Medical Misdiagnosis Compensation

Medical Misdiagnosis CompensationIf you are looking to make a misdiagnosis compensation claim to help offset the pain and suffering caused by having your medical condition incorrectly assessed, we can help. Blackwater Law are the leading medical misdiagnosis solicitors in Essex, and we have an excellent track record when it comes to helping people claim compensation for misdiagnosis of their condition, whether it is a result of dental negligence or a surgical procedure such as a hip replacement that was not needed. Medical misdiagnosis comes in two forms: Firstly, you might find yourself seeking to claim compensation after your doctor has failed to diagnose a medical complaint. Alternatively, you may have been told that you are suffering from a serious illness or injury when you were not. Both cases can be extremely traumatic – not just for you, but for your loved ones too.

Types of Misdiagnosis

Types of MisdiagnosisSome of the most common forms of medical misdiagnosis we handle compensation claims for include bowel and breast cancer misdiagnosis, as well as late diagnosis of cancer and fractures that a doctor has failed to identify. We also handle compensation claims for injuries caused during birth, anaesthetic awareness and failed sterilisation procedures. There are many different illnesses and complaints that are commonly misdiagnosed by doctors and other medical professionals, but to make a successful misdiagnosis compensation claim you must prove that you have suffered pain and suffering as a direct result of being provided with incorrect information about your injury or illness. If there was a delay in diagnosing a medical condition, you will also need to prove that the delay made the situation worse.

Rely on the Misdiagnosis Compensation Experts

Misdiagnosis ExpertsIn order to stand the best possible chance of claiming medical misdiagnosis compensation, you need an experienced personal injury solicitor that has experience of handling complex clinical negligence cases. Blackwater Law have extensive experience of processing compensation claims for victims of medical negligence and accidents and, if we feel as though you are entitled to financial redress for the suffering that you have endured, we will take on your case on a “no win, no fee” basis. We explain everything in plain English so that you will always understand where we are with your case, and we will always keep you up-to-date about how things are progressing with your claim. Our personal injury specialists will also help you to collect as much evidence as you can to support your claim. Having dealt with a huge array of misdiagnosis compensation claims, you can rely on Blackwater Law to provide you with the help, advice and professional assistance you need to claim the compensation that you deserve.

The Effects of Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions

Effects of Misdiagnosed Medical ConditionsSometimes, people who are told they are suffering from an illness or injury when they are not may undergo surgery when they have no need to. For example, they may have something removed from their bodies which causes them unnecessary suffering, discomfort and pain. Misreading medical notes is another common reason for misdiagnosis, and the situation can worsen before a correct diagnosis is made. Many people have died unnecessarily after a doctor or other medical professional failed to diagnose a medical condition, but we can also help family members seek misdiagnosis compensation in these cases too. Some cases of medical misdiagnosis have also led to people being paralysed when early treatment of an infection would have prevented this.

No Win, No Fee Compensation Claims

No win No fee CompensationIt’s worth remembering that there are strict time limits to adhere to when it comes to making medical misdiagnosis claims, so it is best to act now rather than regret taking action later. We can tell you whether or not you have a strong case for medical misdiagnosis compensation and operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, taking the financial risk out of making a claim. Get in touch with our experts today if you or a family member have had an injury or illness misdiagnosed and would like to make a misdiagnosis compensation claim. We will always talk to you in clear, simplified language, so you will always know where you stand.

Medical Misdiagnosis FAQ

Q: What is a “medical misdiagnosis”?

A: A medical misdiagnosis is when a doctor or other medical practitioner fails to diagnose or incorrectly assesses a medical condition. Errors occur as a result of various flaws within the healthcare system, such as a doctor’s lack of medical knowledge and experience; failure to clearly communicate test results; faulty information processing and clinical sloppiness.

Q: Can I claim against a private practitioner or just the NHS?

A: When a medical misdiagnosis occurs, any practitioner – whether they work in the NHS or for a private practice – can be held liable and sued for compensation.

Q: How is a claim for medical misdiagnosis compensation handled?

A: Once we have carried out an initial assessment of your claim for medical misdiagnosis compensation and decided that you do indeed have a case, we will begin the process of obtaining all relevant information and determining who the defendant/s are. We will then write to each individual in question, summarising why that defendant is believed to be responsible or partly responsible for the misdiagnosis, and invite them to settle out of court. If they refuse, we will then commence legal proceedings.

Q: Can I make a medical misdiagnosis claim on a no win, no fee basis?

A: Yes, absolutely. Our experienced medical misdiagnosis solicitors will assess whether or not you have a case for misdiagnosis compensation and, if you do, will take on your case on a “no win, no fee” basis, saving you the worry of paying costly legal fees to start your claim.

Q: How are medical misdiagnosis claims different from other compensation claims?

