Misdiagnosed and undiagnosed stroke claims

Where a stroke has been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed and care has been delayed, you may be entitled to compensation to assist you and your family financially and compensate for unnecessary pain, suffering and loss.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment when a stroke occurs can make all the difference to any patient’s prognosis. Where a stroke is left to progress untreated, strokes can be fatal or can cause severe, long-term damage to the patient’s health. It is crucial for medical staff to respond quickly and effectively when they are made aware of someone showing symptoms of the condition.

Claiming compensation for a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed stroke

There are a number of signs medical staff should look for when assessing a prospective stroke sufferer. Where staff fail to recognise and act upon these signs and to take steps to diagnose and commence treatment, the patient’s health is likely to suffer considerably,  and you may be able to make a claim for undiagnosed stroke, with representation from a medical negligence solicitor. These steps are commonly denoted by the acronym FAST:

  • Face: The victim’s facial features, such as the mouth or eyes may have drooped on one side, and they may be unable to smile or experience difficulty speaking
  • Arms: Victims may also struggle to raise one or both of their arms, or to hold them in position for any significant amount of time due to weakness or numbness within them
  • Speech: Speech is often impaired with the victim mumbling or slurring their words, or in some cases proving unable to speak at all – this may be the case despite them appearing to be fully awake
  • Time: Where one or more of these symptoms is observed it is imperative to begin treatment as quickly as possible. The longer the stroke is allowed to progress the more internal brain damage the victim will sustain, and the harder it will be for them to recover.

Circumstances where a successful medical negligence claim may include:

  • Where you or your family member presented to a GP, hospital or nurse with symptoms of a stroke, but these were misdiagnosed as another condition, meaning you were not treated appropriately.
  • Otherwise failing to adequately investigate, diagnose and treat a stroke appropriately.
  • A stroke was correctly diagnosed but treatment was delayed or the treatment provided was not appropriate.
  • An ambulance was called but the ambulance or paramedic was unreasonably delayed, causing delayed stroke diagnosis and delayed treatment. Such claims are likely to be linked to an A&E compensation claim.
Get expert legal advice

Call and speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

Specialist stroke misdiagnosis claim solicitors

Only a qualified, professional medical negligence solicitor can advise you as to whether or not you are potentially able to make a compensation claim relating to an undiagnosed stroke.

Blackwater Law comprises a team of expert medical negligence solicitors, experienced in successfully settling significant cases for clients that have gone through a delayed diagnosis of a stroke and suffered as a result.

Call Blackwater Law today on 0800 083 5500 and speak to one of our team about whether you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Our team of solicitors is independently recognised as being a leading team of lawyers in the field of medical negligence law.

Speak directly with a medical negligence lawyer and get the specialist advice and guidance you need, as well as get answers to any questions you may have.


  • Recognised as expert legal advisors
  • No win, no fee claims
  • Access specialist care & rehabilitation

No Win, No Fee Stroke claims

If after consulting with one of our experienced clinical negligence solicitors you decide to make a claim for an undiagnosed stroke, you can do so without risking any of your own money. Blackwater Law undertakes all of its clinical negligence cases on a no-win, no-fee basis – providing you with complete peace of mind.

Blackwater Law also provides free initial advice to anyone thinking about making a claim for compensation, or who may have questions about potentially making a misdiagnosis claim for an undiagnosed stroke. Simply call 0800 083 5500 and speak to a specialist solicitor today.

Jason Brady, Medical Negligence Partner secured compensation for our client Mrs B, on behalf of her deceased husband because of medical negligence

The impact of a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed stroke

Around a quarter of all strokes are fatal. Misdiagnosis of a stroke can elevate the chances of the stroke being fatal, or you or your family member suffering long-term effects and disabilities, such as a brain injury, where it is not.

As a minimum, following a stroke you or your family member will likely require a period of rehabilitation and recovery, during which financial and medical support will be required. Around half of surviving stroke patients will require help with everything down to activities such as bathing and eating. This can take a significant toll on all concerned.

