By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 28th November 2023. If you have experienced a medical misdiagnosis as a result of a medical professional breaching the duty of care they owed you, and this caused you avoidable harm, you may wonder if you could claim. This guide will discuss the eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to make a medical negligence claim for a misdiagnosis, and the process involved in doing so.
Additionally, we also explore the duty of care medical professionals owe in further detail throughout our guide, as well as provide examples of how a breach of this could lead to a misdiagnosis. Our guide will also discuss the ways a misdiagnosis could impact you and how much compensation for a misdiagnosis you could be awarded.
To conclude, our guide will discuss the benefits of working with a medical misdiagnosis solicitor under a No Win No Fee arrangement. Our panel of specialist solicitors have years of experience and could help you claim compensation for a misdiagnosis.
Before we get started, you should know that our team of friendly advisors are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. You can get in touch with us for free by:
Jump To A Section
- What Do Misdiagnosis, Wrong Or Late Diagnosis Mean?
- Causes Of Medical Misdiagnosis
- Missed Diagnosis Of An Illness Or Injury
- Wrongful Diagnosis/Misdiagnosis Of An Illness Or Injury
- Delayed Or Late Diagnosis Of An Illness Or Injury
- What Is The Medical Misdiagnosis Claim Time Limit?
- Medical Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim Payouts
- Special Damages Victims Of Medical Misdiagnosis May Claim
- Why Make A Misdiagnosis Claim With Legal Helpline?
- No Win No Fee Medical Misdiagnosis Claims
- Medical Misdiagnosis Resources
Before you ask ‘can I claim for misdiagnosis’, it may be important to understand the different kinds of diagnostic errors that could occur. The main type of diagnostic errors could include:
Missed diagnosis – This is where your medical problem has been missed. If a medical professional has completely failed to recognise that your symptoms could point to a medical condition or illness, this could be considered a missed diagnosis. This could result in you not getting any treatment for your condition, which could lead to it becoming worse and in some cases, harder to treat.
Misdiagnosed – When your symptoms are diagnosed as a different condition.
Wrong diagnosis – The wrong diagnosis would be where a medical professional thinks you have a condition that you don’t have. This could mean that:
- You undergo treatment that you don’t need
- You don’t get the treatment for the condition that you actually have
Delayed diagnosis – When your symptoms are not diagnosed when they could be, this could delay your treatment, which means you medical condition could get worse and you may have to undergo a longer recovery or more invasive treatment. In some cases, it could reduce your life expectancy.
There could be many different reasons why you might have suffered from a medical misdiagnosis. It would be prudent for us to remind readers, however, that not all cases of misdiagnosis are classed as being negligent.
Some incidence of medical negligence-related diagnosis errors could include:
- Tests not being ordered as the symptoms you experienced were not investigated properly
- Incorrect tests being ordered
- Test results not being analysed correctly – This could include blood tests, radiographs and more
- Improper supervision of junior medics
- Inadequate expertise
Whatever the reason you suffered a hospital misdiagnosis, a misdiagnosis by a GP or another healthcare professional, if you could prove that negligence led to you suffering avoidable harm, you could have a claim for compensation.
If an injury or illness is missed, then you could suffer serious harm, especially if it is a serious illness that you are suffering from, such as an acute illness (sepsis, meningitis, a heart condition etc) or an injury such as a broken bone in your neck, for example.
Even if your illness or injury is not so serious, a missed diagnosis could still lead to longer recovery time, a poorer prognosis, or more pain than you should have suffered.
Can I Claim For Misdiagnosis?
If you can prove that your symptoms were communicated to the medical professional and they failed to consider an appropriate diagnosis, causing you to suffer harm, then you could be eligible to compensation. If you would like us to assess your eligibility, please do get in touch.
The wrongful diagnosis of an illness or an injury could not only cause an illness to get worse as it is not being treated, but it could also give you additional problems, where the incorrect treatment, whether in the form of surgery or medication, has caused you further harm.
If you have been operated on when you did not need an operation, because of a wrongful diagnosis, for example, this could leave you not only suffering pain from the surgery and having to go through a recovery period it could also leave you with unnecessary scarring.
In terms of being given medication you did not need, this could have side effects, or could even leave you with a medical condition you did not previously have.
Some medical misdiagnosis cases involve incidents where a diagnosis has eventually been given but caused harm because of the delay between the patient experiencing symptoms and diagnosis and treatment being given. For example, if you sustain a fracture injury, and it is not diagnosed and treated within the optimal window, it could cause the bones to begin to heal improperly, and this could lead to you having to undergo more invasive treatment than you would usually have needed. Or, it may impact your prognosis for recovery.
The same principle could apply to late diagnosis of illnesses. If you suffer a delay in cancer diagnosis due to hospital negligence, for example, this could cause the disease to spread further than it would have with prompt effective diagnosis and treatment. If this happens to you, and you suffer harm because the opportunity for prompt diagnosis and treatment has been avoidably missed, you could claim compensation for the avoidable harm you have suffered.
Let’s take a look at the medical misdiagnosis claim time limit.
If you are making a claim for medical negligence because of a misdiagnosis, you must generally start within the three-year time period set by the Limitation Act 1980. This can be three years from the date of the misdiagnosis, or three years from the date that it was connected to negligence.
However, there are particular circumstances that suspend the time limit. These include:
- Minors under the age of 18. The time limit is suspended until a person turns 18. When they reach their 18th birthday, they have three years to start their claim. However, at any period during the suspension, a litigation friend could be appointed to claim on their behalf.
- Persons lacking mental capacity. If a person lacks the mental capacity to claim, they cannot start one. The time limit is suspended indefinitely. As with minors, a litigation friend can start a claim on their behalf. However, should they regain capacity, the time limit is no longer suspended. The three-year claiming period starts on the date it is determined that capacity was regained.