A: Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis compensation claims can take longer to settle than other claims due to the complex and sometimes ambiguous nature of the evidence. Medical misdiagnosis can involve a number of doctors and medical professionals, and proving that clinical negligence occurred can be a difficult task.

Q: Does misdiagnosis only occur in hospitals and doctors’ surgeries?

A: Misdiagnosis can happen to anyone at any time – whether it is in a busy Accident and Emergency ward or a small doctor’s surgery. However, research suggests that instances of misdiagnosis are most prevalent in Accident and Emergency departments, where complex decisions are frequently made in an often stressful and highly pressurised environment.

Q: How often does misdiagnosis occur?

A: Although the general consensus is that medical misdiagnosis errors are quite common, it is difficult to obtain exact data about just how common it is. However, in a 1997 telephone survey by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), approximately 40% of 1,513 participants reported a “misdiagnosis or treatment error”. A recent study published by Dr Gwyneth Weatherburn entitled “The Effect of a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) on Diagnostic Performance in the Accident and Emergency Department” and published in the British Medical Journal revealed the level of misdiagnosis in A & E departments to be approximately 7% when the PACS system was not used.

Q: What causes doctors to misdiagnose a medical condition?

A: A 2005 study published in Archives of Internal Medicine and entitled “Diagnostic Error in Internal Medicine” found that cognitive error, often referred to as “premature closure,” is the single most common cause of medical misdiagnosis. Premature closure occurs when a clinician arrives at a quick diagnosis (often based on pattern recognition), fails to consider other possible diagnoses, and then stops collecting data; often, even the suspected diagnosis is not confirmed by appropriate testing.

Q: How are diagnosis errors measured?

A: The majority of claims for medical misdiagnosis compensation are generally as a result of cognitive error, or a failure to consider other likely diagnoses. With the exponential increase in biomedical knowledge it is impossible for a doctor to recognise the various symptoms associated with all illnesses and injuries. Such cognitive errors are difficult to measure and assess, which can cause long delays in settling compensation for misdiagnosis.

Q: Is there a time limit to making a misdiagnosis compensation claim?

A: Generally, there is a three-year time limit in which to make a claim for medical misdiagnosis compensation from the date when you first became aware of the clinical negligence regarding your case. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule: if the victim is under 18-years-of-age at the time that the medical condition was misdiagnosed, or, if the injured party is suffering from a mental illness, they have three years in which to make a claim upon their recovery from their illness.

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What is Medical Misdiagnosis

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Text Version of Medical Negligence Infographic

What is Medical Misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnosis is a type of clinical negligence which is defined as when a medical professional fails to diagnose a health problem correctly or diagnoses a condition too late.

Types of Medical Misdiagnosis

There are three types of medical misdiagnosis:

Total misdiagnosis

Failure to diagnose a health condition or illness after initial health problems.

Late misdiagnosis

As a result of missing the symptoms the first time or taking too long to refer the patient to a specialist.

Incorrect misdiagnosis

A patient is diagnosed with a condition they do not have and may be prescribed unnecessary medication or treatment.

Time Limits for a Claim

There is a 3-year time limit on cliams.
However, there are exceptions such as:

  • The victim is under 18 years of age at the time of misdiagnosis.
  • The injured party is suffering from a mental illness.

Facts and Figures

  • As at 31 March 2014, the NHS Litigation Authority had potential liabilities of &pound26.1 billion, of which £25.7 billion relates to clinical negligence claims. This is almost a quarter of the £113 billion annual health budget.
  • The NHS Litigation Authority received 11,945 new clinical negligence claims in 2014.
  • &pound1.6 billion was paid out in claims in 2014.
  • The number of claims for medical misdiagnosis rose by almost 18% from 2013-2014.
    • Total Number of Reported Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts claims by speciality

      April 1995 – March 2014
      • 37,528 – Surgery
      • 18,132 – Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      • 17,479 – Medicine
      • 11,676 – Accident and Emergency
      • 2,483 – Psychiatry / Psycho / Mental Health
      • 2,111 – Aneasthesia
      • 1,820 – Radiology
      • 1,417 – Pathology
      • 1,080 – Ambulance
      • 943 – Paramedical Support Services
      • 504 – Primary Care
      • 405 – Nursing
      • 303 – Public Health

      Top 5 NHS Trusts for Claims in 2013-2014

      • 1. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust – 478
      • 2. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – 179
      • 3. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust 166
      • 4. Barts Health NHS Trust – 155
      • 4. Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – 155
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What our clients say…

“Anna Woolf’s persistent nature when dealing with the defendant’s insurance company and encouragement when it came to pursuing the correct amount in compensation was excellent. Once again, a big thank you to Anna and all involved with my case.”

Mr. H, London

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