Can you Sue the NHS for Misdiagnosis? – Beacon Law Advises
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
What is misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis refers to the incorrect identification or labelling of a medical condition, illness, or disease in a patient. It occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or medical practitioner, inaccurately assesses a patient’s symptoms, medical history, or test results, leading to an incorrect diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences for patients, as it may result in delayed or inappropriate treatment. Patients might undergo unnecessary medical procedures, medications, or surgeries, or they might not receive the appropriate treatment for their actual condition. This can lead to worsened health outcomes, prolonged suffering, and sometimes even irreversible harm.
If you are considering suing the NHS for misdiagnosis, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of medical negligence solicitors at Beacon Law today. We offer our services on a no win no fee basis, meaning you don’t have to worry about the costs that come with making a medical negligence claim.
Aside from misdiagnosis, there are other instances and reasons you can claim against the NHS for medical negligence, including the following:
- Surgical errors: Surgical negligence can involve mistakes made during surgery, such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical tools inside the patient, or performing unnecessary surgeries.
- Medication errors: This type of negligence includes prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong dosage, or failing to consider a patient’s allergies or potential drug interactions.
- Birth injuries: Negligence during childbirth can lead to birth injuries to the mother or baby. This can include inadequate monitoring of the fetal heartbeat, improper use of delivery instruments, or failure to perform a c-section.
- Anaesthesia errors: Mistakes made during the administration of anaesthesia, such as incorrect dosage or failure to monitor the patient properly, can result in serious complications or even death.
- Inadequate nursing care: This involves instances where the standard of care provided by nurses falls below acceptable levels, leading to patient harm. It can include neglecting patients’ basic needs, failing to administer medication or treatments as prescribed, or not properly monitoring patients’ conditions.
- Inadequate follow-up care: When healthcare professionals fail to provide appropriate follow-up care after a procedure or treatment, patients may suffer complications or their condition may worsen.
It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and clinical negligence claims can arise from a wide range of circumstances.
Can you sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?
You can make a claim against the NHS if you have been injured as a result of negligence by an NHS organisation or healthcare professional. However, you must be able to prove that you have suffered an injury that was directly caused by negligence from the NHS.
In order to make a claim against the NHS, you will need to prove that:
- The medical professional owed you a duty of care
- The health professional breached that duty of care
- The breach of duty of care caused you harm
- You have suffered loss as a result of the harm
What is the process of making a claim against the NHS?
To start a claim against the NHS, you will need to instruct a specialist personal injury solicitor to begin the claims process. Our team of solicitors at Beacon Law are experts in claiming compensation for misdiagnosis by the NHS and can provide you with support and guidance during the process.
Your solicitor will assist you in gathering the relevant evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, expert opinions, witness statements, and any other documentation that helps establish the negligence and its impact on your health.
We can then notify the NHS of your intention to make a claim, providing them with all of the relevant details of your case allowing the NHS to carry out their own investigations in order to respond to your claim.
Generally, the process will then move to negotiations in which we will negotiate on your behalf with the defendant to reach a fair settlement amount to cover your pain, suffering and damages. If a settlement cannot be reached between parties, then the case can progress to court, in which a judge will make a decision on the amount of compensation you should receive.
Who pays the compensation?
Compensation for NHS claims is paid by NHS Resolution, which is a public body that was set up by the government to handle clinical negligence claims against the NHS. NHS Resolution acts as an insurer for the NHS, so it is responsible for paying out compensation to people who have been injured as a result of negligence by an NHS organisation or healthcare professional.
How much compensation could you receive?
The amount of compensation you may receive varies greatly on many factors within your case, so it is difficult to give estimates. However, personal injury solicitors are highly experienced in their field and will work to ensure that any compensation you might receive is a reasonable amount to compensate you for the injuries you have suffered as a result of misdiagnosis.
When our expert personal injury solicitors take a close look into your case, they will assess what we call general damages and special damages.
General damages cover the compensation you may get for the injuries that were directly caused by the wrong diagnosis, including your pain and suffering.
Special damages refer to any additional financial losses you have suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis, such as loss of income if you had to take time off work, financial expenses directly related to your deteriorating health, plus medical and travel costs.
Calculating both the general and special damages related to your claim, our expert solicitors will then fight your case with the defendant and hope to come to a settlement agreement.
What are the time limits for making a claim?
With all claims for compensation, there are strict time limits to take note of. Typically, an injured party will have three years in which to commence proceedings for claiming compensation.
However, there are some exceptions to the three-year rule, which include:
- If the claimant was under the age of 18 at the time of the misdiagnosis, they do not need to abide by the 3-year rule and can have up until their 21st birthday to make a claim for their compensation. However, up until the claimant is 18, a family member or guardian can make a claim for them on their behalf.
- The 3-year rule is also overlooked if the claimant does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim due to reduced mental capacity. The claimant would be able to begin their claim when they regain their mental capacity, regardless of the time passed since the accident.
How can Beacon Law assist?
Beacon Law are registered Solicitors in England and Wales who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The registered office for Beacon Law is located in Cheshire.
Beacon Law are specialist solicitors in personal injury and have a clinical negligence team who are experts in bringing successful claims against the NHS. The solicitors at Beacon Law hold vast experience in negligence claims and will deal with the claim in a professional manner.
Your medical negligence case at Beacon Law will be under on a no win no fee basis, which vastly minimises the risk of incurring legal costs.
Under this agreement, you will not be required to pay our fees if your case is unsuccessful. If your case is successful, we will deduct our success fee from your compensation on conclusion of your case, alongside any additional fees.
There will be no upfront payment needed, and you will not need to worry about the risk of being in a worse financial situation should your compensation claim not succeed. To find out about our no win, no fee claim funding and the success fee, have a look at the funding section on our website.
If you are an NHS patient and are thinking of suing an NHS organisation or an NHS trust for misdiagnosis, please contact a medical negligence solicitor at Beacon Law on 0330 1332 857.