In some cases, a full recovery from the stroke remains impossible for the patient. In more serious stroke cases, patients may have to take extended time off work or be unable to return to work at all due to the long-term effects of their stroke on their ability to function either physically or mentally. In these cases, the patient’s condition is also likely to dramatically impact their daily and personal lives. Family life is likely to be significantly impacted.

Where there is evidence of a stroke misdiagnosis due to GP negligence or hospital negligence and this has delayed treatment, causing you or your family member’s health to suffer – whether temporarily or permanently – making a claim for an undiagnosed stroke may represent the best option for providing financial security for your family and ensuring any necessary care can be paid for, both now and in the future.

How can making an undiagnosed stroke claim help?

Claiming compensation for an undiagnosed stroke can greatly assist both the patient and their family, financially and otherwise.

In more serious cases of stroke misdiagnosis, where patients have to take time off work or are unable to return to work at all following their stroke, the patient is likely to face both short and long-term financial uncertainty. These financial woes may be exacerbated if a partner or family member also has to take time off work to care for the patient.

Making a claim for misdiagnosis of a stroke can provide you and your family with the financial security you need to move forward.

Making a claim for stroke misdiagnosis may if successful, see the patient recover compensation for their pain and suffering, loss of earnings due to being off work themselves, as well as potential loss of earnings suffered by a family member who has had to take time off or provide care. Claims for an undiagnosed stroke may also make financial provisions for any ongoing care that may be required. This may include daily care to be provided by a visiting care professional, private medical care and rehabilitation or care to be provided by a loved one, requiring them to work less or give up work completely.

The Events Leading up to Stroke

Like any organ in the body, the brain requires a regular blood supply rich in oxygen and nutrients in order to continue functioning correctly. When the blood supply is cut off, brain cells begin to die, causing brain injury and introducing the likelihood of a stroke.

There are two types of a stroke:

  • Ischaemic Strokes account for around 85% of stroke cases and occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain.
  • Haemorrhagic Strokes are far rarer, and happen when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

A temporary interruption of the blood flow to the brain – also known as a transient ischaemic attack – should also be treated very seriously by patients and medical professionals alike, as they may be a sign of a more dangerous stroke event to come.

UK Risks of Undiagnosed Stroke

In the UK, the risks associated with delayed stroke diagnosis are ever-present. More than 110,000 strokes occur every year in England alone, and whilst not all fatalities can be attributed to a delay in diagnosis, undiagnosed strokes undoubtedly contribute to the condition being the third-biggest killer nationwide after heart disease and cancer. These failures also elevate the levels of adult disability.

Advanced age can make you particularly susceptible to stroke, much like individuals of South Asian, African or Caribbean descent; owing to a predisposition to high blood pressure. Poor lifestyle choices can also increase your chances of developing a stroke, including smoking, heavy drinking, poor diet or a lack of exercise.

Effective Treatment of a stroke

There are a number of treatment procedures medical staff should immediately engage in should you or a loved one suffer a stroke.

Failure to provide appropriate treatment quickly and effectively may provide grounds for a compensation claim.

The most immediate course of action is the administration of drugs designed to stop blood clotting and allow blood to flow to the brain as normal. This helps to reduce the risk of brain injury. These drugs can also act to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure; combating the immediate risk of another stroke occurring.

In some cases, surgery may be required to address swelling of the brain and to stop further bleeding after a haemorrhagic stroke. Where this is deemed necessary doctors may also seek to remove fatty deposits from some of your arteries as well, so as to improve blood flow. If it was at this stage that a mistake was made by a surgeon, you may have grounds to make a surgical error claim.

After the initial emergency stage, a longer-term rehabilitation program must be devised, often according to the patient’s own individual circumstances. A specialist team comprised of physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, specialist nurses and doctors look into the victim’s history and devise a course of action designed to help them recover from their initial stroke, and reduce the risks of another occurring.

Get expert legal advice

Call and get expert legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

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