Whilst considering the prognosis, treatment and overall implications, you may have felt that the diagnosis could and should have been made sooner. If this is the case did you know that you may be able to make a claim for compensation?
Ison Harrison Solicitors provide some useful advice on how you go about making a claim.
Can I make a claim due to a delayed diagnosis of cancer?
Yes you can, as long as you can prove that there was a delay in diagnosis and that the delay made a material difference to your health, treatment plan or prognosis. You may also be able to make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has died as a result of a delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
You may be able to pursue a clinical negligence claim if you or your loved one sought medical help over a period of time complaining of persistent or worsening symptoms which should have been investigated further or considered as “red flag” symptoms for cancer.
Negligence can also occur when medical professionals misinterpret scans, smears or test results, or when test results are lost and there are delays in obtaining new samples.
All types of cancer are different and progress at different rates. This will be considered carefully when pursuing a clinical negligence claim. An expert Oncologist will be consulted to consider the natural history of the cancer and how it would have progressed without the delay. Some cancers progress at a slow rate and although you may be able to identify a delay, it may not have caused your health to worsen or made any difference to your treatment plan or overall prognosis.
Will I have to pay to investigate a claim?
Most solicitors offer a free no obligation consultation, giving you the opportunity to discuss your concerns about the treatment you have received and to seek advice on whether you have a potential claim.
Legal Aid is no longer available for clinical negligence claims relating to a delay in diagnosis of cancer. You will however be advised on the most appropriate way to fund your case. This will include checking whether you already have Legal Expenses Insurance, to cover the costs of your claim. If not you may be offered a Conditional Fee Agreement (often known as a no win – no fee agreement) such that if the claim does not succeed you should not have to pay any costs.
How long do I have to make a claim?
It is important that you speak to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor as soon as possible, as strict time limits apply to bringing a claim. Whilst there are some exceptions, generally Court Proceedings need to be issued within three years of the date of: negligence; or knowledge of negligence; or death if the claim is brought on behalf of a Deceased’s estate. Cases are fact specific so always speak to a solicitor to check.
For further advice contact Ison Harrison Solicitors on 0113 284 5000 or [email protected]