Medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of compensation claim for medical negligence in the UK, otherwise referred to as clinical negligence or medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis can have severe ramifications for your health, including prolonging illness, causing an existing condition to worsen, and creating further injury.
Here, the medical negligence experts at Graysons answer some of the most frequently asked questions, including how you can claim if you believe you have been a victim of medical misdiagnosis, either in the NHS or by a private healthcare provider, and how compensation is decided.
What are some examples of medical misdiagnosis claims?
Medical misdiagnosis can relate to any condition that has been misdiagnosed. This may include cases when the condition is incorrectly diagnosed or is completely missed by your medical care provider. When we are ill or injured, we often turn to a medical professional for expert advice. In most instances, we will have our condition correctly diagnosed and the right course of treatment prescribed. However, mistakes are negligently made, sometimes with devastating consequences. If you have had a condition misdiagnosed, then you may have a claim for medical negligence. Contact the team at Graysons today, and our expert team of medical misdiagnosis lawyers will advise if you do indeed have a misdiagnosis claim that is likely to lead to a successful outcome.
What medical conditions are most often misdiagnosed?
Common conditions which may be misdiagnosed include:
- Heart conditions
- Head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
Medical negligence misdiagnosis covers incorrect treatment or drugs being prescribed, with harmful effects on your health.
Medical misdiagnosis claims can also cover incidences where you have been incorrectly diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. While these incidences may not lead directly to physical injury, they may lead to acute emotional distress and unnecessary or inappropriate treatment.
Can I sue the NHS for medical misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can sue the NHS for clinical negligence, which includes medical misdiagnosis. Indeed, you can sue any healthcare provider in the NHS for medical malpractice and negligence. This includes a GP practice, hospital, dental practitioner, or other medical provider.
How do I prove medical misdiagnosis?
For a medical misdiagnosis claim to be successful, you must first be able to prove that a majority of healthcare professionals in the same speciality would have correctly diagnosed the condition, and secondly, that it directly caused you unnecessary additional injury. This may include incorrect treatment causing harm to your health, or your condition being made worse. For example, if your cancer is misdiagnosed, or missed altogether, it may prolong your recovery time, or even lead to reduced life expectancy, especially in cancers where time is of the essence.
What are some other examples of medical negligence UK besides misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is just one area of medical malpractice and negligence. Other areas of clinical negligence include:
- Surgical error, including foreign objects being left in the patient, or the wrong surgery being carried out
- Birth injuries that cause harm to the mother or child
- Delayed diagnosis, leading to the condition worsening, especially in time-critical conditions
- Referral errors, including failure to follow-up
- Failing to respond to test results, especially if they are time-critical
- Hospital-acquired infections such as bacterial infections like MRSA
If you have been victim to any of the above, and have suffered an injury as a direct result, then you may have a claim for medical negligence.
How much medical negligence compensation might I get for misdiagnosis?
It’s difficult to put an accurate figure on how much medical negligence compensation you might receive for a claim of misdiagnosis as no two claims are ever the same. However, a clinical negligence expert that specialising in misdiagnosis claims, such as the team of medical lawyers at Graysons, will be able to best advise as to whether your claim will be successful and the amount of compensation you would likely receive.
How is medical negligence compensation for misdiagnosis calculated?
Misdiagnosis compensations claims are calculated the same way as any other medical negligence claim. The amount of compensation you receive will reflect the severity of the injury you received, along with your financial losses. Compensation is split into two categories:
- General damages – this is to cover your pain and suffering, and the amount you receive will depend on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had on your life.
- Special damages – this covers any financial losses, including out-of-pocket expenses and any loss of future earnings. Special damages includes medication and treatment costs, travel and parking for care and treatment, any adaptations you may need to make to your home, costs for on-going medical, domestic or personal care that you may need, as well as any special medical equipment. Special damages include your past financial losses since the medical negligence incident, and any on-going costs and financial losses you will incur in the future. For example, loss of income if you are no longer able to carry out your job.
It’s important to note that medical negligence compensation is not intended to benefit you financially. Instead, it is to ensure that you are not financially worse off than if the incident of medical malpractice not taken place.
If I claim for medical misdiagnosis, will I have to go to court?
It’s unlikely that you will have to go to a trial as almost all medical negligence claims for misdiagnosis are settled before reaching a final hearing at court. If you do have to go to trial, a medical lawyer will be able to represent you, therefore alleviating any stress or anxiety you may have about attending a court hearing.
Is there a time limit for making a medical negligence claim for misdiagnosis?
Yes, medical misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence. Therefore, you will have three years from the date of injury, or your date of knowledge, to start a medical malpractice and negligence claim. So, do not delay! If you believe you have been a victim of medical misdiagnosis, or any other type of clinical negligence, then contact the team of medical lawyers at Graysons today.
How can a medical misdiagnosis solicitor help me with a medical misdiagnosis claim?
An experienced medical misdiagnosis lawyer will be able to put your claim together expertly. They will gather any documents required for your clinical malpractice case, including medical records, reports from medical experts and witness statements and evidence of losses. They will then actively pursue a settlement with the healthcare provider while making you aware of your legal rights during each stage of the process. By letting an experienced medical misdiagnosis solicitor handle your medical negligence claim, you can rest assured that you will secure the very best possible outcome. If you are searching for the best medical negligence solicitors, then contact the team at Graysons today, and put our services to the test.