Can I Claim Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke?

Did you receive a standard of medical care that fell below an acceptable level? Was your stroke misdiagnosed as a result? Did this misdiagnosis cause you to suffer more than you would have if you’d received the correct level of care? If so, you may be able to claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of a stroke.

Misdiagnosis of a stroke

Misdiagnosis of a stroke

If you suffer from a stroke, it’s very important that you get treatment as soon as you can. A medical professional failing to diagnose your stroke, or mistakenly diagnosing it as something else, could cause serious long-term problems and may even be fatal. 

It is important to note that just because your stroke was missed or misdiagnosed does not mean that the medical professional who treated you was negligent. Sometimes, complications can arise even when the care you receive is of an acceptable level.

But if your stroke has been misdiagnosed because you received care that fell below the standard expected, this would be classed as negligence. If you can show that this negligence directly resulted in your condition worsening more than it would have if you’d received the right care, you may be able to claim.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Our expert team of advisers would be happy to have a chat with you about your misdiagnosis of a stroke. If you have a valid claim, they could connect you with a lawyer from our panel. They can then discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you and assess how much stroke misdiagnosis compensation you could receive.

To contact our team of advisers, you can:

  • Call them on 020 3870 4868 to chat with them today.
  • Fill out our online claims form to receive a response at your earliest convenience.
  • Chat with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply. 

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke
  2. What Is The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke?
  3. What Is A Stroke?
  4. Types Of Strokes
  5. Calculate Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke
  6. Warning Signs And Symptoms Of A Stroke
  7. What Could Cause A Stroke?
  8. Diagnosing And Treating Strokes
  9. Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke
  10. How Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke Could Impact You
  11. Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke By The NHS
  12. Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits
  13. My Stroke Was Misdiagnosed, What Should I Do?
  14. Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke On A No Win No Fee Basis
  15. Related Guides
  16. FAQs About The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke

Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke 

The article will first explain what a stroke is, as well as what it means for a stroke to be misdiagnosed. Next, there will be a section about the types of strokes that can occur. 

We will also look at how compensation for a stroke misdiagnosis claim is calculated. To illustrate how much you could be owed, we will use a compensation table and look at the different kinds of damages that could be awarded to you. 

Furthermore, there’ll be a section about the effects of misdiagnosed stroke symptoms, including how it can affect your health. There will also be an explanation of how to make a clinical negligence claim against the NHS. 

To summarise, there will be some guidance for what steps you can take after you’ve suffered a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a stroke. There will also be a related guides section to provide you with additional resources. Finally, there’s a frequently asked questions segment, so you leave this article with as many queries answered as possible.                             

What Is The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke?

When you suffer from a suspected stroke, it is advised that you seek medical attention right away. This is so that a medical professional can diagnose your symptoms and ensure that you receive the correct treatment.

However, sometimes the symptoms of a stroke are not picked up on, which is referred to as a “missed diagnosis”. In other cases, the stroke symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to another health condition, which is referred to as a misdiagnosis. Each of these could prevent you from receiving essential treatment for your stroke.

Public Health England has released statistics related to the first instances of stroke estimates for England, which we have included below. As it shows, the number of strokes per 1,000 population rises after the age of 40. Under the age of 40, the rate of strokes in men and women is similar, but this diverges after this age.

Misdiagnosis of a stroke statistics graph

Stroke statistics graph – courtesy of Public Health England

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. They can be life-threatening and require medical attention as soon as symptoms begin to show. The earlier medical attention is sought, the less severe the damage is likely to be. 

As we age, the chance of us suffering from a stroke increases. Atherosclerosis is when our arteries are filled with fatty deposits. As we age our arteries become more narrow, meaning that they are more likely to be blocked. Your risk of stroke is also higher if you’ve already had a stroke or heart attack. 

A stroke cuts off blood supply to part of your brain, and so it can affect how the body works.  Ultimately, the severity of the effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that’s damaged and how large the damaged part of the brain is. For this reason, it’s important that the proper diagnostic tests are performed as soon as possible to determine what treatment is needed. 

