It is possible to pursue a compensation claim for medical negligence where there has been a delay in diagnosis, this is provided that the delay which has occurred has caused deterioration in your medical condition which otherwise would not have occurred had you been treated.
Although, it is important to remember that delays can arise as it takes time to complete tests and this can be through no one’s fault. However, there are instances where there has been a breach of duty, in that patients symptoms are not documented fully, tests are misinterpreted, or not completed within a reasonable timescale.
The worsening in your condition, as a result of the delay, may have a transient and treatable, impact upon your health which may mean whilst you recover you have to undergo unnecessary treatment, for example.
Regrettably, though in some cases it may have a long term significant impact upon your health and well-being and the condition is no longer treatable and has an effect on your life expectancy.
Examples of compensation claims for delayed diagnosis
Specific examples of delayed diagnosis claims might include:
- Cancer claims, where a practitioner has not taken the client’s complaint seriously, or failed to take a full medical history, or misread test results; and
- Sepsis claims, where the proper tests and observations were not completed, incorrect medication was provided or the patient was treated for another condition, despite the clinical history presented to the practitioner.
Delays in diagnosing medical conditions can occur at any age and stage, from you first attending your GP for example, or from practitioners failing to prioritise patients following receipt of test results or failure to respond to test results at all.
Compensation in delayed diagnosis claims
The amount of compensation awarded for a successful claim for delayed diagnosis would depend on the severity of the injury sustained and the long-term prognosis, as set out above.
As well as receiving damages for the injuries sustained, damages can also be claimed for any loss of earnings sustained, rehabilitative therapies received, care provided and future costs of care and treatment where appropriate.
Furthermore, in cases where liability is not in dispute, interim payments can be sought from the Defendant. These are payments made before the conclusion of the case, which are accounted for upon settlement, but can be extremely helpful in helping clients meet the cost of treatment and manage their household finances, particularly if their condition means they are no longer able to work.