Could I Get Compensation For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis?

In this guide, we explore who could make a medical negligence claim following a pneumonia misdiagnosis. This includes looking at the duty of care owed by medical professionals to their patients and how a value could be assigned to your claim.

pneumonia misdiagnosis

Pneumonia misdiagnosis claims guide

Furthermore, we examine how a misdiagnosis could take place and the impact it could have. Evidence is very useful as it can show the harm you suffered and what caused it to happen, so we will discuss the types you could use to support your misdiagnosis claim. 

This guide will also look at the factors that impact how much a settlement can be worth in this kind of claim. We conclude by outlining the benefits of instructing a legal professional on a No Win No Fee basis to provide expert advice. 

Contact our team of advisors now to see if you’re eligible to make a pneumonia misdiagnosis claim by:

Select A Section

  1. Could I Get Compensation For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis?
  2. Why May Doctors Misdiagnose Pneumonia?
  3. Gathering Evidence To Support A Medical Negligence Claim
  4. How Are Settlements For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Valued?
  5. Exploring How No Win No Fee Agreements Could Help You Claim
  6. Where To Find Out More about Misdiagnosed Illness Claims

Could I Get Compensation For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis?

Medical professionals must provide their patients with the correct standard of care, ensuring they don’t cause them to sustain unnecessary harm. If a medical professional fails to adhere to their duty, they could be liable for any avoidable harm you sustain as a result.

When making a medical negligence claim following a pneumonia misdiagnosis, you need to be able to show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • There was a breach of the duty owed
  • You suffered unnecessary harm as a result of the breach

To find out if you can work with a solicitor on our panel, contact our team of advisors now. They can provide you with a free assessment of your claim. 

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

Generally, you have three years from the date of the incident to begin a medical negligence claim, as outlined in the Limitation Act 1980. If this isn’t possible, for example, if you receive an incorrect diagnosis but don’t realise it was incorrect initially, then the three-year time limit would begin from the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge is the date you knew (or would have been expected to know) that the negligence caused your harm.

Some exceptions can apply to this time limit, however. For example, if someone lacks the mental capacity to act for themselves, a litigation friend could be appointed to claim for them. In this situation, no time limit would apply. If the individual gained the mental capacity to act for themselves and no claim has been made for them, then they would have 3 years in which to do so themselves.

Furthermore, if the claimant is under 18, a litigation friend could claim for them at any point until they come of age. At this point, they would have three years to begin a medical negligence claim themselves if this hasn’t been done.

Why May Doctors Misdiagnose Pneumonia?

There are several ways in which a pneumonia misdiagnosis could occur. Below are some examples: 

  • You could provide details of your symptoms that clearly align with pneumonia, but your doctor disregards these and fails to send you for diagnostic tests. According to the NHS, symptoms of pneumonia can include shortness of breath and chest pains.
  • Your patient records might be mixed up, leading to a misdiagnosis which results in a delay in treatment. You’re also given a drug to treat a condition you don’t have, and this medication error makes you ill.
  • Your doctor may request an X-ray but misinterprets the results. This means that they tell you you don’t have pneumonia and you do.

A pneumonia misdiagnosis can affect you in a number of ways. For example, if you are misdiagnosed with pneumonia when you actually have asthma or a condition like lung cancer, then your condition could worsen, resulting in a delay in treatment, a worsened prognosis or a more severe impact on your quality of life as you cope with the condition.

If you suffered a pneumonia misdiagnosis and it was due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. To find out if you can work with a solicitor from our panel, contact one of our advisors now.

Gathering Evidence To Support A Medical Negligence Claim

If you’ve been harmed by a pneumonia misdiagnosis, it is important that you can show that this happened due to a medical professional not providing you with the correct standard of care. Evidence can be very useful in both proving medical negligence occurred and showing how you were affected by it.

Forms of proof could include:

  • Your X-ray scans highlight how they were misunderstood, which led to the wrong treatment or the lack of any altogether
  • Your medical records document your initial misdiagnosis when you first sought treatment 
  • Witness contact details, for example, if someone acted as a chaperone during a doctor’s appointment. They could provide a statement later on in the claim.
  • An investigation could provide evidence of a breach if you report a doctor.

