Delayed diagnosis claims

Delayed diagnosis claims

For finding answers and getting justice

Unfortunately, NHS resources are often stretched so delayed and missed diagnoses are much more common than they should be. Often this results in further injury, or the loss of the opportunity to make a full recovery.

In the most serious cases, there may be devastating consequences. An incorrect diagnosis can shorten a patient's life expectancy, by preventing an illness from being treated in a timely manner. Doctors have a responsibility to provide care that would be considered acceptable by others in their field and failure to do so could be considered clinical negligence.

Naturally, there is nothing that can make up for this lost time. However, making a claim for compensation for injuries caused by a delayed diagnosis can provide support for patients dealing with these difficult circumstances, help families in need, and deliver a sense of justice.

If you've suffered harm because medical professionals failed to make a prompt and accurate diagnosis of your illness or injury, you can make a compensation claim. If successful, you will not only receive money that can make your life much more comfortable - you will help to prevent similar incidents from happening to other people in the future.

Switalskis is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of patients who suffered injury due to medical negligence. To talk about your circumstances and find out more about making a delayed diagnosis compensation claim, contact us today.

Call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website to get the process started.

How Switalskis can help you

The medical negligence claims process can be daunting, especially if you are still recovering from an illness or injury. At Switalskis, we aim to take the responsibility from your shoulders and make things as easy as possible for you. 

Our specialist solicitors know how difficult it can be to cope with the consequences of a delayed diagnosis of serious injury or illness. They can advise you on things that could make your recovery more comfortable, and provide support through this difficult time. Members of our team have received accreditations from both The Law Society and AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) , in recognition of their expertise and the quality of their service.

Switalskis has represented many people through delayed treatment compensation claims and acted as a trusted legal partner for people whose lives were changed by medical negligence. We will:

  • Discuss your situation in a free, no-obligation chat. We'll listen carefully, answer questions and discuss your options.
  • Represent you and make sure your rights are upheld throughout the legal process, providing expert legal advice tailored to your needs.
  • Explain the financial considerations, including Legal Aid, no win no fee arrangements, and other types of financial support.
  • Investigate the consequences of the delay in reaching the correct diagnosis or in carrying out your treatment. This can help to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you are owed for the delay in treatment.
  • Strive to secure the outcome you deserve at all times.

At Switalskis, we know that each of our clients is a unique person in a unique set of circumstances. We take the time to listen to your story, understand your situation and the effect on your health, and discuss your desired outcomes for your claim. This means that we can build your case around you and make sure that our advice helps you to meet your goals.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

Am I eligible to make a delayed diagnosis claim?

If a medical professional was negligent in failing to make a prompt diagnosis of your injury or illness, and this failure caused you further harm, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. There are many different situations in which such an error might occur. For example, your doctors or other medical professionals might have made one of the following mistakes:

  • Failed to notice, or appreciate the significance of symptoms, signs, test results, etc.
  • Ignored your self-reported symptoms
  • Didn't refer you for tests, follow-up treatment or a consultation with an appropriate specialist
  • Failed to prioritise urgent conditions
  • Diagnosed the wrong condition, which meant that the original condition went unnoticed

To make a successful delayed diagnosis claim, there are two things we need to prove:

  • That medical staff missed clear signs of a serious medical condition and failed to diagnose the problem at an early stage; and
  • That the unnecessary delay in diagnosis caused the problem to get worse, whether because it delayed treatment or led to you receiving inappropriate treatment.

There may be other factors that will affect your ability to claim  compensation. Ultimately, it depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Therefore, the best way to discover whether or not a clinical negligence might be appropriate is to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. The team at Switalskis can discuss your case sensitively and with care, and let you know whether or not we can help you to make a claim.

How much compensation could I receive?

The amount of compensation you might be awarded in a medical negligence claim depends on several factors, including the nature of your illness or injury, the extent of any further injury caused by the delay, and the effect that it has had on your life. Compensation for medical negligence claims consists of two sums: general damages and special damages.

  • General damages account for the pain and suffering caused by the delayed diagnosis, and any loss of amenity. This means that if you are no longer able to enjoy life as you used to because of your illness or injury, this will be taken into account when calculating general damages.
  • Special damages repay you for any financial losses you experienced because of the additional injury or harm caused by the negligent delay. This can include:

Working with a specialist medical negligence solicitor can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to for injuries caused by a missed or late diagnosis.

How do I make a delayed diagnosis compensation claim?

To make a claim for compensation, your first step should be to speak to our medical negligence solicitors as soon as possible. There is usually a time limit of three years to claim, so it is important to start the process as early as you can. From there, the process unfolds as follows:

Step 1: Initial consultation

Reach out to Switalskis for a free, no obligation initial consultation. During this consultation, we’ll listen to your story, understand your concerns and explain whether we think you have a strong case. If we decide to proceed, we can then discuss the next steps and the available funding options.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

We’ll gather all the relevant information we need to build your case. This will include applying for all of your medical records, including your GP records. We’ll ask you for photographs, receipts and any other documents that may support your claim. We will take detailed witness statements to tell your version of events. We may arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert to provide an unbiased view of your injuries and future prognosis. The aim will be to prove the negligence was responsible for your injury and consider the potential value of the claim.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

Once we have supportive evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the doctor and/or hospital involved. This will outline details of the claim and state allegations regarding the negligence treatment.

