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Delay in diagnosis - medical negligence claims

A large number of medical negligence claims derive from a delay in diagnosis of a medical condition, injury or illness. As a result, a delay in diagnosis can often be damaging to the patient’s health and lifestyle and the condition can worsen over time before they receive the right diagnosis and in some cases the delay may result in fatality.

Unfortunately, human error is all too common and it can occur at various points of the medical diagnostic process. If you or a member of your family have suffered unnecessarily because of a failure to diagnose an existing medical condition, you could be entitled to compensation.

What is a delayed diagnosis?

A delayed diagnosis, or late diagnosis, is when your illness or medical condition is missed when you are seen by a medical professional, and only spotted when it’s more advanced. This may cause serious health issues, can restrict recovery or can even result in death, if the diagnosis comes too late for you to be effectively treated.

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Delayed diagnosis

Here at Stephensons, we cover a vast range of delay in diagnosis claims, however our main areas of specialism include (but are not limited to):

  • A delay in diagnosis and treatment of fractures
  • A delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
  • A delay in diagnosis and treatment of infections
  • A delay in diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis
  • A delay in diagnosis and treatment of gallstones

Where does a delay in medical diagnosis usually take place?

A large number of cases of delayed diagnosis taken place in A&E departments. When A&E becomes extremely busy, doctors may struggle to manage the high volume of patients and as a result some cases may be slightly overlooked. Human error is common, and doctors have been known to discharge patients from hospital with serious illnesses, infections and broken bones. A&E is where some of the most critical and urgent cases receive primary medical attention. If there is a delay in treating someone whose condition could worsen rapidly, the doctors or nurses could be deemed negligent for not honouring the duty of care they have for patients.

Further examples of where a delay in diagnosis can take plan are surgery and birth injuries. For example, if a mother was due to give birth but needed an emergency C-section and this wasn’t recognised by medical staff in a timely manner, this could be identified as a delay in diagnosis. Similarly, if someone’s surgery or operation is delayed due to scheduling issues or administrative errors, this may have a negative impact on the patient’s health.

GPs can also be responsible for delayed diagnosis; if a GP fails to identify symptoms of a serious medical condition, illness or infection, this means the conditions are left untreated, and as a result the GP has been negligent. This is often common with cancer patients, as symptoms can be overlooked or assumed to be an alternative illness.

How can Stephensons help me with a delayed diagnosis claim?

If you or a relative have experienced a delay in diagnosis of a medical condition and the delay in the treatment of that condition leading it to deteriorate, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Similarly, if a delay in diagnosis results in causing you further harm, pain, distress or trauma then the original condition itself, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. Our medical negligence solicitors have years of experience in pursuing claims for a delay in diagnosis by a GP, when failing to refer a patient to a specialist or by a specialist who fails to request specific tests or x-rays or fails to observe the findings of those tests. These failures or missteps can have lasting consequences which affects the victims and their families.

Delayed diagnosis compensation

If you believe you have grounds for a claim and want expert advice, talk to a specialist legal professional today. All it takes is one quick call to a legal advisor at Stephensons to find out if you have grounds for a claim. Our expert medical negligence solicitors will compile all of your medical records and evidence of a delay in diagnosis. We also consult specialist medical experts to assess the degree of compensation required for the pain and suffering caused, previous and ongoing medical expenses and any loss of earnings brought about by an inability to work.

We have represented many clients throughout the UK to secure compensation for an illness or medical condition brought about by a delay in diagnosis from a medical professional.

For expert advice call us on 01616 966 229 and speak to a member of our clinical negligence team to discuss your compensation claim today. Alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form and a member of the clinical negligence team will contact you directly.

Our recent delay in diagnosis settlements

  • Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £340,000 after the defendant failed to carry out further investigations following a scan carried out in 2013. The claimant should have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent surgical and chemotherapy treatment and unfortunately went on to suffer a recurrence years later.

  • Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £5,000 for a delay in diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately the cancer was not amenable to surgery but the delay caused an avoidable period of suffering for the deceased

  • Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £350,000 for a client who suffered a delay in diagnosing throat cancer.  His voice box was removed and he has been left with a severely impaired quality of life which will be permanent. The claim settled at a mediation enabling early resolution for the client

  • Tom Mooney recently settled a claim for £75,000 for a client who's husband died as a consequence of a delay in diagnosing and treating cancer

  • Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £940,000 due to a delay in diagnosing and treating a TIA (mini-stroke). The client went on to suffer a stroke and chronic fatigue syndrome which severely impacted her everyday life 

Support & information - delay in diagnosis

Macmillan - advice and support network for those affected by cancer.

Marie Curie - supporting those affected by cancer.

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4.6 score on Trustpilot Based on count 1312

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