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Misdiagnosis Claims

Misdiagnosis claims offer an opportunity for you to secure compensation after an incorrect or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition such as cancer, heart problems or head injuries.
 
When you visit your doctor or attend a hospital appointment, generally you will receive good treatment and advice. But in some cases, medical professionals fail in their duty of care by not providing the correct diagnosis for your health issue. This is when you may choose to make a misdiagnosis claim.
 
Our misdiagnosis solicitors at Leigh Day work with medical experts to help you understand whether you have a credible misdiagnosis claim.

What is misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to accurately diagnose a patient. In some cases, this can worsen or prolong the patient’s symptoms. NHS or private medical professionals can be responsible for misdiagnosis.

It could be through… 
 
  • misinterpreting test results
  • proceeding with the wrong treatment
  • referring you to an inappropriate specialist 

A misdiagnosis can also be down to medical negligence – if the medical professional fails to examine you properly based on your symptoms. 
 
There are three main types of misdiagnosis:
 
  • Missed diagnosis: When a doctor or health professional fails to diagnose a disease, illness or health condition despite carrying out an examination. 
  • Delayed diagnosis: The correct diagnosis is delivered, but later than it should be, affecting recovery time and possibly creating further, otherwise avoidable health issues.
  • Incorrect diagnosis: The wrong diagnosis is provided, resulting in improper treatment and medication – potentially worsening your health.

How do I claim misdiagnosis compensation?

Contact our expert misdiagnosis solicitors to get started. Our lawyers will ask you questions in confidence about your case, assessing… 
 
  • whether you received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • who is responsible
  • if you have a claim

You can file a claim against an individual such as your GP, or an organisation like a private healthcare company. 

This initial assessment is free of charge. We take most of our medical misdiagnosis cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. If we take on your case, a dedicated misdiagnosis solicitor will lead you through the process.

Ready to talk? Speak to our expert team on the phone 020 7650 1200 or 



– if you prefer, we can visit you at home or at hospital. 

Types of misdiagnosis

Cancer, infections and vascular events (heart problems) are the illnesses most likely to be misdiagnosed, according to US research. Some scientists call these ‘the big three’ as they account for three-quarters of all serious harm related to misdiagnosis. In the UK, a study found four in 10 cancer patients receive a misdiagnosis before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. 
 
Some of the most common types of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis claims relate to:
 
  • Cancer: An estimated one in two people are at risk of being diagnosed with cancer. There are many different cancer types with overlapping symptoms, potentially leading to a misdiagnosis. In the worst cases, a fatal misdiagnosis can result in preventable death. 
  • Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes require different treatments, so misdiagnosis can cause further complications.
  • Head injuries: Head and brain injuries can be severe. Delayed or misdiagnosis can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy and other life-changing conditions. 
  • Meningitis: Treating meningitis early can prevent serious illness and death. Bacterial and viral meningitis are the two main types, but they have similar symptoms, which means misdiagnosis can occur. 
  • Heart disease: Around a third of heart disease patients receive a misdiagnosis following a heart attack. According to the same study, 250 deaths per year could have been prevented if the diagnosis had been correct. 
  • Gynaecology - The misdiagnosis of conditions such as endometriosis can leave women at risk of compromised fertility, in severe pain and needing surgical intervention.
“It’s important to get the diagnosis right straight away. If the correct diagnosis is delayed this will in turn delay the treatment. Time is critical – for the best outcome patients need the correct treatment as quickly as possible.5” – Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.

When can I make a misdiagnosis claim?

You can file a claim within three years of being made aware of the misdiagnosis. When making misdiagnosis claims on behalf of a child, there is no such time limit. The three-year limit applies once they turn 18. The same applies to claiming for a loved one who died due to a fatal diagnosis – you must make the claim within three years of their death.

What will impact my misdiagnosis compensation?

The amount of compensation you can expect to receive will depend on various factors. These include:
 
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Total care costs
  • Lost earnings due to misdiagnosis
  • Length of the illness and recovery time
  • Changes to your life expectancy
  • Liability acceptance
  • Lifestyle changes

Solicitors will also take into account the general circumstances surrounding your misdiagnosis claim when considering your compensation.

Why choose Leigh Day?

Our Clinical Negligence team has expertise across a broad range of misdiagnosis claims. If you have injuries that have worsened and changed your life, or you’ve lost a loved one to misdiagnosis, our comprehensive knowledge of medical law can help you make a claim. 
 
As stated in The Legal 500 and Chambers, we are highly regarded in the industry. We treat all our misdiagnosis cases with care and confidentiality, bringing justice to people whose lives have been affected by medical mistakes.
“Leigh Day is the pre-eminent claimant clinical negligence firm not only in London but in the whole of the UK.  The team has great strength in its cross-section of people, with a vast depth of experience. The team is driven by a desire for the underdog patient to achieve justice against the establishment.” – Legal 500

How to make a claim 

The first step is to speak with one of our misdiagnosis solicitors. Get in touch: 
 

 
Need us to come to you? If you’re unable to get to our offices and want to talk to a lawyer about a claim, we can visit you at home or in hospital across England and Wales. 
 
Leigh Day experts are ready to help support you with your misdiagnosis claim. Speak to us today.

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