Can I sue a Hospital for Misdiagnosis?

From as early as 4000 BCE hospitals were places of healing associated with certain gods or deities, such as Asklepios in both the Greek and the Roman Empires. Hospitals as religious centers have now faded and today we see high tech, medical science based institutions with an assortment of staff. Examination, diagnosis and treatment are now offered by an extensively educated doctor rather than a priest. With the evolution of hospitals, you would expect a system that offers quality services on a consistent basis, to match modern society. This, unfortunately, is not always the case.

With the NHS consistently having trouble in securing government funding and with every chancellor hell bent on reducing the deficit, resources are stretched and standards have dropped. We know standards have dropped, because clinical negligence claims are plentiful in number.

Claims against hospitals are not based on speculative people; claims are made due to errors and errors which adversely affect people’s lives. So we are often asked the question, Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis? The answer is, yes you can sue a hospital for many areas of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis, or the for making the wrong diagnosis.

Since the watershed case of Bolam, clinical negligence claims have flowed in great surges and more particularly those against hospitals have propelled us to the sea of claims hospitals currently face. Misdiagnosis is an error falling under the umbrella of clinical negligence that hospitals make, which can be claimed for through civil law. Medical misdiagnosis caused my medical negligence falls into three categories.

The first is total misdiagnosis where a health condition or illness is failed to be diagnosed following health problems. The second is late misdiagnosis, which can impact on recovery time and prolong health issues. The third is wrong diagnosis, which can result in improper medication or treatment being administered. Hospital patient neglect and hospital poor care are usually contributory or additional factors to misdiagnosis.

To sue a hospital for misdiagnosis, patient neglect or poor care or for pain and suffering and indeed any medical error mentioned above, there are certain key events that will need to occur and be proved.

  1. Upon a patient’s admission into hospital the staff are put under a duty to provide an acceptable standard of care;
  2. If the hospital or medical care provided falls below an acceptable standard, then the duty placed upon the hospital and its staff is breached;
  3. The breach will need to have caused a loss or injury, which normally happens through undue pain and suffering;
  4. The role of negligence law is to provide the injured party with damages that can equate to the damage caused by the erroneous injury.

We do not expect to go into hospital and come out having experienced pain and suffering which could have been avoided. Nevertheless, our expectations do not always match reality and it may be necessary to sue a hospital for negligence to get justice.

At Davies and Partners we are here help people with their claims against actions of misdiagnosis by hospitals. Hospitals will sometimes hold their hand ups and concede their error, or it may be that we contest the case at court; either way our specialist team of medical negligence lawyers will ensure to do the best we can for a positive conclusion. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss suing or making a claim against a hospital.

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