NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation

NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation

If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to a misdiagnosis at a hospital, you may be eligible to claim NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation. In order to qualify for compensation for a misdiagnosis at a hospital, it has to be shown that the misdiagnosis was avoidable “at the time and in the circumstances” and that you suffered an “adverse effect” as a result.

Claims for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation also have to establish how a misdiagnosis came to be made and identify the person responsible for the error. It may not necessarily be the medical practitioner who told you the wrong diagnosis who was at fault, but a hospital technician who did not run tests correctly or a hospital administrator who failed to record the results of those tests correctly.

For these reasons, it is always in your best interests to speak with an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity. Whether a delayed correct diagnosis has resulted in treatment being administered later than it should have been, or if you have been diagnosed with a condition you do not have, a solicitor can establish that you may have an NHS hospital misdiagnosis claim for compensation which is worth your while to pursue and initiate investigations to prove negligence in support of your claim.

Preparing a Claim for NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation

One of the first procedures which has to be completed when preparing a claim for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation is to determine that negligence has actually occurred and establishing the “adverse effect” it has had on you. For this reason, a solicitor will engage a medical specialist in the field of your illness or health condition to review your medical history and confirm that the misdiagnosis was the result of a hospital´s employee lack of skill or the ability to demonstrate that skill.

Thereafter the specialist will examine you to establish the effect that the misdiagnosis has made to your health and whether or not a correct diagnosis at the time would have made a difference to the treatment you were provided with or the extent of any deterioration in your health. If, for example, there was only a short period of time between the original misdiagnosis and the correct diagnosis, there may be have been only a marginal negative effect and you would have to think carefully about whether you wanted to persist with a claim for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation.

Contributory Negligence and NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Claims

One other factor which may affect your eligibility to make an NHS hospital misdiagnosis claim for compensation is if you contributed in any way to the reason for your misdiagnosis. This could occur if you failed to advise your doctor of a symptom you were experiencing or miscommunicated it, or if you provided a test sample after consuming large quantities of alcohol or another substance which may have led to a misleading test result.

Although your own contributory negligence will rarely disqualify you from making a claim for compensation for a misdiagnosis at a hospital, it may affect how much NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation you are entitled to receive. You should advise your solicitor if you believe that there may have been a miscommunication about the symptoms you were experiencing or if you may have contributed by your own actions to a false test result.

Making a Claim for NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation

Once it has been established that you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to a misdiagnosis at an NHS hospital, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the hospital and the specific medical practitioner, technician or administrator advising them that you are making a claim for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation and supporting it with the evidence compiled by the medical specialist.

Hospitals can be notoriously slow in admitting their liability for a misdiagnosis and it may be possible that the first communication you receive in respect of your NHS hospital misdiagnosis claim is an approach by the hospital´s public liability insurers with an offer of compensation for a misdiagnosis in a hospital. Although you may be tempted to accept an offer – especially if there has been a long delay in resolving your claim and you are concerned about your finances – you should always refer any approach by an insurance company to your solicitor.

Calculating Compensation for a Misdiagnosis at a Hospital

Insurance companies rarely take every consequence of the hospital´s misdiagnosis into consideration when calculating compensation for a misdiagnosis at a hospital and, should you accept an inadequate offer, you may be left with insufficient funds to pay for medical care or support your family. Once you have accepted an offer of NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation from an insurance company, you cannot go back for more. Therefore it is always advisable to allow a solicitor to calculate how much compensation for a misdiagnosis at a hospital you should be entitled to receive.

The solicitor will consider four main areas plus any which are specific to your personal circumstances when calculating NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation. These four main areas are:-

General Damages for Pain and Suffering

As with any personal injury claim, you will be entitled to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the hospital´s negligence and any reduced life expectancy which is the result of the misdiagnosis. How much general damages for your physical injury you receive will be based on previous awards of compensation in relation to your age, general state of health prior to the misdiagnosis and the length of time between the original misdiagnosis and correct identification of your condition.

General Damages for Emotional Trauma

There are many different emotional traumas which can result from the misdiagnosis of a health problem – most commonly anxiety and depression if you have received a delayed diagnosis of a condition which could have been prevented from developing into a life-threatening illness. However, patients who have been misdiagnosed with a serious illness they do not have might also lose their confidence in the medical profession – leading to a scenario when they do indeed have a serious health condition but fail to seek medical attention for it.

General Damages for Loss of Amenity

The term “loss of amenity” relates to everyday activities and social or leisure pursuits that you are no longer able to participate in, but could have if the correct diagnosis was made by the hospital when you first presented your symptoms. Even temporary loss of amenity can be included in a claim for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation and you are advised to maintain a diary to record the times that the misdiagnosis of a condition prevents you from enjoying a full, active life.

Special Damages for Financial Costs

Any financial expenses that you have incurred which are directly attributable to the misdiagnosis of your condition can be recovered in an NHS hospital misdiagnosis claim. This element of NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation not only covers the cost of medication or specific care needs, but also if you have to use alternate forms of transport because you are no longer able to drive and any loss of income, job opportunities or pension contributions you have experienced because of the hospital´s mistake.

Discuss NHS Hospital Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims with a Solicitor

As you can see from the above, no two claims for NHS hospital misdiagnosis compensation are likely to be identical – even when the nature of the misdiagnosis is the same. Therefore it is in your best interests to seek professional legal advice from an experienced medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible after you discover you have been misdiagnosed with a condition you do not have or receive a delayed diagnosis due to the negligence of an NHS hospital employee.


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