS GP, consultant, dentist or other practitioner.

NHS compensation claims are handled by their specialist insurance organisation, NHS Resolution. All NHS trusts pay an annual premium to NHS Resolution.

A medical misdiagnosis claim could also be submitted against a private GP, consultant, clinic or hospital. If you believe that your illness or injury was misdiagnosed, diagnosed late or the wrong medication was provided you may be entitled to make a claim.

Misdiagnosis claims against private hospitals or Trusts work differently than those made against the NHS. Private medical healthcare providers should have their own liability insurance to cover any disputes.

You may feel worried about having treatment at a hospital or clinic against which you are seeking compensation. However it is not lawful for any medical professional or facility to refuse to treat you due to an ongoing complaint or claim.

Therefore your treatment should not be affected. However you can ask to be transferred if you feel more comfortable receiving treatment at an alternative GP clinic, hospital or other healthcare facility.

Medical misdiagnosis claims must be made within three years of the incident. In the case of misdiagnosis or late diagnosis claims, the date of the ‘incident’ is generally classed as the date on which you received the correct diagnosis and realised that your previous diagnosis was incorrect or delayed.

Exceptions to the three year rule

Children: Misdiagnosis claims for children can be made up to their 18th birthday. After this age, the child has three years within which to make a claim themselves.

Incapacity: A child or adult without capacity to run a claim, may not have a time limit within which to bring a claim.  We recommend that you contact Devonshires Claims if you have any queries involving those who lack capacity and our specialist solicitors will be able to assist.

You can make misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis claim on behalf of someone else in the following situations:

  • You can make a claim on behalf of your child, before their 18th birthday. After your child has turned 18, they have three years within which to make a claim themselves.
  • You can make a claim on behalf of someone else if they lack the mental capacity to do it themselves eg. if they have sustained a brain injury or have a condition which affects their decision making such as a mental health condition, dementia, stroke, severe learning disability, or unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident.You will need permission to act on someone else’s behalf as per the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

If a family member has died as a consequence of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of an illness or injury, you may be entitled to compensation. A medical negligence compensation claim will reflect:

1.The pain and suffering of person who has died.

A compensation claim for the injuries suffered by the deceased person before they died is known as a claim for general damages. The amount of general damages would reflect the length and severity of the pain, suffering and for the things they were unable to do (known as ‘loss of amenity’).

2. The impact of the death of a loved one on their family.

This would encompass:

  • The loss of love and affection of a family member
  • A fixed sum for ‘bereavement’.Some family members, such as a spouse or civil partner or the parents of a child under 18, can recover a ‘bereavement award’ which is currently set at £12,980.
  • For loss of financial dependency: Family members have a recognised legal right to seek compensation if there was financial dependency and a relationship with the deceased. The loss of additional benefits such as pensions can also be claimed, as can a sum for the loss of their help around the house.
  • For funeral expenses and any other financial losses.

We can help you with making a claim if you’re the dependent of the person who died and you fall within one of the following categories:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse (married for at least two years)
  • Cohabitee (living together but not married) of over two years
  • Children
  • Parent

Wrongful death due to medical negligence

The death of a loved one is always painful, but knowing that the death was the result of medical negligence can leave family members angry and confused.

Devonshires Claims has experience in supporting grieving families obtain answers, justice and acknowledgement of the negligent care and treatment of a loved one. Although financial compensation can never replace a family member, our claims experts work hard to ensure that you and your family are provided with financial security.

Our solicitors also provide advice on the best way to deal with a deceased person’s affairs and estate as well as supporting services and charities.

Our negligence solicitors make is easy for you to make a misdiagnosis compensation claim. We provide advice on different ways to fund your claim including our risk-free “No Win – No Fee” agreement.

Under our no win no fee agreement, there are no upfront costs to start your medical negligence claim and if your case is not successful you will not have costs to pay*. If your claim is successful, most of the fees are covered by your opponent.**

For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement, please click here. 

Most medical negligence claims are settled out of court, therefore it is unlikely that you will need to go to Court.  According to the 2018-19 NHS Resolution Report, over 70% of claims were settled before proceedings were issued and less than 1% went to a trial.

If the opponent denies liability or does not accept the amount of compensation requested, your claim may be referred to Court. Should this happen, you can be reassured that our claims experts will guide you throughout the process and take care of all the legal requirements.

Why choose Devonshires Claims to help you obtain justice and compensation?

Our ‘No Win No-Fee’ medical negligence experts specialise in misdiagnosis claims and work hard to secure you and your family the justice and compensation you deserve.

Negligence claims involving misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a condition or injury can be complex. However our solicitors have developed expertise in reviewing cases, obtaining the maximum compensation for families and working with our network of medical experts and specialist barristers to piece together events and discover what went wrong.

To start your free no-obligation case evaluation contact our experts today on  0333 577 9444, email cn@devonshires.co.uk or complete our online form.

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