Medical Negligence claims

Bowel cancer misdiagnosis claims

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    Our specialist solicitors provide support to people who have received substandard treatment for bowel cancer or suffered delays in their diagnosis.

    We are experts in this field and understand how difficult considering a claim is when you’re suffering the worry and sadness related to bowel cancer (or colon cancer as it sometimes known).

    Our team supports people to claim compensation for the pain and suffering related to delayed or negligent treatment of colon, rectal or bowel cancer, but also to access the best available care and treatment services to cope with their situation.

    Heartbreakingly, failures in treatment or diagnosis of colon cancer can lead to severe ongoing bowel damage, health issues or even fatality. No amount of money can offset that pain but it can sometimes help with the difficult practical problems that arise as a result.

    Our specialist negligence solicitors offer no win no fee arrangements to ensure people do not have to face worries about financing a claim at an already difficult time. Please do get in touch for an informal initial chat and allow us to advise on how we can help.

    How do I know if I have a bowel cancer misdiagnosis claim?

    Bowel cancer can be difficult to spot, with symptoms being similar to other conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

    To have a claim for misdiagnosed bowel cancer or colon cancer, it needs to be shown that there was medical negligence in your care and those treating you did not act as they reasonably should have done.

    One common cause of bowel cancer negligence happens when a GP fails to follow NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) referral guidelines.

    In addition to clinical negligence, it must be shown that the outcome for the patient was changed or the prognosis different as a result. In some cases a cancer is deemed to have been so aggressive that treatment could not have changed the outcome even had it been spotted sooner. Often a delay will need to run to a number of months to be deemed to have fundamentally changed the outcome.

    Changed outcomes that could see a person qualifying as having a legitimate bowel cancer claim may include having to undergo more aggressive or extensive treatment as a result of a delay in diagnosis. If a loved one dies due to a delay in diagnosis – or their life is shorter than it could reasonably have been expected to be if a diagnosis was made sooner – their family may have grounds for a cancer misdiagnosis claim.

    It may also be possible to claim if the treatment received was substandard or delayed beyond a reasonable timescale.

    Errors that may lead to a valid bowel cancer compensation claim include failures to:

    • carry out a proper examination
    • gather an accurate patient or family history
    • refer to a specialist
    • correctly interpret test results
    • identify cancer as the cause of symptoms.

    Failures in care for someone with bowel cancer often lead to additional hardship for them and their families. The person may be in chronic pain and unable to be fully involved in family life or work. Compensation gained by our medical negligence solicitors on your behalf can help to alleviate some of the strain and hardship.

    Bowel surgery claims

    Treatment for bowel cancer sometimes involves surgery. As with all surgery there are risks attached – and they should be fully explained to you before you opt to have an operation.

    If the risks are not fully explained, there are complications during surgery or issues as a result of it due to substandard care, then compensation may be available to you.

    Failures during bowel surgery can be devastating and debilitating. They may result in ongoing pain, worsening of your condition or could even lead to a fatality.

    Our specialist solicitors can help you to understand if what you have been through is abnormal and may be the result of negligence. Where that is the case we can help you to pursue a compensation claim to help offset the additional hardship you may have suffered. We can put you in touch with medical specialists who may also be able to help alleviate the damage or help you to cope better with the circumstances you now face.

    No win no fee bowel cancer claims

    We offer no win no fee solutions for people who have a valid claim, but cannot afford to be exposed to risk if, for some reason, the claim is not upheld.

    We can discuss options with you to ensure you do not have to worry about being worse off if a compensation claim is declined.

    We’re happy to explain the options available to you and provide all the information you need to decide how best to proceed, Do get in touch for an informal chat. Our solicitors have also produced a ‘claiming damages for clinical negligence’ guide that you are welcome to look at.

    Misdiagnosed bowel cancer symptoms

    Symptoms of bowel cancer, or rectum or colon cancer as it may be known, can replicate the symptoms of many other illnesses which can make it difficult to spot.

    There is a claim for compensation where clinicians should have reasonably been expected to detect cancer. In this case medical negligence may be found.

    Symptoms that can indicate bowel cancer include:

    • blood in poo or bleeding from the bottom
    • unexplained weight loss
    • extreme tiredness
    • pain or lumps in the tummy
    • persistent and unexplained changes in the frequency of needing to poo or the consistency of it.

    These symptoms may not indicate cancer.  They are also associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions such as constipation, diarrhoea, piles or anal fissures.

    There is guidance over when a person should be referred for cancer investigation, based on who is seen to be at most risk, but people who fall outside of those brackets still need to be aware of the symptoms and must be taken seriously by their GP. Where a clinician fails to act as it should reasonably be expected – in terms of seeing the warning signs related to symptoms or referring for more tests, for example – there may be a claim for bowel cancer misdiagnosis.

    Can a colonoscopy miss cancer?

    Colonoscopies are usually very reliable procedures, with many taking place every day and providing accurate results.

    In some cases colonoscopies can go wrong. There can be problems during the procedure or with the analysis of the results that result in medical negligence and cancer misdiagnosis.

    It’s vital that you go back to your GP if your symptoms persist and you are worried that the diagnosis you have been given is not correct.

    If it is later found that you were given an incorrect result from a colonoscopy that led to a failure to spot colon cancer it can have severe consequences. If that has happened to you – and it led to a delay in bowel cancer treatment that had an impact on your prognosis or that of a loved one – you may qualify for compensation.

    Pursuing a compensation claim can help people to come to terms with what has happened to them as well as provide financial help to allow them to better cope with their changed circumstances. Many people feel the process of a claim aided them to get answers and an apology.

    How much compensation is payable for misdiagnosed bowel cancer?

    The amount of compensation payable for a misdiagnosed bowel cancer or clinical negligence in colon, rectal or bowel cancer treatment depends on the specifics of the case.

    Compensation claim payments are made up of two elements: general damages and special damages.

    There are standardised ‘general damages’ for specific outcomes that aim to compensate for the pain and injury suffered. Where misdiagnosis or negligence led to a person dying, for example, their family may qualify for a Statutory Bereavement Award. This is standardised at £15,120.

    There are also guideline damages for things such as the loss of bowel function. In the case of bowel cancer it would need to be shown that the clinical negligence suffered by a person was responsible for the loss of bowel function. If the loss would have happened as a result of necessary treatment – or due to the initial illness – a person would not qualify for compensation. Payments for loss of bowel function and dependence and colostomy are expected to be in up to £172,860.

    In addition, to the standardised general damages, a compensation claim includes a ‘special damages’ award. This element varies based on the specific costs a person has faced (or may face) as a result of clinical negligence in their bowel cancer care. This may include payments for loss of earnings, ongoing costs of treatment or the price of equipment or products that are only necessary as a result of the negligence.

    Bowel Cancer UK provides information to people affected by bowel cancer and supports research.

    Speak to a bowel cancer specialist solicitor

    Our expert solicitors can help you to claim following a missed or incorrect diagnosis of bowel cancer.Contact us today to find out more.

    0800 044 8488