Being diagnosed with cancer is a hammer blow which can send the strongest of people reeling. Despite the fact that recovery rates are now better than they’ve ever been, the news that you have cancer is still something which impacts hugely upon both the sufferer and their family, with the treatment required often being lengthy, intense and unpleasant in its’ own right.
In the vast majority of cases the medical treatment given to people who have cancer is exemplary, with staff from surgeons and doctors through to nurses, care assistants and pharmacists acting in a competent and committed manner. Occasionally, however, mistakes are bound to happen and given the seriousness of a condition such as cancer, these mistakes can have huge ramifications.
If your cancer was misdiagnosed, spotted later than it ought to have been or even missed altogether, the effects can be drastic or, in some cases, even fatal. Even if a cancer would, in all probability, have proved to be fatal no matter what treatment was offered, the fact that it was spotted later than it ought to have been may well knock months or even years off the patient’s life expectancy.
Anyone who’s had a loved one taken in this way will confirm, in no uncertain terms, just how precious each one of these extra moments would have been. Late diagnosis may also result in the treatment required being more invasive, painful and distressing than would have been the case if the cancer was spotted earlier.
Cancer is normally diagnosed via the likes of blood tests, biopsies, x rays and other scans or any combination of these actions.
If the tests aren’t carried out soon enough or if the results are misinterpreted the effects upon the way the illness plays out can be huge. If you feel that your cancer was misdiagnosed, diagnosed late or missed altogether then you may be in a position to make a claim for compensation. As you battle with illness, the thought of launching legal action is probably the last thing on your mind, but this is precisely why you should employ the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Medical negligence cases are amongst the most complex compensation claims there are, with the evidence often being highly technical in nature and cases sometimes taking many months or years to get through the courts. The medical establishment, in all its forms, is often reluctant to admit liability and it requires someone who has fought many such cases to get to the truth of the matter. Any compensation awarded will take your distress and suffering into account as well as paying an amount to reimburse you for expenses which arise as a direct result of your illness.
If the worst comes to the worst, the money you win will enable the loved ones you leave behind to at least concentrate on recovering from their loss without having to undergo additional financial stress. A successful claim will consist of proving that the treatment you received fell below the standards you might reasonably expect, and that this failure resulted in the suffering and financial loss detailed in your case.
The compensation awarded in a case of this type will be calculated by taking into account the type and severity of an injury you’ve received, combined with any financial losses which have been incurred as a direct result of the negligent medical treatment. Losses of this kind might include medical bills, travel costs and any earnings lost through enforced absence from work, both in the immediate aftermath of the negligence and in the future.
If you think that you may have been the victim of this kind of neglect then call a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438. If they feel that you have a genuine case for compensation then a personal injury lawyer will work long and hard on your behalf. They’ll fight the negligence and leave you free to fight the cancer.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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