Making a Claim for Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer
Symptoms of cancer appear over a period of time and when the diagnosis is eventually reached, it’s often questioned whether there was a delay in reaching diagnosis.
If you feel there was a delay in your cancer diagnosis or your cancer was misdiagnosed, contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors for free legal advice. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Possible Reasons for Late Diagnosis of Cancer
There are several reasons why a delay in cancer diagnosis may occur, such as:
- Cancer symptoms being misdiagnosed leading to the wrong medical treatment
- Failure or delay in referring a patient for further investigations
- Failure to carry out appropriate tests, scans or take appropriate tissue samples
- Incorrect reporting of x-rays, scans or tissue samples
- Failing to monitor treatment
What Has to be Proven
In order to make a successful medical negligence claim, it must be established that the care you received fell below the standard expected of any other reasonable doctor or medical professional. There may be cases where despite symptoms of cancer, the care provided was entirely reasonable, particularly in rare types of cancer that can appear to be other conditions.
However in other cases, it can be established that there were failures in care as outlined above, which if avoided, would have led to an earlier diagnosis.
To be successful in a claim, it must be proven that the delay caused an injury which would otherwise have been avoided. The period of delay is important, as in some cases, a very short delay may have made no difference to the diagnosis, treatment or outcome, but in others, the consequences can be devastating.
When making a claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer, it’s important for your Medical Negligence Solicitor to consider what the diagnosis, treatment and outcome would have been with correct, timely diagnosis compared to what the diagnosis, treatment and outcome actually was as a result of the delay.
Essentially you can claim compensation for the difference between the two scenarios.
Consequences of Late Cancer Diagnosis
In most cases, the sooner cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the better the prognosis is likely to be. A delay in diagnosis may mean:
- The cancer is diagnosed when it is at a more advanced stage
- The cancer has spread to other parts of the body
- More aggressive treatment is required by way of surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Treatment may leave life changing injuries
- There is an increased likelihood of the cancer returning
- There is an increased likelihood of the cancer spreading
- An impact on life expectancy
What You Can Claim For
If our Medical Negligence Solicitors can prove that the delay in diagnosis was a breach of duty of care and this has caused additional injury, then you may be entitled to compensation.
It’s possible to claim compensation for the additional treatment required and additional injuries suffered as a result of the delay in diagnosis. This may include compensation for:
- Additional pain and suffering
- Psychological harm
- Any financial losses incurred, such as loss of earnings or travel expenses
- Additional care and assistance required
- Any ongoing financial losses including a future loss of earnings
- Future treatment on a private basis
- Adaptions being made to your home
In cases where the delay in diagnosis has resulted in a premature death, it may also be possible to claim a bereavement award for loved ones, as well as funeral expenses and a financial or services dependency claim.
Whilst we can never turn the clock back and change the outcome, our specialist Solicitors can help provide financial compensation to allow life to be more comfortable going forwards.
If you believe you or a loved one has a claim for a delay in diagnosis of cancer, get in touch with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors to find out how we can help you.
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