What Happens When a Serious Illness is Found Too Late?

Doctors and other medical experts are the people we rely on when we’re ill, to tell us what is wrong and give us the medication we need to make us better. However, sometimes things don’t go smoothly and after being misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, an illness could be much worse than originally thought.

Sometimes, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis could have serious consequences, especially if it means a serious or critical illness developing further and potentially becoming untreatable. In these instances it is possible to make a claim for medical negligence.

Areas where misdiagnosis or late diagnosis are common are:

  • Cancer
  • Orthopaedics
  • Delayed diagnosis because of A&E waiting times
  • Misdiagnosed by a GP over long periods of time

If an illness is misdiagnosed or diagnosis is delayed and this affects your treatment and/ or the severity of your injury, you may be entitled to put in a claim for compensation because of medical negligence.

There are many cases in the news surrounding medical negligence. Falling victim to such a complication can be an incredibly traumatic for you and your family, especially if such negligence means that there’s nothing that can be done for your condition. Treatments for a lot of serious illnesses are just as hard to deal with and just as painful as the condition themselves and therefore put a lot of extra pressure on families that are trying to deal with already difficult situations.

Luckily, if you’re ever affected in this way there are procedures in place that make it easy for you to claim.

Misdiagnosis claims

Claiming for misdiagnosis is one of the most complicated types of claims because it’s up to you to prove that you were misdiagnosed. There are a number of types of misdiagnosis claims that can be made and it will depend entirely on how you’ve been misdiagnosed. If your condition was missed altogether it’s known as complete misdiagnosis; if your condition has now been diagnosed but it was spotted late, allowing it to progress and worsen; there is also an incorrect diagnosis, which could result in the wrong treatments and medications being advised.

The seriousness of your illness is irrelevant at this point, because misdiagnosis could prove disastrous, potentially increasing the pain you’re suffering and prolonging the recovery period. In some cases, it could mean the difference between life and death.

What is negligence?

The majority of the time you’ll be unable to fault the care you receive from any medical professionals. However, every now and again, mistakes are made and you’re entitled to an explanation, regardless of whether it is you or a relative that has suffered.

Every medical professional has a duty of care to their patients and where that duty isn’t fulfilled, and injury or death is caused, it is known as clinical, or medical, negligence.


Although this kind of compensation claim is rather complicated, legal professionals do their best to make claiming for medical misdiagnosis, of any kind, as easy as possible. Claiming for misdiagnosis will depend on you proving that you were misdiagnosed due to negligence and that this misdiagnosis caused suffering, injury and financial hardship.

Unlike other kinds of compensation claims, which can usually be settled out of court, a medical negligence claim means you’re arguing against people who are experts in their field, so you need an expert solicitor on your side.

Successful claims

If you make a successful negligence claim for misdiagnosis then the direct financial impact that the mistakes have had, will be taken into account when compensation is being finalised. This is to ensure that you and your family don’t lose out.

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