Wrong Diagnosis of a Medical Condition

Doctor´s surgeries and hospitals are very busy places, with staff working on shift systems to cover every hour when the medical centre´s services may be required. All medical practitioners and their support staff do a generally magnificent job caring for our health, but sometimes, in this overworked environment, important instructions fail to be communicated from one medical practitioner to another, and mistakes can be made – leading to the unnecessary harm or suffering of a patient.

Such a scenario could lead to a wrong diagnosis of an illness, when the mislaying of important x-rays and test results may obstruct a medical practitioner from making an accurate assessment of your condition, and leaving him to second guess the illness your symptoms are demonstrating. The medical practitioner himself may be tired or under stress, and miss vital signs that would have led him to an accurate diagnosis.

There are many genuine reasons and excuses for the wrong diagnosis of an illness, and it could be any one of many people involved in your health care who is liable. However, when you are the sufferer in any of these circumstances, and the wrong diagnosis of your illness leads to you sustaining an injury or a deterioration in your health, you are entitled to make a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation.

Typical Wrong Diagnosis Claims for Compensation

The most frequent cases of wrong diagnosis occur in the doctor´s surgery, with breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer being amongst the most serious incidences and causes of wrong diagnosis claims for compensation. This is usually due to medical practitioners over-relying on age as a predictive factor in cancer cases, and offering unwarranted reassurance that a breast lump, for example, is due to a cyst or fibrocystic tissue rather than a malignancy.

In the accident and emergency departments of a hospital, the wrong diagnosis of a patient can lead to delayed treatment and the potential for long-term health issues, or the deterioration of an existing condition. Wrongly diagnosed heart attacks, strokes and cases of pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung) are the major reason for wrong diagnosis claims for compensation. Alarmingly, there is also a very high rate in the wrong diagnosis of children suffering from meningitis and appendicitis – both exceptionally serious conditions and potentially life-threatening.

Making a Wrong Diagnosis Claim for Compensation

If you believe that you have been injured or your health has deteriorated due to the wrong diagnosis of an illness, you should speak with a solicitor in regard to making a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation.  You should also speak to a solicitor about a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation if you have recently lost a loved one and the autopsy report showed that a fatal illness had been misdiagnosed or overlooked. Certain studies have shown that, on average, almost one-in-four major diagnoses are missed.

A wrong diagnosis claim for compensation is dealt with through the courts system rather than the Injuries Board Ireland. A specialised personal injury claims solicitor will source the most relevant medical expert for your condition (or that of the deceased), and you will have to undergo an examination to satisfy the expert that you did indeed suffer an injury or deterioration in your condition due to a wrong diagnosis. The medical expert will support your solicitor´s arguments in court and as that may determine the value of the award for your wrong diagnosis claim, it is essential that you use the services of a solicitor experienced in such cases.

Procedures in a Wrong Diagnosis Claim for Compensation

Once you have advised your solicitor that you wish to make a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation, and undergone a medical examination, your solicitor will write to each potential defendant, summarising that you intend to make a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation and requesting the relevant case records. If your case is a particularly strong one, the letter will also invite the defendant to make a settlement and avoid the need to go to court.

It is not the medical practitioner who pays the compensation for a wrong diagnosis claim, but their medical insurance company or the Health and Safety Executive – so you need not have any concerns about the financial effect your claim will have on a doctor who has looked after your family for many years. However, because an insurance company is likely to be the respondent, it could take some time to get a reply from the initial request for disclosure. The best medical experts are constantly in demand,  so your wrong diagnosis claim for compensation could take a considerable time to be successfully resolved. It is in your best interests to contact a specialised personal injury claims solicitor as soon as you or a loved one are out of immediate physical danger.

To make this as simple as possible, we have established a free advice telephone service –  – which you are invited to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will be able to discuss your personal circumstances with a specialised personal injury claims solicitor, experienced in wrong diagnosis claims for compensation, and receive practical and impartial advice in total confidentiality. There is no obligation on you to proceed with a wrong diagnosis claim for compensation once you have spoken with us. We also operate a call-back service for your convenience.  So if it is not a suitable time to call us right now, please leave your contact details in the call-back form and one of our team will be back in touch.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.