Free legal advice is available from our advisors if you think your misdiagnosis could be medical negligence. Our team of advisors are medical negligence experts. They can discuss the eligibility of your claim and if it seems valid, get your claim started right away. Call our advisors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you’re wondering ‘How much compensation will I get for medical misdiagnosis?’, you may assume you would have to use a personal injury claims calculator to get an approximate idea of how much you could receive. However, we have displayed this information in a different way. Instead of including a cancer misdiagnosis calculator, for example, we have put together a table with information from the Judicial College Guidelines which displays the guideline compensation for certain specific injuries that we believe could relate to this type of incident.
If, however, you are wondering how much compensation for misdiagnosis you could receive but your injury has not been listed in the table, we do have additional guidelines amounts that we could give you over the phone. Please do bear in mind that these numbers are only approximations, as your case would have to be assessed by an independent medical expert, and a medical report would need to be put together by such an expert before your claim could be valued.
|Illness/Injury Type||Severity||Notes||Compensation Bracket|
|Multiple serious illnesses or injuries in addition to special damages||Very serious||The settlement could include compensation for multiple severe illnesses and financial losses, such as lost wages and medication.||Up to £1,000,000|
|Brain Damage||Very Severe||The party requires full time nursing care as the brain damage has resulted in little to no environmental responses amongst other symptoms.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Kidney||Serious||The claimant has suffered permanent damage that is serious in nature to either both or one of their kidneys.||£169,400 to £210,400|
|Female Reproductive System||Infertility||The claimant suffers with infertility that results in sexual dysfunction, severe depression, anxiety, pain and scarring.||£114,900 to £170,280|
|Male Reproductive System||Impotence||The claimant in this bracket is young and suffers with total impotence, lost sexual functioning and sterility.||£114,900 to £148,320|
|Bladder||Complete Loss of Function||This bracket applies to illnesses and injuries that have resulted in complete loss of both function and control of the bladder.||Up to £140,660|
|Lungs||Serious||The claimant in this bracket is young and has a serious disability with a probability of progressive worsening, which will result in premature death.||£100,670 to £135,920|
|Spleen||Loss||In this bracket, the party suffers with a continuing risk of infection and disorders from immune system damage caused by the loss of their spleen.||£20,800 to £26,290|
Special damages could also be paid within medical misdiagnosis compensation amounts, as well as the general damages in the table above. These relate to monetary losses and costs associated with your injury. They could include:
Wage loss – Sometimes, when a person takes time off work to recover after an injury/illness, they will be on a reduced level of pay while they are unable to attend work. This could be Statutory Sick Pay or another amount detailed in your employment contract. If you have lost out on income as a direct result of medical negligence, you could claim compensation for this.
Care costs – If you have been injured to the extent that you require assistance with day-to-day tasks such as washing, dressing etc, these may come with a cost. These costs could be classed as special damages too.
Medical expenses – Prescription costs, physiotherapy costs and other medical expenses could, if they have arisen because of your injury, be included.
Travel costs – If you needed to take public transport to work because you could not drive because of your injury, for example, these costs may also form part of your claim. Travel to hospital appointments and for visits to your lawyer (if you require them) could also be included.
If you’ve suffered harm due to a medical misdiagnosis in the UK, Legal Helpline could help you. Contact one of the advisors from our team, and they can listen to the circumstances that led up to the misdiagnosis and the subsequent consequences to let you know whether you are eligible to make a misdiagnosis claim.
As part of Legal Helpline’s free services, an advisor can assess the potential value of your claim. They will also go through the available options for you to assist you with making an informed decision about your possible next steps.
If you are eligible and wish to proceed with Legal Helpline’s services, you could be connected to one of the solicitors from our panel. Our panel typically offers their legal services under a No Win No Fee arrangement, which we explain in the next section.
A solicitor specialising in medical negligence claims can help you in various ways, including:
- Ensuring your claim has sufficient supporting evidence.
- Making sure all the correct documents are filed in full and within court-set time limits.
- Supporting you through the claims process and providing updates as well as helping you with legal jargon.
- Providing a correct valuation of your case to ensure the full amount of compensation that fully considers your pain and suffering, plus any financial losses you experienced because of the medical negligence is claimed for.
If you would like to get started with a free no-obligation assessment, get in touch with an advisor from our team using the details at the top of the screen.
Now that we’ve discussed how much compensation for a misdiagnosis you could be awarded, you might be interested to learn more about No Win No Fee arrangements. There are different types, including a Conditional Fee Agreement, which typically allows you access to a solicitor’s services without paying upfront or as your claim progresses.
Additionally, your solicitor will not take payment for their work if your claim is unsuccessful. However, they will charge a success fee if your claim for a misdiagnosis succeeds. This is taken as a percentage. However, the percentage your solicitor takes is subject to a legal cap.
Our experienced panel of solicitors could work with you on a No Win No Fee basis under a CFA and can assist you in seeking medical negligence compensation for a misdiagnosis, provided you have valid grounds to start a claim.
To find out more, please get in touch by:
- Completing our contact form for a free call-back
- Calling our free 24/7 support line on 0161 696 9685
- Using our live chat support service
Hospital Negligence Resulting In Death– Here, we take you through some of the information you may need if you are considering making a claim for someone who has died because of hospital negligence.
Prescription Error Claims – This page offers specific guidance on prescription error claims.
Cosmetic Surgery Negligence – Are you considering making a claim for cosmetic surgery negligence? If so, this page could offer some useful information.
Diagnostic Errors – BMJ – The British Medical Journal has published this piece on diagnostic errors.
Freedom Of Information Request – Cancer Misdiagnosis – You can see more information specific to cancer misdiagnosis here.