Getting a swift and accurate diagnosis is essential when you experience any kind of medical condition. It can make a huge difference to the outcome for your future health and wellbeing, with a misdiagnosis meaning you may not get the right treatment fast enough to prevent long-term consequences.
If you or a loved one suffered a medical misdiagnosis leading to a worse outcome for your health, it is understandable to be confused, upset and angry. Where you or a loved one have been left with ongoing health problems as a result of a misdiagnosis, it can be particularly distressing, as well as likely having a real practical impact on your quality of life and practical matters, such as your ability to work and the need to pay for private treatment, care support, specialist equipment and more.
For many people, claiming compensation for medical misdiagnosis is the only way to get the help they need, as well as often being their only chance to get answers about what went wrong. The claims process can be long and complicated, however, so it is critical to get expert legal advice and support as soon as possible.
Why choose Devonalds for your medical misdiagnosis claim?
For over 30 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend have been helping local people to get compensation and the answers they deserve following medical errors. With an exceptional track record of success, we can give you the best chance of securing the outcome you need under even the most difficult circumstances.
It’s possible you’ve never dealt with a lawyer before and we know many people find the idea of taking legal action intimidating. We want you to feel totally comfortable when getting in touch us, so please be assured that our team are people just like you and we will be happy to answer your questions clearly and honestly, without unnecessary legal jargon.
You will work with one of our trained legal experts from the start and they will be your point of contact through every stage of your claim. They’ll be available by phone and email whenever you need them, so if you have a question or need an update, you can always speak to someone who knows you and your circumstances.
We offer no win, no fee funding options, so you don’t need to worry about how you will cover the cost of your claim.
Another common concern is that you will need to go to court. While this is a possibility, many claims are settled out of court, which can get you compensation faster, save on legal fees and allow you to avoid the stress of court proceedings. However, should court action be needed, we can ensure you have the very best representation and close personal support for every stage of proceedings.
Our team take pride in our strong connection to the local community. With most of us having been born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, we are truly passionate about getting the best result we can for each and every one of our clients.
Speak to us about starting a claim for medical misdiagnosis compensation today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for a medical misdiagnosis, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How claiming medical misdiagnosis compensation works
Starting a claim
You probably have a lot of questions, such as whether you have grounds for a claim, how much compensation you could get and how the claims process works. We offer a free initial meeting with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors to answer your questions and give you the confidence to decide what you want to do next.
Following this first meeting, you will be under no pressure to pursue a claim with us. We want you to feel completely comfortable that you are making the right choice for you and your loved ones.
No win, no fee medical misdiagnosis claims
We represent the majority of our clients using ‘conditional fee agreements’, which you may have heard referred to as ‘no win, no fee’ deals.
The key advantages of this type of funding arrangement is that there is no upfront cost to you to start a claim and there is no financial risk to you because if we cannot secure compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything.
Following a successful claim, some or all of your legal costs may be met by the other side, meaning there could be no cost to you at all.
Proving a medical misdiagnosis was negligent
To win compensation for you, we will need to show that your misdiagnosis was due to medical negligence. We will do this using various types of evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Testimony from independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
We will ensure this evidence is presented effectively, giving you the best chance of getting the outcome you need.
Valuing your claim
We want to give you an accurate idea of how much compensation you will be entitled to as soon as possible. While our team will give you an initial estimate of the potential damages, a key part of the claims process is ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’. This is where we look at all of the financial and non-financial ways your injuries have impacted your life and put a value of this.
Compensation for damage to your health due to a medical 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 medical misdiagnosis compensation claims
You will normally have three years to make a claim from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the date where you knew you had suffered a misdiagnosis, that this had impacted your health and had reason to believe this was due to medical negligence.
However, there are some situations where you may have longer to claim, including where:
The claimant is under 18 – You will then have until they turn 18 to bring a claim for them. Once they turn 18, the claimant will have a further 3 years (up until their 21st birthday) to bring a claim of their own.
You are claiming for someone who had died – You have 3 years from their date of death to make a claim on behalf of their estate or dependants.