Step 4: Defendant response

The defendant will then have four months to investigate the allegations made against them and respond to the letter of claim. This is known as a letter of response, which will include whether the defendant accepts they are at fault. This is called an admission of liability. If they do not accept fault, they will state this in the letter and this is called a denial of liability. We will advise you of the next steps at this stage.

Step 5: Settlement and compensation

If the defendant or practice has admitted fault, negotiations can start. Our clinical negligence solicitors will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible compensation amount for you. At this stage, we will discuss how much compensation you may receive. This will be calculated to cover the pain and suffering caused by a delayed diagnosis, as well as any financial losses or expenses you’ve experienced as a result.

Step 6: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Most claims will be settled through negotiation, without needing to go to court. In the rare instances where the case does go to trial, you can trust us to represent you throughout the process.

Our experts understand how difficult it can be to relive what you’ve been through, and we will take on as much of the responsibility for building your case as possible. We take the time to listen to you and understand, so that we can make sure we prioritise your needs at every stage of the claim.

Is there a time limit for delayed diagnosis claims?

Understanding the time constraints for delayed diagnosis claims is vital to make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to seek justice and compensation. Generally, you have three years from the date of the injury caused by negligence, or from the date you became aware that you might have suffered injury due to negligence, to start court proceedings. This is known as the limitation period.

There are a few exceptions to this:

  • Children: if the person who suffered the negligence was under 18 at the time, the three-year period doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until they turn 21 to start legal proceedings.
  • Mental capacity: if the person who suffered the negligence lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions at the time they suffered injury, then the time limit doesn’t start to run unless and until they regain such capacity.
  • Fatal cases: if you’re claiming in relation to a deceased person, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that they had suffered harm due to negligence.

In some rare cases, the courts may decide to extend the limitation period. However, relying on this is risky, as this is only ever done at the discretion of the courts.

Starting the process sooner rather than later means all evidence is fresh and readily available, and means you won't run the risk of missing a deadline. If you're uncertain about whether you're within the time limit or if you believe you have exceptional circumstances, speak to the medical negligence team at Switalskis for guidance, even if other solicitors have told you that you’re out of time.

How are delayed diagnosis claims funded?

Navigating the financial aspects of a delayed diagnosis compensation claim can be daunting, but Switalskis aims to make sure the process is transparent and accessible so that nobody is ever put off seeking justice due to the costs.

Here's a breakdown of the funding options available:

  • No win, no fee agreements: also known as conditional fee agreements (CFAs), are the most common way to fund a delayed diagnosis compensation claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. Our costs are written off. If you win your case, most of your legal costs will be recovered from the defendant, while a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover some aspects of legal costs that can’t be recovered from your opponent. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises. We’ll advise you to take out an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we’ll recommend.
  • Legal expenses insurance: you might have legal expenses cover as part of another policy of insurance, such as your home or car insurance. Sometimes these policies can be used to fund a clinical negligence claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaise with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in very rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

Our team is here to guide you through your funding options and help you pick an option that suits your needs and circumstances.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458,or get in touch via our form.

Our delayed diagnosis claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

At Switalskis, we recognise that every delayed diagnosis claim is different and that every client has their own individual needs. The one thing they all have in common is that they were let down by the medical professionals who were meant to help them.

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors believe that every person affected by a missed diagnosis deserves justice, and we treat every case with the sensitivity it deserves.

Clarity in complexity

The consequences of a missed diagnosis for your health and your loved ones can be devastating. Our delayed diagnosis solicitors will be by your side throughout the claims process to offer not only expert legal advice but support at this difficult time.

Empathy at every step

The consequences of a missed diagnosis for your health and your loved ones can be devastating. Our delayed diagnosis solicitors will be by your side throughout the claims process to offer not only expert legal advice but support at this difficult time.

Expertise you can trust

The medical negligence team at Switalskis has a wealth of expertise in this area of the law. No matter what specific circumstances you have faced, we will be able to explain the legal implications and advise you on the next steps.

Championing your rights

Making a delayed diagnosis claim is about standing up for your rights, and we aim to provide all the help you need to get your life back on track. This means working tirelessly to make sure your voice is heard throughout the claims process and fighting to secure the maximum compensation that you are entitled to.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

Having a serious illness or injury is difficult enough, but delays or mistakes in diagnosis can make things far worse. The delayed diagnosis experts at Switalskis are here to support you through these difficult circumstances and to stand by your side in your fight for justice.

Call Switalskis today on 0800 1380 458 ,  or contact us through our website to learn more about how much compensation you could be owed and the support we can provide.

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