It is important that cancer is diagnosed as early and as accurately as possible in order to help your chances of recovery. However, if medical professionals negligently cause or contribute to a delay, the cancer might be harder to treat, leading to a worse prognosis.
Cancer misdiagnosis is a type of medical negligence which can have life-changing consequences. When medical professionals fail to refer, diagnose, or spot the symptoms properly, they may be failing in their duty to provide the standard of care you're entitled to.
There are two main types of cancer misdiagnosis:
Incorrect or missed diagnosis: when a medical professional diagnoses the wrong condition or fails to diagnose a problem at all
Late diagnosis or treatment: when a medical professional fails to diagnose or treat a serious medical condition in a timely manner
If you have experienced either of these types of cancer misdiagnosis, you may be able to make a claim.
Many types of cancer have similar symptoms to each other, as well as non-cancerous conditions. This means that your condition can sometimes be misdiagnosed.
This may not necessarily be negligent, but we would always be happy to discuss this with you.
Breast cancer: symptoms are similar to other inflammatory breast conditions
Bowel cancer: can sometimes be confused with inflammatory bowel diseases
Lung cancer: symptoms can be mistaken for lung infections
Pancreatic cancer: can be misdiagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease
Cancer misdiagnosis can be detrimental to someone's wellbeing, particularly if it means the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis impacts treatment, recovery or long-term health.
Therefore, a successful claim could secure compensation to make things a little easier for you and your family. This type of claim requires dedicated legal expertise.
Generally speaking, someone has three years from the negligence, or 'date of knowledge' of negligence to make a cancer misdiagnosis claim, so we recommend getting in touch with us as soon as you can.
Our medical negligence solicitors are experts in the field and can help you make a cancer misdiagnosis claim successfully.
Our specialist solicitors are highly skilled and vastly experienced, working hard to secure the appropriate compensation possible to compensate for the pain and suffering caused.
We understand that a cancer misdiagnosis will affect you and your family, so we will treat your case with the utmost sensitivity.
We receive lots of questions about cancer misdiagnosis.
Here are some commonly asked questions about the claims process and what to expect.
It’s very difficult to give an answer to this as it depends on a number of factors, including the impact that the injury has on the person concerned.
Outside of this, there are other factors outside of our control, such as:
How long it takes to obtain expert evidence – which may span numerous expert fields
How long it takes the defendants to respond
What stance the defendants take – if liability is denied, then it will inevitably take longer to prove that negligence occurred
The court process itself – which can be long
Whilst we have to investigate and prepare cases as if they are going to a trial, the vast majority of cases do not reach that far - either because our investigations demonstrate that there is not a viable claim or some form of compromise is reached.
A trial is an absolute last resort, and most cases, even where liability is denied, reach a resolution before a trial takes place.
However, when a case involves an injury that means that the person cannot bring the claim themselves, such as due to capacity issues or it involving children and if a successful compromise is reached, the family would need to attend a relatively short and informal hearing so that the court could formally approve of any settlement.
Whilst we are one of only a few law firms that have a Legal Aid contract, this is only available for brain injuries suffered at birth or in the first six weeks of life. As such, if appropriate, we may be able to act under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which people tend to know better as a “no win, no fee” arrangement.
There is not an average payout for cancer misdiagnosis, as every case is determined by its specific facts, such as the type of cancer, and the impact on someone’s life.
However, medical negligence compensation is broadly broken down into two areas:
General damages: compensation for pain and suffering arising from the negligence
Special damages: compensation for financial losses to date, or likely to be incurred in the future, because of negligence