A Quick Guide to Claiming

Embarking on a journey to file a clinical negligence claim involves navigating through a complex landscape. Here’s a simple guide on how to proceed to make a claim.  Naturally when we speak about a delayed diagnosis of cancer the ‘delay’ is due to the fault of the GP or consultant to reasonably diagnose the cancer at the time of presentation.  Not when the cancer patient presented late to the medical practitioner.

When There is a Delay in a Diagnosis of Cancer?

Clinical negligence (or medical negligence) arises when the medical advice or care you receive results in injury or harm below the expected standards by the medical profession. This harm can manifest physically or mentally, encompassing scenarios like delayed diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis, treatment delays, erroneous treatments, or inadequate risk disclosure.

Medical negligence can happen in several ways, including:

  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Surgical mistakes

Medical mistakes do happen. Doctors, dentists and other medical professionals are only human and are insured if anything goes wrong. Some professionals do fall short of the standard expected from them, which can lead to suffering and, in worst-case scenarios, the death of a patient.

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Factors to Consider When Making a Claim for Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Before initiating a clinical negligence claim, several considerations come into play:

Define Your Goals: Clearly outline what you aim to achieve through the claim.
Apology vs. Compensation: Decide whether you seek an apology or financial compensation (you can of course obtain both).
Cost-Benefit Analysis: Evaluate whether potential compensation outweighs legal costs, but No Win No Fee negates this factor.
Your Time: There will be some time you need to invest to write a statement of your experience and explain any losses etc.
Expert Guidance: Seek advice from specialists or medical negligence solicitors to navigate the complexities.

Time Limits to Claim for Late Diagnosis of Cancer

This is usually three years from the date of when the complaint about the late diagnosis is made.  This can be extended if you were not aware of any acts of negligence until a later time, see section 33 Limitation Act 1980. The three year period will only start therefore from when you acquired the requisite knowledge giving you more time to claim.  However to stop time running against you, the three year period only ends when court proceedings are issued not from when you make a complaint or seek advice from a solicitor.

Where the event giving rise to a complaint arises when the person is under 18 years of age (a child) time will only run against that person when they reach 18 years of age, therefore they have until their 21st Birthday to issue court proceedings.

What to Expect from Your Solicitors

Following speaking to you about the nature of your complaint, if we consider there is a case to answer by the medical professional a complaint or letter of claim will be made to the professional.  They will then respond to that complaint within 3 months.  At this time they can either admit or deny the claim (in whole or in part) or they may request more time to review the allegations.

However before sending out the letter of claim or complaint we will usually obtain all of your medical notes from your GP and hospital so that the allegations can be read in the context of the medical notes.  We may at this time also refer your medical notes to a specialist nurse or doctor to obtain an expert interim report  into the strength of the case at an early stage.  If that interim report is positive we will then arrange to obtain litigation insurance for you that is part of our NO WIN, NO FEE, NO WORRY service.

With the chance of either your claim being accepted or denied we will advise you of your options. If blame is accepted we will gather all the evidenced necessary to claim for your pain and suffering and any losses and expenses.

If denied, legal proceedings may follow, and the parties will then exchange evidence as the case progresses through the court system.  However 95% of medical negligence cases never get to court, they usually settle so there will be no need for you to give evidence at court.

No Win, No Fee, No Worry

Unless you have alternative legal expense insurance or a member of a trade union that has specific cover for medical negligence claims you will be offered our No Win, No Fee, No Worry service where we will obtain specialist legal insurance on your behalf that pays for the other sides costs do you have no financial worries by taking a medical negligence claim for delayed cancer diagnosis.

Concluding Comments

This is a quick guide. Navigating the landscape of clinical negligence claims requires meticulous understanding, strategic decision-making, and expert guidance. Each step demands careful consideration to ensure your rights are protected and justice is pursued diligently.  By instructing our firm you will have the benefit of decades of experience improving your chances of a successful outcome.

Further Reading:

Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Delayed Cancer Claims

Clinical Negligence Claims

Delayed Bowel Cancer Diagnosis 

Delayed Prostate Cancer Compensation

Delayed Breast Cancer Compensation

Delayed Pancreatic Cancer Compensation

Delayed Stomach Cancer Compensation

Delayed Colorectal Cancer Compensation

Delayed Leukaemia Compensation

Cancer Delays Crisis Looming

Cancellation of Cancer Appointments

Complaints Besti Cadwaladr Hospital Trust

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