Medical Misdiagnosis Claims – No Win No Fee
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Medical misdiagnosis is when a healthcare professional incorrectly identifies or fails to identify a medical condition or illness in a patient. It occurs when a diagnosis made by a doctor or medical professional is inaccurate, leading to incorrect treatment or a delay in appropriate treatment.
Correct diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Medical misdiagnosis can have severe consequences for patients, including unnecessary or harmful treatments, worsening of the actual condition, and even death in some cases.
Our personal injury solicitors at Beacon Law believe that victims of medical misdiagnosis deserve appropriate support and compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured through no fault of their own. We understand that starting a claim during an already stressful time can be overwhelming, but our team works hard to oversee the process every step of the way whilst offering our services on a no win no fee basis.
If you have any questions surrounding medical misdiagnosis claims, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
What is medical misdiagnosis?
A medical misdiagnosis is when a healthcare professional diagnoses a patient’s medical condition incorrectly. There are many reasons why a medical misdiagnosis can occur; for example, there can be errors when interpreting test results or miscommunication between healthcare professionals.
Some of the most common types of medical misdiagnosis include:
- Incorrect diagnosis is when a healthcare professional diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as when the healthcare professional does not have enough information to make an accurate diagnosis or when they misinterpret test results.
- Delayed diagnosis: This is when a healthcare professional does not diagnose a patient’s condition until it is too late for effective treatment. This can happen for several reasons, such as when the healthcare professional does not take the patient’s symptoms seriously or when they do not order the proper tests.
- Missed diagnosis: This is when a healthcare professional does not diagnose a patient’s condition at all. This can happen when the healthcare professional does not ask the patient about their symptoms or when they do not perform a thorough physical examination.
Examples of conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed
There are many medical conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed due to various reasons, including their overlapping symptoms with other conditions, atypical presentations, or the complexity of the diseases. Some examples of widely misdiagnosed medical conditions include:
- Fibromyalgia: This chronic pain condition is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed because its symptoms, such as widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties, can overlap with other conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lyme disease: The symptoms of Lyme disease, such as fatigue, joint pain, and neurological problems, can mimic other conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis can be challenging, particularly in regions where Lyme disease is less common.
- Endometriosis: This condition occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus, leading to pelvic pain and other symptoms. It is frequently misdiagnosed as menstrual cramps or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Due to its nonspecific symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, IBS is often misdiagnosed as other gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or celiac disease.
- Thyroid disorders: Conditions like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can be misdiagnosed or overlooked because their symptoms, such as fatigue, weight changes, and mood disturbances, are common to various other conditions.
- Cancer: Cancer is often misdiagnosed in its early stages. This is because the symptoms of cancer can be vague and can be mistaken for other conditions. Cancer misdiagnosis can lead to severe complications, and the correct treatment might not be as effective after a period of time.
- Lupus: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs and present with various symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue, rashes, and fever. Its diverse manifestations can lead to misdiagnosis as other autoimmune conditions or even psychiatric disorders.
It’s important to note that the above list is not exhaustive, and there are other medical conditions that can also be subject to misdiagnosis. If you suspect that you have been misdiagnosed or if your symptoms persist despite treatment, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional and consider seeking a second opinion.
What is the process of making a claim?
The process begins by contacting Beacon Law with your initial inquiry regarding medical misdiagnosis claims.
A team member will ask you questions about the negligence, and you will receive advice on the viability of your case. If your case is deemed to have a high chance of success, Beacon Law will become your official legal representative. Access to your medical records will be necessary to identify negligence and any related medical history.
Our skilled solicitors at Beacon Law will collaborate with medical negligence experts to obtain a report assessing the degree of negligence and breach of duty of care. They will also evaluate the impact of the neglect on your health.
As your legal representatives, we will assist in gathering all necessary evidence to strengthen your case, including witness testimony and extensive medical evidence.
