Making A Misdiagnosis Claim
While individual misdiagnosis claims can vary widely, in theory there are potentially three different parties that can be pursued for misdiagnosis compensation. They are:
- GP surgeries
- NHS hospitals
- Individual consultants
While the NHS itself is a self-insuring body, which effectively means that all successful misdiagnosis compensation claims are paid out of the central budget, general practitioners and consultants will have their own individual insurance cover. This ensures that whichever body or bodies found to be negligent and liable to paying compensation will have the means available to cover any settlements. In the past there has been an issue with high levels of insurance premiums connected to consultant insurance cover and this is something which is currently being addressed with the UK government.
Starting A Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim
The starting point for any misdiagnosis compensation claim is to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a medical body or medical practitioner breached their duty of care – otherwise known as negligence. The level of care expected is measured against peers in the same profession and the reasonable expectations of a patient. There must also be evidence that the misdiagnosis caused injury, pain or suffering because of incorrect treatment or no treatment. This is commonly referred to in legal circles as causation.
In order to present your case to a medical negligence solicitor you will need as much evidence as possible including medical records, witness statements, details of corrective surgery as well as previous medical negligence claims by others that may have been made against a medical professional. The vast majority of medical negligence solicitors will have access to third-party medical experts who will be able to review the details of your case and offer further advice on potential misdiagnosis compensation. If a medical negligence solicitor believes you have a strong claim to misdiagnosis compensation they will almost always offer to take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. This ensures that the solicitor’s legal expenses will be covered by the company itself with no liability on the claimant.
There will however be an agreement in place whereby the medical negligence solicitors company will receive a percentage (maximum 25%) of any misdiagnosis compensation award which they are able to secure. Where misdiagnosis claims are successful, the legal expenses of the claimant’s team are generally reimbursed by the defendant.