Receiving any kind of cancer misdiagnosis is devastating, and has the potential to be life altering. It can have a physical as well as an emotional effect on a person and their family, and in severe cases could lead to their life being cut short. There are a variety of reasons why someone might experience a misdiagnosis, from understaffing to overworking, and genuine human error.
Whatever the reason behind your cancer misdiagnosis, if you have suffered in some way or another as a result you could pursue a claim for compensation. This, of course, will not turn back time and undo your misdiagnosis, however it can make moving forward with your life a little less stressful.
What is a misdiagnosis?
A misdiagnosis is a broad term used to describe a range of medical errors, including:
- Symptoms being diagnosed incorrectly
- Failing to act appropriately after receiving medical test results
- Incorrectly reading a patient’s medical history
- Failing to refer a patient for specialist observation
You might have been told that your symptoms do not indicate that you have cancer when they do, or that you have cancer when you actually do not. Or, you may have paid your GP a visit with concerns that you are displaying several cancer symptoms for them to fail to refer you to a cancer specialist to confirm that you do not have cancer.
Of course, whatever type of cancer misdiagnosis you have suffered it will have likely had a devastating impact on your emotional and physical wellbeing. Even if you find out that you do not have cancer and are relieved, you will have still been put through emotional stress and turmoil.
How can I claim compensation?
If you have been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis you may want to claim compensation but may be unsure how to go about doing so. In order to begin any sort of legal claim you will need to contact a team of specialised medical negligence solicitors, who will review your case after taking details and information from you.
They will then come to a decision as to whether or not they think that your case is likely to be upheld by the court, which essentially means whether you are likely to be successful. This is established early on in the claims process so as to not waste your time and get your hopes up when realistically the case is not strong enough to proceed. If the solicitors take your case on, they will be representing you from start to finish and will be there to support you and explain how to process is likely to move forward from there.
How will compensation be calculated?
A misdiagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis alone is not usually enough to make a successful claim, because in the UK the law doesn’t hold doctors responsible for all diagnosis errors. There are actually three points that have to be proven in order for your claim to go ahead, which are:
- There was a relationship between you and the medical professional who was negligent
- The medical professional was genuinely negligent, i.e. the way they provided treatment to you was unreasonable, incompetent and unskillful
- The negligence caused you to become ill or more injured than you were before
When your compensatory amount is calculated, a range of things will be taken into account, such as:
- How your cancer misdiagnosis has affected you both physically and psychologically
- Whether it has caused you financial stress and/or losses
- How it has affected your lifestyle and hobbies
- Whether you have had to stop working because of the cancer misdiagnosis, either temporarily or permanently
It’s important to know that compensation is not awarded at random but is actually carefully worked out using standard formulas which take into account the range of ways cancer misdiagnosis has affected the person.