Cancer Negligence Solicitors - Medical Compensation Claims

Our cancer negligence solicitors take personal injury compensation claims on a strict no win no fee* basis. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. We are proud to offer a no win no fee* medical negligence compensation claim service and to provide you with the opportunity to speak with one of our cancer medical negligence solicitors free of charge and with no further obligation. The advice we provide can help you to understand the legal process, will determine the viability of your claim and provide an estimate of the value of your claim. All you need to do is to complete the contact form on our website, drop us a quick email or pick up the phone and speak directly to one of our no win no fee* medical negligence solicitors. We will then take down some brief information regarding your case, and provide you with a professional opinion about the viability of the proposed claim and the amount of the potential damages award. If you decide after receiving this advice that you do not wish to pursue your claim, you will have no further obligation whatsoever. You will not be charged for this consultation by our cancer negligence solicitors.

Cancer Diagnosis

In order for treatment of cancer to be effective, it is essential that it be diagnosed as early as possible. Since many forms of cancer are extremely serious, and many are life threatening, it can be detrimental to recovery if there is a delay in diagnosis, or a complete misdiagnosis. Whenever there is a failure to provide a correct diagnosis, which can happen for a variety of reasons, medical negligence may have occurred and damages or compensation for loss may be requested by a cancer negligence solicitor through a court of law. The most common forms of medical negligence resulting in a delayed or missed diagnosis include the following :

  • failure to carry out a complete physical examination
  • failure to properly address and diagnose an issue that may present itself during a physical examination
  • failure to order a specialised test such as pap smear, x-rays, mammogram, MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound
  • failure to properly evaluate test results to confirm a diagnosis
  • failure to diagnose a cancerous tumour as such, dismissing it for a less serious condition
  • failure to order follow up tests
  • incorrectly identifying a tumour
  • not taking the time to properly interpret tests, scans, or other data
  • failure to properly analyse blood test information
  • not taking adequate time to collect information from the patient regarding pain or discharge
  • not taking note of obvious symptoms or warning signs present in the patient
  • failure to order biopsies to test for abnormalities
  • failure to respond in a prompt manner after analysing test information
  • not following up with a patient to monitor symptoms
  • not providing all of the recommended treatment options
  • not taking into consideration a patient�s family history
  • misplacing medical files

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence law in the UK is founded upon the general law of negligence as applied in ordinary personal injury compensation claims which has developed over a very long period of time. Current medical negligence law is a branch of modern personal injury negligence law which has as its basis a case called Donohue Vs. Stephenson in which a woman was made ill by drinking from a bottle contaminated by a dead snail that had entered the bottle during the manufacturing or packaging process. Medical negligence law has been developed mainly as a result of case law involving negligent actions in clinical surroundings and now has its own protocols that differ from the general law of negligence.

In general terms a health care professionals clinical competence is judged by comparison with other similarly qualified, reasonably competent individuals working under similar circumstances and in a similar location. The standard of clinical care the patient received must be comparable with the standard of care provided by a reasonably competent healthcare professional. The fact that treatment fails does not necessarily mean that clinical treatment is negligent even though alternative treatment may have succeeded provided that the treatment is logical and is supported by a substantial body of the medical profession.

Misdiagnosis of cancer due to clinical negligence is becoming an all too common problem. While tens of thousands of people are properly diagnosed with cancer every year, there many people who are improperly misdiagnosed, or diagnosed too late, which may cause the illness to worsen, requiring more aggressive treatment and a less likely chance of a full recovery. In these situations it may be possible to claim damages for your injuries and losses by instructing a medical negligence solicitor on your behalf.

False Positive Diagnosis

There are also occasions when a false positive diagnosis of cancer may be due to medical negligence. A false positive diagnosis can be just as damaging as cancer being missed. Patients who have had to endure this situation may have had to undergo dangerous treatment, including chemotherapy or radiation both of which come with their own life threatening complications. Patients may also suffer losses and expenditure to get their estates in order, which would not have otherwise been needed. In the event that a false positive diagnosis of cancer has been made, a medical negligence claim can be started by a solicitor in order to recoup damages for psychological and physical injuries.

This means that medical professionals may not only fail to find the presence of cancer, or fail to diagnose it promptly but there are also occasions that medical professionals diagnose cancer when it is not present. Obtaining a false positive diagnosis of cancer can have serious emotional, financial, and physical effects on the misdiagnosed patient. False positive diagnoses usually happen because of improper technique used to test or analyse test results, which may constitute medical negligence. False positives are common and as many as forty percent of all initial tests may be erroneous, requiring the need for a retest. Almost all patients with positive test results are retested to attempt to eradicate a false positive test result. That being said, it is only when a final diagnosis is made, and is incorrect, that true harm can occur.

Perhaps the most serious problem that comes of a false positive cancer diagnosis has to do with the starting of cancer treatments which can include chemotherapy, radiation, drugs and surgery. These treatments are meant to kill living cells, so undergoing these treatments can pose serious risks for patients who are not truly sick. If your medical professional is insistent upon a particular treatment program, which could be potentially dangerous and is based upon tests that may not be accurate and the patient is not informed as to the possibility of a false positive giving them the opportunity of a retest then there is no doubt that medical negligence has occurred. The testing facility, the technicians and the doctors involved in the testing process may all be held liable in this situation.

Compensation Awards

Even though patients who have been falsely diagnosed with cancer are not actually suffering from the disease, monetary compensation awards can still be significant. Compensation can be recovered for patients who have undergone treatment that was not necessary and put them at serious risk of complications, caused pain and suffering, caused them to miss work and caused personal injury due to the use of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. These patients experience high levels of stress and are prone to bouts of depression, anxiety and stress disorders which may never fully resolve, even after a proper diagnosis has been made. There may also be financial loss for both medical expenses and the expenditure necessary to arrange personal affairs. In addition to obtaining compensation for psychological damage and physical pain and suffering our medical negligence solicitors can help victims to claim damages for all financial losses incurred.

A cancer negligence solicitor will ensure you have the best opportunity to maximise your damages award. The amount of monetary compensation that will be awarded by a judge follows complex calculations; however our team of no win no fee* medical negligence solicitors will make an early appraisal of you case and will submit figures to be considered by the judge. Compensation that can be awarded falls into several legal categories including :

    Special Damages which can be calculated accurately

    • past, present, and future medical expenses
    • loss of employment
    • wages that are lost
    • special modifications or aids that may now be needed
    • general cost of care
    • travel expenses to receive care or therapy
    • miscellaneous expenses pertaining to your injury

    General Damages which need personal assessment :

    • loss of the patient�s way of life;
    • loss of physical capacity;
    • loss of mental capacity;
    • overall pain and suffering;
    • disfigurement;
    • loss of consortium;
    • loss of future employment.

Statute of Limitation - Time Limits

There are strict limits on the amount of time available to settle a medical negligence claim. In the UK a clinical negligence claim must be settled or the legal process must have begun within a court of law within three years of the time of the incident of negligence, or within three years of the negligence being discovered. There is an exception for children as time does not begin until their eighteenth birthday, and in the cases of those who are mentally incapacitated, time does not start until a full level of mental capacity has been reinstated. The court can also exercise wide discretion in medical negligence cases, however this is rare.

no win no fee* Cancer Negligence Solicitors

If you or someone you know has suffered a misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or you have been falsely diagnosed with cancer and you underwent treatment that could have been unnecessary or would not be as effective as in earlier stages, a medical negligence solicitor may be able to start a claim for compensation . Our solicitors handle all claims on a no win no fee** basis. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you would like to receive a free consultation with no obligation please contact our office for more information.

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here