The claimant lacks the mental capacity to pursue their own claim – There is normally no time limit to make a 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 approach will be to try to negotiate a voluntary settlement with your healthcare provider. This not only gives you the possibility of avoiding the stress and uncertainty of court proceedings, but also means you can often get compensation faster and with lower legal fees.
Our medical negligence lawyers have a very strong track record of securing out-of-court settlements, including for complex and high value claims. Please be assured, our focus will always be on getting you the maximum compensation available in the way that is best for you and your loved ones.
Taking your claim to court
Should your claim go to court, our medical misdiagnosis solicitors will make sure you know exactly what this involves and that you have the very best representation for any hearings that take place.
We will also provide close personal support during what we appreciate can be an emotionally challenging process.
Managing medical misdiagnosis compensation
Receiving substantial compensation can be life-changing, but it is important to plan for the future and make sure you get the most from the funds you receive.
We can provide clear, practical advice on any steps you need to take to effectively manage your compensation. This includes where it makes sense to place your compensation into a ‘personal injury trust’ to ring-fence the funds so you can avoid any impact on your access to means-tested benefits.
Common questions about medical misdiagnosis claims
Can you sue a hospital for a medical misdiagnosis?
This will ultimately depend on the circumstances. For you to be eligible for compensation for a medical misdiagnosis, we must be able to show that your misdiagnosis was:
- Caused by medical negligence
- Resulted in a worse outcome for your health and/or wellbeing
Not all misdiagnoses are caused by medical negligence, so we must be able to prove that the care you received fell below acceptable clinical standards and that this directly led to your condition being misdiagnoses. In effect, we need to show that any competent clinical professionals would not have made the same errors under the same circumstances.
How long does a medical misdiagnosis claim take?
This is something every client wants to know, but the honest answer is that it will depend on the circumstances. Things will generally move faster is your claim can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement, while it may take much longer if court action is needed.
How do interim payments work?
We know that clients often have immediate financial needs they require help with that can’t wait until their claim is resolved. This could be needing to pay for medical treatment, personal care and other essential needs. In such cases, it may be possible to secure interim payments from the party responsible for your injuries to cover these costs while your claim is still ongoing.
Interim payments are intended to make sure that your recovery is not compromised by having to wait for your claim to be resolved to be able to fund the specialist support you need. This is most likely to be an option where the defendant has admitted liability but the level of damages you are entitled to is still being agreed.
Will my medical misdiagnosis claim go to court?
There are no guarantees about how any medical negligence claim will progress as it depends on lots of factors, including whether the defendant is willing to accept liability and offer a fair settlement.
If an acceptable settlement can be agreed out of court, then you won’t need to go to court. With our strong skills in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution, this is something we can often achieve.
However, if your healthcare provider won’t accept liability or we can’t secure agreement on a fair level of damages, then going to court may be the only way to get you the compensation you deserve.
Can you claim medical misdiagnosis compensation for someone else?
It may be possible for you to pursue a claim on someone else’s behalf if they do not have the mental capacity to make a claim themselves. This might be because they have been left with serious brain damage due to a misdiagnosis or where they have pre-existing learning difficulties or other issues affecting their mental capacity.
To make a claim for someone else, you will need to be appointed by a court to act as their ‘litigation friend’. You will then have the legal authority to attend court hearings and make decisions about the claim on your loved one’s behalf.
Can you claim compensation for a loved one following a medical misdiagnosis?
If a loved one had died due to a misdiagnosed medical condition, the impact on your family is likely to be devastating. While no amount of compensation can ever truly make up for what you have lost, it can ease some of the financial and practical burdens that you may be struggling with.
Compensation for a fatal medical 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)
You will normally have 3 years from the date of death to claim, which can be made by a dependant of the deceased or someone acting as a representative of their estate.
Will I get an apology?
An apology is often one of the main things people want following medical negligence, but unfortunately there is no guarantee you will get one, even if we are successful in claiming compensation for you.
However, we understand how important it is to have the mistakes in the care you or a loved one received acknowledged, so we will always try to secure an apology where possible.
Start a medical misdiagnosis compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for a medical misdiagnosis, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown