With the NHS being pushed to its very limits, medical negligence claims are on the rise. With many more people falling victim to medical accidents that could have been avoided and unfortunate misdiagnoses, compensation is becoming an important part of the recovery process. Figures that have been published between 2018 and 2019 have shown that clinical negligence cases are on the rise, with the NHS paying out £2.4 bn in 2018. So, how can you make a claim and what should you do if your serious illness has been misdiagnosed?
Making a medical negligence claim
If you suspect that you may have been the victim of careless treatment whilst undergoing medical care, then you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. The claim process involves being able to prove the presence of neglect in your treatment. Whether this is present can be roughly judged on something known as the 4 D’s of medical malpractice. These are:
During their extensive training process, all potential doctors are made aware of the duty of care that they must provide for their patients.
The official term for when a medical professional is considered to have broken this duty of care is dereliction.
- Direct Cause
In order for a medical malpractice claim to be filed, you must be able to prove that it was the direct fault of a medical professional.
The medical negligence payout that you could earn will be calculated based on the physical injury and the psychological injury, as well as any medical or travel expenses.
Can I sue my doctor for misdiagnosis?
In addition to suffering from a medical accident, clinical negligence can also lead to misdiagnosis situations. A misdiagnosis of your illness or medical condition can be traumatic for many different reasons. For instance, if your eventual diagnosis turns out to be worse than the initial one, then you may have lost valuable time to start the correct treatment for your condition. However, the alternative is that your misdiagnosis may have overestimated the serious nature of your condition, and you may have been put through needless upset and worry. If you have suffered as a result of your doctor misdiagnosing you, then you can likely make a negligence claim against them. Suing the NHS for misdiagnosis may seem daunting but proving clinical negligence for misdiagnosis is the same whether it is a private practice or the NHS.
There are three categories of claims in clinical negligence. These are:
- Total misdiagnosis, in which the symptoms of the condition or illness are not diagnosed at all.
- Wrongful diagnosis, in which the symptoms are incorrectly diagnosed.
- Late diagnosis, in which the symptoms are diagnosed but beyond an acceptable time lapse.
These different negligence claims can lead to lots of different situations of varying severity. In some of the worse cases, patients may even undergo the wrong treatment or have organs or limbs removed due to misdiagnosis. If you can prove that the suffering that you have experienced is worse than it could have been if you were correctly diagnosed, then you will be able to file a clinical negligence claim.
Cancer is one of the most serious illnesses that individuals being treated by the NHS may be facing. In 2013, it was estimated that by 2020, 47% of Britons would have developed cancer in their lifetime – producing what the Guardian newspaper referred to as a ‘herculean challenge’ for the NHS. With this in mind, the resources of the NHS are being continually put under a great deal of strain, and cancer misdiagnosis is therefore not unheard of. If you have suffered from this, the misdiagnosis system works in the same way that it would for other misdiagnosed conditions and you may be able to claim a significant amount of money for your suffering.
If you have been the victim of medical negligence, the right legal support can help you with your compensation claim.