Types Of Strokes

There are three different types of strokes:

  • Ischaemic stroke: This is the most common form of stroke. It occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. 
  • Haemorrhagic stroke: This type of stroke is caused by bleeding around or in the brain. It happens when a weakened blood vessel in the skull bursts. 
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA): This kind of stroke is known as a mini-stroke. It’s similar to a regular stroke, except the symptoms are only present for a short amount of time. This is because the blood supply being cut off to the brain is only temporary. A mini-stroke can last for a few minutes to hours, and the symptoms may not last long. 

It is important that you seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of a stroke. Even if your symptoms go away, indicating a TIA, this could indicate that you’re at risk of having a full stroke in the near future. 

Calculate Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke

You may have noticed that some websites offer a compensation calculator for stroke misdiagnosis. These can be useful tools; however, they often fail to gather the scope of information needed to accurately value your claim. Instead, we’ve compiled the latest figures from the Judicial College Guidelines to give you an idea of how much some injuries are valued. This is a publication that includes guideline compensation amounts for a range of different injuries. 

The figures below are included for example purposes; the actual amount that your claim is worth might be different. 

Injury:Severity:Notes:Compensation:
Mental AnguishSevereA fear of impending death.£4,380
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereThe individual can’t work or live the same as they did at pre-trauma level.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModeratePerson has mostly recovered and any effects leftover aren’t substantial. £7,680 to £21,730
Injuries Affecting SightTotal Blindness£252,180
Injuries Affecting SightComplete Loss of Sight in One EyeSympathetic ophthalmia. Eye scarring in the region of the eye which is not sufficiently serious to be above this bracket. £46,240 to £51,460
Foot InjuriesAmputation of Both FeetTreated similarly to below-knee amputation of both legs because they both have a loss of an ankle joint.£158,970 to £189,110
Foot InjuriesAmputation of One Foot Loss of an ankle joint£78,800 to £102,890

The figures shown above relate to general damages. General damages compensate for the injury itself and the physical and mental impact it’s had on your daily life. The awarded bracket depends on the severity of your injuries and the length of time it takes you to recover. 

Special damages compensate for the financial effect the injuries have had on you. For example, if you paid out of pocket to travel to and from medical appointments. However, it will be difficult to receive special earnings if you don’t provide evidence. An example of this evidence could be payslips to prove you suffered a loss of earnings due to your injuries. 

It is important to note that the general and special damages of a medical negligence claim will only reflect the harm caused to you by the negligence, not the stroke itself. For instance, it’s likely that you would have had some pain and suffering, so your general damages will reflect any additional harm caused to you by the misdiagnosis.

Warning Signs And Symptoms Of A Stroke

The symptoms of a stroke are remembered by the acronym ‘FAST’. These symptoms are:

  • Face: The face sometimes drops to one side, resulting in the individual possibly being unable to smile. Their eye and face may also drop.
  • Arms: It may be difficult for the patient to lift both arms and keep them in the air, as one arm is too weak or numb. 
  • Speech: The person’s speech may be disorientated or slurred. Sometimes they won’t be able to talk at all and may struggle to decipher what you’re saying to them.
  • Time: It’s time to seek medical attention by calling 999 as soon as you see these symptoms. 

It’s important to be aware of these symptoms, especially if you live with or care for someone who is at high risk of a stroke. However, there are some different symptoms that a stroke may cause. These can include confusion, problems with balance, difficulty swallowing and sudden, severe headaches.

What Could Cause A Stroke?

