3 things you can do if you’ve had a misdiagnosis

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If we become ill or begin to show negative health symptoms, it is our doctor who instructs us on what to do, and how to deal with the issue. However, sometimes things go wrong – doctors or nurses can make mistakes that end with the misdiagnosis of an illness or condition.

As one of the most common types of clinical and medical negligence compensation claim, misdiagnosis is not uncommon, with some experts suggesting that 1 in 20 adults are misdiagnosed. If you have experienced misdiagnosis in an NHS or private health environment, there are a few things you can look into doing.

Consider whether you have been misdiagnosed

What is the nature of your complaint? Think about whether your misdiagnosis has caused you undue stress, or whether it has had a negative impact on your life. Misdiagnosis can take a few forms, such as total, late, or incorrect diagnosis. Instances of an incorrect diagnosis can range from incorrectly labelling a fracture as a sprain, to giving a cancer diagnosis when the symptoms present can be explained otherwise - potentially causing needlessly damaging treatment, such as unnecessary chemotherapy. Total misdiagnosis involves a health professional missing symptoms in a patient completely. There are many possible reasons for misdiagnosis, including GP negligence, errors made by less experienced staff, and misinterpretation of test results.

Think about how you might best be compensated

Consider how best you might be compensated for any stress and suffering brought about by the misdiagnosis. Any compensation claim depends on various factors, including the severity of the misdiagnosis, financial loss, issues of required care and support, and any changes to life expectancy. A misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence, and so it is worth considering the question – would you have expected the same standard of care elsewhere, under different circumstances? To successfully pursue a misdiagnosis claim, your injury or illness has to have been brought about as a result of the negligence of another party, and must also have caused or exacerbated your condition. If you believe you have been misdiagnosed due to negligence, it is worth contacting a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence claims . They can help you think about your options, your chances of compensation, and any further steps to making sure that the outcome is just and fair.

Take action

If you have decided to go ahead with a medical negligence claim, it is important to be aware of the time limits of such claims. Legal proceedings must start within three years from the date of the incident. It is also important to gather as much information about the history of your misdiagnosis as possible. Try to keep a good account of your medical records – noting down when you first became ill, what advice you were given and when, and how the particulars of your misdiagnosis came about. This includes retaining any relevant documents or medications.

If your doctor or health professional has failed in their duty of care to you by misdiagnosing your illness or condition, it may be worth pursuing a compensation claim. For this, it is advisable to go with a solicitor that has experience in dealing with medical negligence claims.