What do I do if I have suffered a medical misdiagnosis?

Getting the news that you have a serious illness like cancer or heart disease is a devastating blow at the best of times. But when this diagnosis is delayed, and your condition has got worse as a result, the news will be even harder to bear. If you have suffered a misdiagnosis then you may be able to claim compensation for medical negligence.

What is misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is where a medical professional offers a patient a prognosis on a condition based on their symptoms, but the prognosis ends up being incorrect and the condition is actually something else. Similarly, misdiagnosis can be where a patient is told they are fine, when they have a condition.

Fortunately, most of the time patients get correctly diagnosed and treated. However, when a patient receives an incorrect diagnosis, or their condition is missed altogether, the results can be potentially life-changing or even life-threatening,

What kinds of misdiagnosis are there?

The most common types of misdiagnosis are:

  • Where you have been told that you have something less serious than your actual condition and as a result you’ve had delayed treatment.
  • If you’ve been told you had a condition, but you did not and had unnecessary surgery.
  • Where you have received the wrong diagnosis and had unnecessary treatment.
  • If you had a condition but it was completely missed by the medical professional.
  • If you suffered psychological harm at being told a medical diagnosis that was not true.

There are a number of ways that misdiagnosis can happen, from not carrying out the correct tests to misinterpreting results.

What can I do if I’m not able to work after a misdiagnosis?

Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis of a serious condition like cancer could leave you extremely unwell and unable to work as a result. This can make a difficult time even more stressful as you worry about your condition and how you are going to make ends meet.  If you have suffered medical negligence then you may be able to secure interim payment to get you through while your claim progresses.

The amount you can ultimately claim in compensation varies greatly from case to case. This is based on how seriously you have suffered and the impact the misdiagnosis has had on your life. You will also be able to claim for loss of earnings and for any long-term rehabilitation that you may need.

Claims must generally be made no more than three years after the misdiagnosis is discovered. While this is a challenging time, getting compensation for your suffering will help you get you the rehabilitation and support you need.