Bolam Test

Sometimes, the Bolam test may be used to help determine whether the medical care that was provided was of an acceptable level. This test entails appropriately trained medical professionals being asked if the correct standard of care was applied. You do not need to worry about arranging this, and whether the Bolam test is used will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

A solicitor on our panel could help build an evidence portfolio to assist your pneumonia misdiagnosis claim if it’s valid. To find out more, contact our team of advisors now. 

How Are Settlements For Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Valued?

Successful medical negligence claims will result in a settlement with up to two heads of claim. The first is general damages, which compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to medical negligence.

The amount awarded is dependent on factors such as:

  • The severity of your harm and how it has impacted your quality of life
  • Any loss of enjoyment you have experienced because of this harm
  • The recovery period from the harm you suffered

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) could be used to help work out how much this head of your claim could be worth. The JCG look at previous court cases and have created valuation brackets for harm of different type and severity. Additionally, your medical report could be acquired so that the harm you suffered could be compared with the JCG.

Due to the individual nature of each case, we cannot guarantee the amount of compensation you could be awarded. However, below is a table with guidance amounts from the JCG, covering different types of harm you could suffer from a pneumonia misdiagnosis.

Compensation Table

Injury Compensation Notes
Lung £100,670 to £135,920

Serious disability in a young person where the disease will probably progress to the point where it’s fatal.
£70,030 to £97,330 Lung cancer resulting in severe pain and impaired function and quality of life.
£54,830 to £70,030 Where lung function worsens significantly and breathing is impaired. Activity and employment will be restricted.
£31,310 to £54,830 The individual requires fairly frequent use of an inhaler and feels a significant effect on their social and working life.
£20,800 to £31,310 This includes wheezing but doesn’t cause serious symptoms, nor does it have a major or permanent effect on the persons life.
£10,640 to £20,800 No effect on working life and there is expected to be a substantial permanent recovery within a few years.
Asthma £43,060 to £65,740 Permanently disabling, with severe impact on persons quality of life.
£26,290 to £43,010 Causes breathing difficulties and the need to use an inhaler occasionally. There will also be some restriction to a persons employment prospects.
£19,200 to £26,290 Causing wheezing and affecting a persons life but with a substantial recovery expected within a few years.
£10,640 to £19,200 Asthma like symptoms that are relatively mild.

Special Damages In Clinical Negligence Claims

The second head of claim is special damages, which compensate you for past and future losses incurred because of harm you suffered from medical negligence. You should keep as much evidence as possible to ensure you’re fully compensated for your losses. 

Examples of evidence you may want to use include:

  • Payslips that show the loss of earnings you experienced due to being incapable of working 
  • Receipts that prove the payments you had to make for treatments that you couldn’t get for free 
  • Tickets that show the public transport you took from being unable to drive

Contact our team of advisors today to see if you’re eligible to make a medical negligence claim. If so, you could be connected with a solicitor on our panel to help you gather evidence. 

Exploring How No Win No Fee Agreements Could Help You Claim

You may be considering appointing a legal professional to provide expert advice with your pneumonia misdiagnosis claim. If so, you may want to consider instructing a No Win No Fee solicitor who offers their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement

The benefits of such an agreement include:

  • Having no upfront fees to begin working with a solicitor
  • Not having to pay any legal fees to keep the case progressing
  • Your solicitor taking a small percentage of the compensation you’re awarded if you win, which is legally capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, called a success fee
  • Not having to pay a success fee if your misdiagnosis claim is unsuccessful

Our panel of solicitors offer their services under this kind of agreement and have years of experience working with these types of claims. What’s more, they only agree to work with you if they feel your case has a good chance of success, meaning your time will be used effectively.

If you would like to find out the validity of your pneumonia misdiagnosis claim, contact our team of advisors now by:

Where To Find Out More about Misdiagnosed Illness Claims

We hope this guide has helped answer your questions regarding potential pneumonia misdiagnosis claims. For more of our useful articles, please look below:

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Writer LE

Publisher NC