Medical misdiagnosis can happen when a doctor or health care professional fails to diagnose or wrongly diagnoses an illness, disease or condition. This may lead to incorrect or delayed treatment and cause further damage and loss to the patient.
For example, a person may have a biopsy for skin cancer but the pathologist fails to recognise signs of cancer that another physician could have reasonably recognised.
In some cases the misdiagnosis can be a result of medical negligence and so the patient may be able to claim compensation for damage caused.
Medical negligence claims for misdiagnosis
Not all instances of misdiagnosis are cases of medical negligence - even the best doctors can, and do, make errors in diagnosis. There has to be clear evidence that shows;
- A similarly trained medical professional would not have made the same mistake, AND
- Harm or injury has been caused as a result of the misdiagnosis.
Both of these criteria have to be satisfied for a claim to be successful and compensation paid out
Making a compensation claim
Medical misdiagnosis, and medical negligence more generally, is often quite a complex area of law, requiring robust evidence. Before undertaking a claim we will work with you through the details of your situation to work out if you have a claim. For a general overview of the process for bringing a claim for compensation, see our step-by-step guide below:
If you believe you have been injured or suffered loss as a result of misdiagnosis, get in touch with Shine via phone or the contact form below.
Common questions about Medical misdiagnosis of illness and disease
If another doctor with similar experience and training would have made the same mistake, then it is unlikely to be considered negligence.
In cases where negligence may be an issue, there must be further harm or injury as a result of the negligence for compensation to be sought.
That being said, all cases are different. If you believe you may have a claim, get in touch with our team who will be able to make an assessment of your case.
- Cancers such as lung, cervical, pancreatic and skin cancers
- Meningitis, where both viral and bacterial forms can be mistaken for the flu. Bacterial meningitis can be life threatening.
- Heart attacks being mistaken for panic attacks or indigestion
- Staph infections can be misdiagnosed as insect or spider bites, herpes, acne and other skin issues. Bacterial infections can become serious, even deadly, if not treated correctly.
- Strokes may be wrongly identified as migraines or other relatively minor issues in younger patients.
If the medical practitioner or hospital acted in a way considered to be acceptable in the opinion of a large number of respected medical practitioners in that same field, then you may not have a claim.
It’s possible for a claim to be made outside the prescribed time limits if the injury or harm was not immediately obvious.
You should call us to discuss the situation as soon as you become aware that you may have been subjected to improper medical treatment. This will ensure you have time on your side and we can get you the best possible outcome.
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
- Past and future loss of earnings
- Care and help provided by friends or family
- Paid care and help such as nurses, gardeners, etc
- Past and future medical expenses, such as surgery and equipment
- Home and vehicle modification expenses
- Costs associated with a trustee managing your money
The legal fees at the end depend on the work required to successfully win your case, so the amount can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Your lawyer will give you a guide as to the expected fees once they understand your case.
It doesn't matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office - we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.
Our compensation experts are in the following locations:
New South Wales
- Gold Coast
- Hervey Bay
- North Lakes
- Stones Corner
- Sunshine Coast
- Toowoomba - Kitchener Street
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