How long does it take to make a claim for lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
There are a number of factors which can influence how long it takes to make a claim for lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation and, without making having an assessment of your personal circumstances, it is impossible to answer your question accurately.
The first part of any assessment would be to establish that you are entitled to claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of lung cancer. A solicitor would organise a review of your medical records to determine that the original (wrong) diagnosis you received was due to the negligence of the doctor who attended you and that, “at the time and in the circumstances” a competent doctor would have correctly identified the signs of lung cancer and commenced the appropriate treatment.
A medical specialist would also have to determine that the cancer has developed due to the original misdiagnosis of lung cancer and that the deterioration in your condition was avoidable. This means that if the correct diagnosis was made within a short time of the original (wrong) misdiagnosis, it is quite possible that there has been very little change in your condition – and consequently it may not be worth your while to make a claim for lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation.
If, however, an avoidable deterioration in your condition is identified and attributed to the misdiagnosis of lung cancer, you will be able to claim compensation for the consequences of the misdiagnosis including a reduced life expectancy, the pain and suffering you are likely to experience throughout treatment for the advanced stages of cancer and the effect that the misdiagnosis has on your physical enjoyment of life and psychological well-being.
Establishing that an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of your physician might not take very long, at which point your solicitor would send a Letter of Claim to the doctor who misdiagnosed your condition, advising him or her that a claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of lung cancer was being made against them and supporting the letter with the evidence collected by the medical specialist. Your doctor – or more frequently their medical insurance company – has 28 days to acknowledge the letter and a further 90 days to inform your solicitor whether or not they accept liability for the avoidable deterioration of your condition due to the misdiagnosis of lung cancer.
Provided that your solicitor has compiled a sufficiently strong case against your doctor, there should be no issues with liability and, once an admission of liability has been received, your solicitor will enter into negotiations with the medical insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation. The whole process could be completed within six months but, as mentioned above, until you have undergone an assessment of your personal situation it will be impossible to give an accurate answer to your question.
Ideally, you should discuss your entitlement to claim lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation with an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.