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Cancer misdiagnosis claims
Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the UK, yet too often it goes unnoticed by GPs and specialists until it’s too late.
Although every GP and clinical specialist should be trained to recognise the signs of cancer, sometimes mistakes happen and ‘red flags’ for cancer are missed. Your GP might not send you for a hospital test early enough, or the treating specialist might miss evidence of cancer when they look at your test results.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have experienced negligent treatment of cancer, you may have grounds to claim compensation. This can often be essential to mitigate the negative impact on you and your family.
Our medical negligence expertise
Why choose us? Our expertise speaks for itself.
We hold the highest ranking available (band 1) from Chambers and Partners and we’re also one of only four medical negligence departments in the South West region to receive a top tier ranking from Legal 500. In addition, four members of our clinical negligence claims team; Richard Barcan, Richard Harries, Claire Hurrell and Jay Nathwani are particularly highly rated for their expertise in Chambers and Partners UK, and five team members are singled out for mention in the Legal 500.
Our experienced medical negligence claims team is headed up by panel members of Action Against Medical Accidents, the charity for patient safety and justice, and the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme.
Our cancer negligence claims service
No win, no fee cancer misdiagnosis claims
In most cases our specialist cancer misdiagnosis solicitors will represent you on a no win no fee agreement. If you are feeling well enough, they will usually want to meet with you when you decide to go ahead with investigating a claim so that they can explain more in person about how your legal claim is funded and the steps involved with bringing a delayed cancer diagnosis claim. Your solicitor will be happy to answer any questions you have.
There are several other options for funding a medical negligence claim, including legal expenses insurance and private funding. No matter your financial situation, we will help you find an appropriate funding option so you can pursue your claim.
Read more about ways to fund a medical negligence claim.
Time limits for cancer negligence claims
In most cases you have three years from the date your cancer should have been diagnosed, or the date your cancer was actually diagnosed to issue a claim with the Court.
However, every cancer misdiagnosis claim is different and our solicitors will advise you about the relevant time limit for your particular case. If a loved one has died, you will usually have three years from the date of their death to bring a claim.
As it takes time to get the documents and independent expert evidence needed to bring a cancer misdiagnosis claim, we always recommend that you speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible.
Cancer misdiagnosis FAQs
What counts as negligence when treating cancer?
For misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer to be considered negligent, we will need to show that your GP or Consultant should have seen the signs of cancer and referred you for treatment earlier.
Examples of negligent treatment of cancer may include:
- Failure to recognise signs and symptoms of cancer
- Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy
- Failure to correctly interpret the results of a test
- Losing test results or other clerical errors, leading to a delay in diagnosis
If you are unsure whether the treatment you or a loved one received was negligent, please get in touch. We will be happy to advise you on whether you may have grounds for a claim and the next steps you need to take.
How do I claim compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer?
The first step is to get in touch with our specialist cancer misdiagnosis solicitors for an initial appointment. Here, we will get the basic details of your situation and can advise on whether we think your claim justifies further investigation.
Where we believe you have grounds for a claim, we can usually represent you under a no win no fee agreement. This means you do not have to pay anything upfront to pursue a claim and will only need to contribute to your legal fees if we secure compensation for you.
The first stage in exploring your claim will be requesting copies of your medical records and preparing a statement from you about what happened. We will instruct an independent medical expert to get answers for you about whether you should have been diagnosed earlier and, if so, what difference the late diagnosis of cancer made to your treatment and long-term prognosis.
At this point, we should have a clear picture of what happened, exactly how your treatment was negligent and a firm basis for placing an estimated value on your claim.
We will then work with you and the NHS trust or other healthcare provider to attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. Most cancer misdiagnosis claims are resolved in this way, meaning you will rarely need to attend court to receive compensation.
If your case does go to court, we will ensure you have the best possible legal representation and all of the practical and emotional support you need. We will make every effort to keep the process as straightforward and stress free as possible, while giving you the best chance of securing a fair settlement for your claim.
How much compensation can I or my family claim for cancer misdiagnosis?
As with most forms of medical negligence, it’s possible to claim for pain, suffering and loss of quality of life for a misdiagnosis of cancer or a delayed cancer diagnosis. It’s also possible for you to be compensated for lost or reduced earnings as well as the additional treatment or care which you have needed.
Furthermore, if delays in diagnosing and treating your cancer cause it to become a terminal illness, it may be possible for your children or partner to receive compensation.
Even when misdiagnosis of a tumour is not immediately fatal, it can cut years from your life expectancy, prematurely leaving your loved ones without financial, practical and emotional support. A cancer misdiagnosis claim could enable them to be compensated for their losses.
Can I claim cancer negligence compensation for someone who has died?
If you have lost a family member or loved one because of medical negligence, including because of delayed diagnosis of cancer, you may be able to claim compensation for their cancer misdiagnosis.
You can often claim cancer misdiagnosis compensation both on the behalf of the deceased and on your own if you were dependent on them, either for their income or their practical support and assistance.
Useful information about medical negligence claims
- Case studies of medical negligence claims
- Feedback from our medical negligence clients
- Frequently Asked Questions | Medical Negligence
- Suing the NHS – is it ethical?
- Ways to fund a medical negligence claim
Start a cancer misdiagnosis claim today
If you’ve suffered from negligent treatment of cancer, our solicitors are here to help.