Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer

This article contains information about claiming compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer when you – or somebody close to you – have discovered that you have contracted the disease after a medical professional had previously overlooked indicators that symptoms of cancer were present. As you will see from the information below, no two claims for a failure to diagnose cancer are the same, and you should always discuss the individual circumstances of your cancer misdiagnosis with an experienced Irish solicitor to determine that you have a claim for a failure to diagnose cancer which is worth your while to pursue.

Most people are aware that the Irish health service is under-funded and under-resourced, yet mostly provides an excellent service to those who need it. In rare occasions mistakes are made due to pressure of work or human error and test results may not be properly recorded or interpreted, or the standard practice of care not maintained – resulting in the failure to diagnose a cancerous condition. Compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer cannot reverse the terrible condition you have developed, but it can improve the standard of care you receive and your quality of life while supporting your family when you are no longer able to work.

Establishing Medical Negligence for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer

The late identification of cancer does not necessarily mean that medical negligence has occurred. In order to establish medical negligence and be eligible to claim compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer it has to be shown that there was a deviation from the standard practice of care which led to the error. It also has to be proven that had the error not have occurred, your condition would not have deteriorated to the extent that it had when the cancer was correctly diagnosed. Effectively, there has to be an “unfavourable outcome” before it is possible to claim compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer.

In order to establish that medical negligence has been responsible for a failure to diagnose cancer, your solicitor would engage the services of an expert oncologist, who would study your medical notes and ascertain whether the condition should have been identified at an earlier stage and, if so, whether an earlier diagnosis would have prevented the deterioration of your condition to the stage at which it is now. If it can be proven that an injury has been sustained which “in the circumstances and at the time” could have been avoided, you will be able to make a claim for failure to diagnose cancer compensation.

Procedures for Claiming Failure to Diagnose Cancer Compensation

The procedure for claiming failure to diagnose cancer compensation is that your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the negligent hospital, clinic or surgery, advising them that you are making a claim for a failure to diagnose cancer and supporting your claim with the evidence collected of medical negligence. If your claim for a failure to diagnose cancer is particularly strong, your solicitor will invite the negligent hospital, clinic or surgery to make an offer of compensation – as medical negligence compensation claims for a failure to diagnose cancer are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland.

If medical negligence is admitted, and an offer of compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer is forthcoming, your solicitor will advise you whether the offer represents a fair and adequate settlement of compensation or whether it would be recommended to negotiate for more. Court action will only be necessary if the negligent hospital, clinic or surgery denies liability for your cancer misdiagnosis or disputes how much failure to diagnose cancer compensation your solicitor believes you are entitled to.

How Much Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer?

How much compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer you will be entitled to will depend on how long between medical examinations it was before the cancer was identified and how much your condition had deteriorated as a result. Both the physical and the emotional consequences of your negligent care will be accounted for in a failure to diagnose cancer claim, and it is advisable that you maintain a diary to record the occasions after your cancer is correctly diagnosed on which the consequences of late diagnosis leave you unable to complete day to day activities or enjoy leisure and social pursuits.

You will also be able to recover financial costs – both past and future – in a failure to diagnose cancer claim for compensation. These costs can relate to any expenses you have incurred in the pursuit of medical treatment for your illness (even before it was correctly diagnosed), the cost of home care if required, and other sundry costs that you might have incurred. Any lost income due to the negligent care you received can also be recovered in a claim for a failure to diagnose cancer compensation for the period during which you are unable to work as well as a consideration for your reduced life expectancy.

Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer and the Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations in Ireland allows you two years from the date on which you discover that were the victim of a failure to diagnose cancer to make a claim for compensation. Even though it may not yet be established that the failure to diagnose cancer was attributable to medical negligence or that you suffered any significant deterioration as a result, it is still in your best interests to discuss your entitlement to failure to diagnose compensation with a solicitor as soon as possible.

Further Information about Compensation for a Failure to Diagnose Cancer

If you believe that you – or somebody close to you – have suffered an injury or the deterioration of a condition which could have been prevented had cancer been correctly diagnosed, you are invited to call our freephone Solicitors Advisory Panel and speak directly to an experienced Irish solicitor. Our solicitor will discuss with you the possibility of making a claim for failure to diagnose cancer compensation and try to establish wherever possible that you have an failure to diagnose cancer claim which is worth your while to pursue.

After speaking with our solicitor you are under no obligation to proceed with a claim for compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer, but it is in your best interests to seek professional legal advice at the first practical opportunity. If it is established that you have a viable failure to diagnose cancer claim, it could take a considerable amount of time to determine the full consequences of your medical injury and how much compensation for a failure to diagnose cancer you could be entitled to. To rush a claim, and be undercompensated for a late diagnosis, could result in receiving insufficient compensation to pay for the care you need to have as comfortable a life as possible.