Some conditions that can increase the likelihood of a stroke include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure): High blood pressure puts more strain on your blood vessels, which could cause a haemorrhage and result in a stroke. You can find out if you have high blood pressure by using a blood pressure kit at home or visiting your GP to have it checked.
  • High cholesterol: High cholesterol can occur when too much cholesterol (a fatty substance) is present in your blood. This can block the blood vessels, leading to less blood supply to the brain. You can lower your risks of high cholesterol by exercising more frequently and developing a healthier diet. 
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat): This is a heart condition that causes an abnormally fast and irregular heartbeat. You can measure your heart rate by placing your fingers on your neck and checking your pulse. The heart contracts randomly, not giving the heart time to relax in between contractions. This puts a strain on the heart, increasing the risk of a stroke.
  • Diabetes: Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your pancreas no longer makes insulin. Having too much sugar in our blood can damage blood vessels. This can then result in a blood clot, which can lead to a stroke.

In some cases, lifestyle changes can address conditions that may lead to a higher likelihood of suffering a stroke. For instance, excessive food consumption and smoking can narrow your arteries prematurely.

Diagnosing And Treating Strokes

The diagnosis of a stroke tends to be done via physical testing and looking at images of the brain from a scan. The medical professional will usually perform a blood test to look at your blood sugar level and cholesterol. They may also check your pulse to see if you have an irregular heartbeat. 

Even if you are exhibiting clear symptoms of a stroke or TIA, a brain scan should always be performed. They can determine:

  • Whether a blocked artery is the cause of the stroke (ischaemic stroke) or a blood vessel bursting (haemorrhagic stroke)
  • Which part of the brain has been affected
  • The severity of the stroke

Treating a stroke

Treating a stroke as soon as possible can help prevent long-term disability and fatality. Some people will need to take medicine to treat the stroke, whereas other people may need surgery. 

There are different treatments available depending on the type of stroke you experience:

  • Treatment for ischaemic strokes: This kind of stroke tends to be treated using medication, which helps to dissolve blood clots and enables blood to flow to your brain. In a small number of severe cases, a thrombectomy is performed to remove the clot. This involves inserting a catheter into an artery and passing a small device through it into the brain. The device can then remove the clot. 
  • Treatment for haemorrhagic strokes: Some people with this type of stroke will take medicine to lower high blood pressure and decrease the risk of future strokes. If you’ve been taking anticoagulants before your stroke, you may be given medication to reverse the effects of these and reduce the risk of you bleeding further. However, some patients may require surgery to remove blood from the brain and repair blood vessels that have burst. 

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke are important in reducing the chance of long-term problems like brain damage. You might also need further treatment as you recover, such as an oxygen mask if you have low oxygen levels or a feeding tube if you have difficulty swallowing.

Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke

If you suffer a stroke, receiving a prompt diagnosis is really important to increase the likelihood of a smooth recovery and decrease the likelihood of future strokes. If a stroke is misdiagnosed or there is a missed diagnosis, this could lead to extensive and permanent damage to the brain.

The misdiagnosis of a stroke could happen if the symptoms are mistaken for less serious conditions. This might result in the proper diagnostic tests not being arranged, resulting in your stroke being missed completely. 

In other cases, your doctor might arrange for the right tests to be done but fail to interpret the results properly. This could result in them incorrectly diagnosing your condition as something else or missing it entirely. Furthermore, the results of a test could be lost or mixed up with another patient, resulting in you getting the wrong diagnosis or no diagnosis at all.

For more information on whether your stroke misdiagnosis constitutes medical negligence, why not contact our team today? One of our advisors will be happy to take your call and answer any questions you might have.

How Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke Could Impact You

As we have already mentioned, it is extremely important that you receive treatment in order to reduce the damage caused by a stroke. Failure to receive this treatment could result in permanent brain damage or, in some cases, can even be fatal. 

If you’re left with permanent brain damage or health conditions after a stroke, this could mean that you’re unable to return to work. It may also mean that you need additional care that you would not have needed in the event that your condition was diagnosed. You may also need adaptations to your home or vehicle to help you cope.

Even if you suffer from a stroke that does not cause you brain damage or permanent injury, it could indicate that you’re more likely to have another one. For this reason, it’s really important that your stroke is correctly diagnosed, as this means that your health can be monitored properly.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of advisers to receive advice and guidance regarding your situation. They will be happy to speak with you about making a claim for a stroke misdiagnosis. 

Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke By The NHS

In order to make a claim against the NHS for medical negligence, you need to prove that a medical practitioner breached their duty of care and that this breach of duty directly caused your injury or caused your condition to worsen more than it would have if you’d been correctly diagnosed. For treatment to be considered negligent, the medical practitioner must have carried out actions that were below acceptable professional standards.

In order to determine whether or not the misdiagnosis was a result of negligence, the courts will usually administer something called the Bolam test. This test asks a panel of medical professionals who specialise in the same field whether they thought the treatment was of the right standard. If they decide it was of the right standard, the doctor would not be considered negligent, even if they misdiagnosed the patient’s stroke. 

If the Bolam test indicates that a panel of the doctor’s peers would have taken a different course of action, however, then the doctor could be considered negligent. This could be grounds for a medical negligence claim if it can be shown that this negligence directly caused you to suffer more than you would have if you’d received the right diagnosis.

Next, you must prove causation. Causation is the proof that the harm the claimant has suffered is directly related to the negligence of the health practitioner. If the harm would have occurred despite the substandard care administered, you won’t be entitled to compensation.

If you would like to know more about what constitutes medical negligence and whether you could claim following a stroke misdiagnosis by the NHS, please get in touch with our team. 

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

The general medical negligence claims time limit is three years. That’s three years from the exact date that the negligence occurred or from when you realised that your condition was caused by negligence. The latter is referred to as the “date of knowledge”. 

If you’re under 18, this time limit begins from your 18th birthday. Before this, a litigation friend can make a claim on your behalf at any point up until you turn 18. If you’re mentally incapacitated, someone can be appointed as a litigation friend to file the claim for you. If you regain your mental capacity, the 3-year limit begins; otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended. 

It’s important that you start a medical negligence claim within these time limits to prevent your claim from becoming statute-barred. You can contact our claims team today to receive free legal advice.

My Stroke Was Misdiagnosed, What Should I Do?

If you’ve suffered a misdiagnosis of a stroke you should seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, your medical report can be used as evidence to support a claim. 

Next, if you want to make a claim you should collect as much evidence as possible to show how the misdiagnosis has affected you. Medical records from follow-up appointments that show how your condition is worsening could be used to show the impact that the medical negligence has had. You can also collect evidence of any out-of-pocket costs like the cost of professional care or adaptations to your home. 

Finally, it’s recommended that you seek the help of a medical negligence lawyer. Not only can their guidance and expertise make the process much easier and smoother, but they may also help you get more money from your injury claim.

Claim For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke On A No Win No Fee Basis 

A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your lawyer stating that you have no obligation to pay your solicitor’s fees if your case fails. You also don’t have to pay them any upfront fees in order for them to start work on your claim or while it’s ongoing. 

If your case succeeds, your personal injury lawyer will deduct a small percentage of your compensation that is capped by law. This will be agreed upon before your case starts. 

As well as negligence claims, UK Law can help with personal injury claims, too. This might include a car accident, a slip, trip or fall in a public place or an accident in the workplace. You can contact our claims team today by:

  • Calling them on 020 3870 4868. One of our advisers will be readily available to have a chat with you. 
  • Filling out our online claims form. An adviser will get back to you at whatever time best suits you.
  • Chatting with an adviser via our online chat pop-up box to receive free legal advice instantly.

Related Guides

Reporting a doctor for medical negligence 

Claiming for an operation gone wrong 

Claiming compensation for dental negligence 

The Stroke Association 

NHS Blood Clots

The Care Quality Commission 

FAQs About The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke 

What can a stroke be misdiagnosed as?

A stroke could be misdiagnosed as Bell’s Palsy. Or a seizure, a migraine or a condition like Multiple Sclerosis. 

Can a mini-stroke be misdiagnosed?

A mini-stroke could be diagnosed as a migraine in some instances, as a stroke can cause severe headaches. 

Thank you for reading our guide about the misdiagnosis of a stroke.

Guide by HL

Checked by NC