Beacon Law will negotiate with the medical professionals or their solicitors on your behalf to seek the best possible compensation. While monetary compensation cannot fully compensate for the pain and suffering you have endured, it can help you regain some semblance of a normal life.
Compensation may include reimbursement for lost income if you were unable to work and expenses related to further medical treatment required to address the issue.
We will handle direct communication with the medical professionals or institutions involved, aiming to establish liability or fault. If liability is challenging to prove, it may be necessary to initiate legal proceedings and seek guidance from a judge. The court process can be lengthy and time-consuming, and depending on the complexity of the case, it may not reach a settlement until the trial stage, where a judge will issue an order on the medical misdiagnosis claim.
What are the time limits for making a claim for medical misdiagnosis?
The time limit for bringing a clinical negligence personal injury claim is generally governed by the Limitation Act 1980. The specific time limit for medical negligence claims is different from the general personal injury claims. Here are some essential points to consider:
- General Limitation Period: The general time limit to bring a medical negligence claim is three years from the date of knowledge of the negligence or from the date the negligence occurred, whichever is later. “Date of knowledge” refers to the point when the claimant becomes aware of the negligence and has enough information to reasonably consider pursuing a legal claim. This can be the date of the misdiagnosis, the date of the negligent treatment, or when the claimant discovered that they suffered harm as a result of the negligence.
- Date of Knowledge: It’s important to note that the date of knowledge is not always easy to establish in medical negligence cases. Sometimes, it may take some time for a claimant to realise they have been a victim of negligence or to connect their symptoms or condition to the negligent act. In such cases, the three-year limitation period starts from the date when the claimant first had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the negligence.
- Minors: For individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the negligence, the three-year limitation period starts on their 18th birthday. In other words, they have until their 21st birthday to bring a medical negligence claim. If you are claiming on behalf of a child, you will be referred to as the litigation friend.
- Mental Capacity: If a claimant lacks the mental capacity to handle their legal affairs, the time limit may not apply until they regain capacity. In such cases, there is no specific time limit for bringing a claim.
- Extensions: In exceptional circumstances, the court has the discretion to allow an extension of the limitation period. This can happen, for example, if the claimant’s mental capacity was impaired, if the claimant discovered the negligence at a later date, or if there was fraudulent concealment of the negligence.
It’s important to consult with a medical negligence solicitor who specialises in personal injury laws to understand the specific time limit that applies to your case. Missing the time limit may result in the loss of your right to bring a claim for medical negligence compensation.
How much compensation could you receive for medical misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis compensation claim amounts are usually divided into two categories: general damages and special damages.
General Damages – This refers to the amount of compensation you receive for your physical pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Special Damages – These are any direct financial losses that you may have suffered because of your injuries. Typically, these may include loss of earnings up to the settlement, loss of earnings in the future, medical costs, travel costs or the costs of care provided to you.
Although no amount of money/compensation award can make up for what you have suffered, the physical effects from misdiagnosis and delayed treatment can lead to permanent injuries, and you may need ongoing care moving forward.
We can make sure that you receive interim payments of compensation as your case is being settled for any immediate care or rehabilitation needs.
It is also worth noting that you can claim against an NHS trust or a private healthcare provider. Claiming against the NHS for misdiagnosis means your compensation will come out of the NHS Resolution Fund.
How can Beacon Law assist?
Beacon Law is a specialist personal injury solicitor with ample experience in dealing with no win no fee medical misdiagnosis claims. Our expertise in this area of law means we can provide an exceptional standard of service to our clients, and we work tirelessly to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome and the highest level of compensation. We offer our services on a no win no fee agreement, meaning you do not need to worry about the costs of making a claim.
Beacon Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. To find out more about our no win no fee claims funding and legal costs, please have a look at the funding section on our website.
If you are looking to make a medical misdiagnosis claim, then please get in touch with us today at 0330 1332 857 to start your claim or complete our contact form at the top of the page to request a call back from a member of our personal injury team.