When dealing with cancer, swift diagnosis can make the difference between life and death by letting the right treatment be delivered while there is still a chance for it to work. Even when a delay in diagnosis isn’t fatal, it can still mean more invasive treatment is required than may have been possible with a correct diagnosis at an earlier stage.
Where a loved one has died or you have been left with ongoing health consequences due to misdiagnosis of cancer, the impact on you and your family can be devastating. While compensation can never truly make things right, it can make a big difference to your family’s future, allowing you access specialist support and deal with practical issues, such as loss of income. Making a claim is also often the only way to get the answers you deserve.
For over 30 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend have help families living with the consequences of cancer misdiagnosis to take action. We are here to give you the best chance of getting the outcome you need.
Why choose Devonalds for your cancer misdiagnosis claim?
Having successfully advised and represented families throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend for more than three decades, we have a really strong connection to our local community. Most of our team were born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, so we are truly committed to doing the very best for each of our clients.
We want you to be totally at ease when getting in touch with our team. We are people just like you and aim to provide a friendly, approachable service. We will be happy to answer any questions you have clearly and honestly, without unnecessary legal jargon.
At every stage of your claim, you will have the personal support of one of our trained legal experts. They will be available by phone and email at all times, so whenever you need a question answered or an update on progress, you’ll be able to get hold of someone who knows you and your situation.
Going to court isn’t something anyone wants – fortunately many medical negligence claims can be settled out of court. This can get you compensation faster, as well as saving on legal fees and avoiding any unnecessary stress. However, in some cases court proceedings may be the best option, in which case we ensure you have the best possible representation.
Speak to us about starting a claim for cancer misdiagnosis compensation today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How claiming compensation cancer misdiagnosis works
Starting a claim
You undoubtedly have a lot of questions, including about whether you are entitled to compensation, how much your claim may be worth and what the claims process involves. We offer an initial consultation to answer your questions and make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice about moving forward.
Please be assured we will never place you under any pressure to pursue a claim with us. Following your initial meeting, we want you to be totally comfortable that you are making the right choice for you and your loved ones, whatever decision that might be.
No win, no fee cancer misdiagnosis claims
Most medical negligence claims we handle are funded using a ‘conditional fee agreement’, more commonly known as a ‘no win, no fee’ deal. This means there is no upfront cost to start a claim and our fees will only be applied if we secure compensation for you.
If we don’t win compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything, hence the term ‘no win, no fee’.
Proving cancer was misdiagnosed due to negligence
To have a claim, we must show that the misdiagnosis was the result of medical negligence i.e. that it would not have happened if the care provided had met acceptable clinical standards.
Proving this will typically rely on various types of evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Testimony from independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
Our cancer misdiagnosis solicitors will ensure all of the necessary evidence is gathered and presented effectively, giving you the best chance of a positive outcome for your claim.
Valuing your claim
The amount of compensation you may be able to claim is obviously very important. We will ensure this is calculated as accurately as possible by looking at all of the ways in which a cancer misdiagnosis has affected you and your family.
This process is referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’ and covers both the financial and non-financial impact of a cancer misdiagnosis.
Compensation for cancer misdiagnosis can cover issues such as:
- The cost of medical treatment, specialist care & equipment
- Lost income if you need to take time off or give up work
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs and other expenses
- Loss of amenity i.e. not being able to carry out activities you/your loved one would otherwise have enjoyed
- Providing for your/your loved one’s future financial independence
Time limits for cancer misdiagnosis compensation claims
The standard time limit for any kind of medical negligence claim is 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the date when you knew a misdiagnosis had occurred and that this was likely due to medical negligence.
However, you may have longer to claim depending on who the claimant is, for example:
If you are claiming for someone under 18 – You will have until their 18th birthday to claim for them. They will then have a further 3 years (until they turn 21) to bring a claim of their own if required.
If you are claiming for someone who died – You have 3 years from their date of death to bring a claim on behalf of their estate and/or dependants.
If you are claiming for someone without the mental capacity to pursue their own claim – There is normally no time limit to claim on their behalf.
If you are unsure whether you still have time to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Reaching an out-of-court settlement
Our first priority will be to negotiate a voluntary settlement with your healthcare provider if at all possible. This not only allows you to avoid the need for length, stressful and expensive court proceedings – it can also get you compensation much faster is successful.
Our medical negligence lawyers are highly skilled in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and have been able to secure out-of-court settlement for even highly complex claims involving very substantial damages.
Taking your claim to court
Where court proceedings are the best or only way to secure fair compensation for you, our medical negligence solicitors will make sure to secure the best possible representation to any hearings. We will also offer close personal support to you through the whole process.
Managing cancer misdiagnosis compensation
Our team can advise you on your options for effectively managing your compensation so it continues to meet your needs long-term. This includes the option of placing your compensation into a ‘personal injury trust’, allowing you to ring-fence the funds to avoid any impact on your access to means-tested benefits.
Common questions about cancer misdiagnosis claims
Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosing cancer?
Yes, potentially, depending on the circumstances. To be able to claim compensation, you need to be able to show that the misdiagnosis:
- Was caused by medical negligence
- Resulted in a worse outcome for your/your loved one’s health than could have been achieved with a correct diagnosis at the right time
Ultimately, we must show that the standard of care provided fell below acceptable clinical standards i.e. a competent medical professional would have provided the correct diagnosis under the same circumstances.
How long does it take to get compensation for cancer misdiagnosis?
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to how long your claim will take as it will entirely depend on the circumstances. In general, the process will be much faster if your claim can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement rather than if court proceedings are required.
How do interim payments work?
If you need immediate financial assistance to meet essential costs, such as for medical treatment and personal care, it may be possible to secure interim payments from the healthcare provider responsible for the misdiagnosis.
Interim payments are intended to ensure you or your loved one do not end up with a worse outcome for your or their health or wellbeing as a result of having to wait for a claim to be resolved before you can afford necessary treatment.
Will I need to go to court to get compensation?
While we will always try to secure an out-of-court settlement where possible, court proceedings may sometimes be unavoidable. We know this is something people are often concerned about, but should court action be required, we will do everything we can to make the claims process as less stressful as we can for you.
Can you claim compensation for a loved one who died following misdiagnosis of cancer?
Yes, if a loved one died due to misdiagnosis of cancer you may be able to claim compensation if you were a dependant of theirs or are a representative of their estate. Where eligible, you will usually have three years to make a claim from their date of death.
Compensation for a fatal cancer misdiagnosis can potentially cover costs such as:
- Funeral costs
- Lost earnings
- Household costs
- Medical costs
- Childcare costs
- Loss of benefits (e.g. pension rights)
- Loss of services (e.g. personal care support)
Will I get an apology?
Even where we are able to secure compensation for you, we can’t promise that you will get an apology, although we understand how important this is when dealing with the aftermath of medical negligence. We will, however, always do our best to secure an apology for you where possible.
Start a cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for misdiagnosis of cancer, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown