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Liver cancer misdiagnosis claims &
cancer of the liver compensation

Liver cancer misdiagnosis claims & cancer of the liver compensation

How much can you claim?

A 64 year old woman was left incontinent after an operation that would have been unnecessary had her liver cancer not been misdiagnosed. She was awarded:


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Claiming for liver cancer negligence

Medical negligence whilst uncommon can have a big impact on your life and wellbeing.

Learning that you have any type of cancer is terrifying but liver cancer can be even more so because of the prognosis and survival rate. While improving, the life expectancy after a liver cancer diagnosis is hugely dependent on the stage at which it was diagnosed, at advanced stages it can be untreatable.

If you have had a delayed diagnosis you may be able to make a claim for liver cancer misdiagnosis compensation. Of course, we understand that this won’t reverse the suffering you have already endured and the impact on your life bt it may enable you to better understand what went wrong and give some financial assistance when you need it.

Liver Cancer malpractice and misdiagnosis can have serious consequences and those responsible should be held to account. Here at Your Legal Friend we pride ourselves on supporting those that have been affected, right from the beginning of the claims process. We know putting together a case can be stressful but we can work with you to to give your case the best possible chance of success. Our team of specialist liver cancer misdiagnosis lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon to use in your case, from the very start of the process through to the end, offering you advice and support every step of the way.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

The time limit on making a liver cancer claim

We know that making any kind of compensation claim can be a daunting prospect. It’s a personal claim and we understand, that should you have a case, it may not be the first thing on your mind. However, if you want to make a failure to diagnose claim after you were let down by those responsible for your healthcare, you do need to make a claim within 3 years of the diagnosis.

The time limit begins from the ‘date of knowledge’ or the point at which you first realised that a mistake or misdiagnosis had occurred. For some patients, it’s simple to work out when the time begins to run but it can be more complex for others. If you’re unsure whether your misdiagnosis of liver cancer compensation claim falls within this time period, we’re happy to help. We’ve got extensive knowledge and experience of medical negligence cases and we can support you in understanding the whole process, from beginning to end.

If you do not claim within the set time period, your claim will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ and will unfortunately not be taken further. There are two exceptions to this rule, in the case of children and if the negligence directly led to a fatality. In these cases suing the NHS for negligence is still possible as the date on which time begins to run is the date of the child’s 18th birthday, and in the case of fatalities, from the date of death.

While you do have 3 years to make a claim, and you can do so at any point within this period. It’s important to note that it can be easier to build a case the closer it occurs to the ‘date of knowledge’. This is for several reasons, including you being able to recall details. To support your compensation for delayed liver cancer diagnosis case you will need to provide a witness statement. The more details you can give in this statement about your experience, your symptoms and the care you received the better. We will need to obtain your medical records and scans. The sooner we can request these the better.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of cancer negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No win, no fee – guaranteed
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation
I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E. Swaffield

Our liver cancer negligence experience

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of cancer negligence cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a liver cancer negligence case.

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our liver cancer negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high value liver cancer negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.

If you’d like advice as to whether you might be able to pursue a cancer negligence claim, either call our freephone number or submit your details through the form on this page and we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call at a time that’s convenient for you. If you decide that you’d like to start a claim, one of our medical malpractice lawyers will be able to tell you whether you can enter into a No Win, No Fee agreement*, meaning that in the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay any legal costs so there’s no financial risk to you.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006. Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

If you’d like advice as to whether you might be able to pursue a cancer negligence claim, either call our freephone number or submit your details through the form on this page and we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call at a time that’s convenient for you. If you decide that you’d like to start a claim, one of our medical malpractice lawyers will be able to tell you whether you can enter into a No Win, No Fee agreement*, meaning that in the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay any legal costs so there’s no financial risk to you.

The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan
Director of Medical Negligence

*Our No Win, No Fee agreement

Pay nothing if you lose your case, get maximum compensation if you win

Whatever the nature of your liver cancer negligence claim, we always seek the maximum level of compensation for our clients – and if your case is unsuccessful, we don’t charge you any fees. This is our guarantee for all standard liver cancer negligence claims.

With our no win, no fee guarantee, you pay nothing, unless you win your compensation claim. At that point you will only pay your insurance premium, if applicable, and the success fee, which will never be more than 25% of the amount you win.

No Win, No Fee Solicitors

Start your claim in 10 minutes

For a FREE, confidential, no-obligation assessment of your claim, simply complete this short form. We aim to call you back within 10 minutes.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

The liver cancer negligence claims process

Step 1 - Obtaining your medical records

We ask you to sign forms of authority so that we can obtain your medical records from your GP and any hospitals that have treated you.

Step 2 - Providing your statement of what happened

As the medical experts we instruct need to know what happened during your treatment, we work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words.

Step 3 - Minimising your loss

You are responsible for minimising the losses you have incurred as a result of the alleged medical negligence, so you need to attend any available treatments that could aid your recovery.  You may also need to return to work as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Step 4 - Establishing that a breach of duty occurred

You must prove that the treatment you received fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful medical specialist of the type who treated you and that, as a result, you suffered a loss or injury. To do this, we obtain independent medical evidence from an expert in the appropriate area of medicine.

Step 5 - Establishing the effect of the breach of duty

We have to establish whether the sub-standard treatment you received is likely to have led to your injury or loss. As this can be difficult to establish, you may need to see one or more medical experts who will assess your current condition and what the future holds for you.

Step 6 - Calculating the value of your claim

The value of your claim comprises:

  • general damages for the pain, suffering and impact of the negligence on your daily life both now and in the future
  • actual financial losses such as loss of earnings, cost of care, medical and travel expenses.

Step 7 - Proving your loss

You need to keep all original financial documents safe as these will be needed when we prepare your case to go to Court.  These documents include accounts, payslips, and receipts for expenses and medical treatments.

Step 8 - Preparing your case for Court

Although only a small number of cases proceed to a trial, we prepare every case for this eventuality.

Step 9 - Attending the trial in Court

The trial takes place before a Circuit or High Court judge who will make a decision based on the evidence we have prepared.

Step 10 - Awarding your compensation claim

If you win your case, the amount of compensation will be decided by negotiation with the defendant or, if your case goes to trial, by the judge.  The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case.  We will also agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation as quickly as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Can I claim for liver cancer misdiagnosis?

If you have experienced a delay in diagnosis of  liver cancer, you may be able to bring a claim against your doctors or the Hospital.  . For such a case to be successful you must demonstrate that you had substandard treatment and that you are worse of as a result. Evidence to support your claim could show:

  • That you visited your GP with the signs or symptoms suggestive of  liver cancer but they failed to conduct a physical examination or refer you for further tests when they should have done.
  • That the test results were read incorrectly, resulting in misdiagnosis and  delay.
  • That your symptoms were wrongly attributed to another condition, leading to delayed diagnosis, because the necessary tests were not conducted.
  • That there was an unnecessary delay in your referral for further testing or treatment when your conditions should have been considered urgent.

How much compensation will I get?

Compensation depends upon how you personally have been affected by the misdiagnosis and what you personally have lost in terms of earnings and financial costs. As a result, it’s not possible to tell you how much you can expect to receive in missed liver cancer diagnosis compensation at the outset. Our expert team are on hand and will take the time to listen to you  to understand what you went through. Based on the information you give us we are then able to value your case, reflecting the undue suffering that medical negligence has caused you.

Compensation for delayed diagnosis can amount to thousands and in 2014 the NHS was required to payout more than £194 million due to medical negligence, some of which were related to misdiagnosis. If you want to understand how much your case could be worth and how likely it is that it would be successful, our team is here to help and support you.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you wish to make a claim for delay in diagnosis of liver cancer you must do so within 3 years from the date of diagnosis. In some cases, this can be a considerable length of time after you first visited the GP with concerns and noticed the initial signs or symptoms, you may have been wrong reassured that these were nothing to worry about. We recommended that you start the claims process as soon as possible. This not only means that, if successful, you will receive your liver cancer misdiagnosis payout sooner but can also make the whole process more straight forward.

When working with you we will gather evidence to support your claim, such as medical records and scans. These can be easier to obtain the sooner the process starts. You’ll also need to give a witness statement, where you explain your symptoms, experience and the treatment you received, and this can be easier to recall if you do so earlier.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer is cancer that starts in the liver, it a rare form of cancer in the UK. It’s more common for cancer to begin in another part of the body and spread to the liver, this is known as secondary liver cancer, however, this will require different treatment than cancer that has originated from cells within the liver.

What causes liver cancer?

In most cases the causes of liver cancer remain unknown. However, many cases are associated with cirrhosis and the damage and scarring it causes to the organ. Cirrhosis is caused by continuous live damage, such as through long-term excessive drinking, a prolonged hepatitis B or C viral infection, the inherited disorder haemochromatosis, which leads to iron levels building up slowly, and long-term liver disease primary biliary cirrhosis.

Research has linked the disease with a number of risk factors that can indicate that a person is more likely to develop liver cancer. Among the associated liver cancer causes are:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity and an unhealthy diet
  • Diabetes
  • Low immunity
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Family history
  • Radiation exposure

What are the symptoms of liver cancer?

Liver cancer symptoms often aren’t noticeable until the cancer has reached a late stage, this means that during the early stages the signs can be missed. Signs and symptoms of liver cancer include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Felling very full after eating
  • Felling sick and vomiting
  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Feeling tired and weak

In the majority of cases these cancer of liver symptoms are due to another, less serious condition. However, the NHS recommends patients visit their GP if they notice any of the sings, especially if they have previously been diagnosed with a condition that affects the liver or their health suddenly deteriorates.

How is liver cancer diagnosed?

If you have the symptoms of liver cancer you should at first book an appointment with your GP. They will ask you about your symptoms and how they have developed and may conduct a physical examination, for instance, feeling the abdomen for tenderness or a lump. If they are concerned you may be referred to either a hospital for further testing or to a specialist.

Liver cancer diagnostic tests can include blood tests, ultrasound scan, CT scan, MRI scan, and biopsy, where a small portion of cells are removed from the liver for further testing. A laparoscopy is also an option, this is an operation that allows doctors to look directly at your liver and notice signs of cancer.

After a diagnosis of liver cancer has been received it is important for the cancer to be staged, this is where it is assessed and it can have an impact on treatment options. The stages of liver cancer range from 1 to 4, where 1 is early stage cancer and 4 means the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. In order to accurately conduct liver cancer staging, further tests may need to be conducted.

There is currently no national screening programme in the UK that can accurately achieve a liver cancer diagnosis during the early stages before symptoms become apparent. However, if you are considered to be at high risk of developing liver cancer you may be recommended regular check ups. Surveillance for liver cancer is usually recommended if you have scarring of the liver, also known as cirrhosis.

Surveillance for liver cancer is usually carried out every six months and typically involves an ultrasound to highlight any abnormalities and a liver cancer blood test, which will look for a protein called alphaetoprotein.

Can liver cancer be misdiagnosed?

The symptoms of liver cancer often do not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. This means that it is possible for a delayed or missed diagnosis to occur, as the necessary tests are not ordered. The stage that liver cancer is diagnosed at has a significant impact on the treatment options available and survival rates and a delay can mean serious consequences and treatment to cure the disease no longer being an option.

There have also been cases of liver cancer misdiagnosis. The vague symptoms can appear similar to other conditions and result in misdiagnosed liver cancer. Conditions that liver cancer can be misdiagnosed as include cirrhosis, gastroenteritis, gall stones, and influenza.

For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today  0808 301 8622    As seen on TV

How is liver cancer treated?

Liver cancer treatment depends on many factors and in some cases it is possible to completely remove the cancerous tumour and make a full recovery. The stage at which the disease is diagnosed plays a significant role in the treatment of liver cancer – the earlier it is diagnosed the more likely it is to be treatable. However, due to the mild symptoms that can be overlooked by both patients and healthcare professionals only a small portion of liver cancers are diagnosed at a stage where treatment to cure the cancer is suitable.

If you are diagnosed during an early stage a liver cancer cure is possible with the following treatment options:

  • Surgical resection – Surgery to remove a section of liver can be successful if the cancer is contained within a single area. Liver cancer tumour removal aims to remove all the cancerous mass, leaving only healthy tissue behind. Following surgery the liver can grow back and function normally if you have no underlying medical problems.
  • Liver transplant – Treatment for cancer of the liver can include a transplant with a donor liver in patients diagnosed with hepatocellular liver cancer. It’s usually only possible if the cancerous areas are small and patients may have to wait a long time for a donor liver that is a match.
  • Radiofrequency ablation – Radiofrequency ablation uses the heat made by radio waves to target and kill cancerous cells. This is often a treatment choice when surgery is not an option or following surgery to treat any remaining tumours that may be left.

For many diagnosed with liver cancer, they are diagnosed too late for these liver cancer treatment options to work. In these cases cancer of the liver treatment shifts to focus on relieving the symptoms of the disease and slow the spread of the disease with treatment such as chemotherapy.

What are the different types of liver cancer

There are several different primary liver cancer tumour types, depending on which cells the cancer initially started in. There are 4 main types of liver cancer:

  • Hepatocellular carcinima (HCC)

This is the most common type of liver cancer and means the cancer started in the hepatocyte cells. It is linked very closely with people who have liver damage from cirrhosis and is more common as people get older.

  • Fibrolamellar carcinoma

Fibrolamellar carcinoma is a rare sub-type of HCC cancer. However, it isn’t typically linked with cirrhosis and is more likely to develop in younger people. Those with this type of cancer don’t usually have higher levels of alphafetoprotein in their blood, meaning it can be missed if only blood tests are ordered during the diagnostic process.

  • Cholangiocarcinoma

The liver is responsible for making bile and cholangiocarcinoma is cancer that starts within the bile ducts both inside and outside of the liver.

  • Angiosarcoma

This type of cancer is very rare and only around 10 people in the UK are diagnosed with angiosarcoma every year. It’s cancer that affects the soft tissue and is usually diagnosed in elderly people over the age of 70.

It is also possible for tumours that are benign, or non-cancerous, to develop in the liver. However, these do not develop into cancer unlike in other areas of the body.

What is the liver cancer survival rate?

The survival rate of liver cancer varies depending on the stage of the cancer when it’s diagnosed and the treatment options open to patients. Other factors, such as your general health, also play a role in how successful treatment is. Overall, almost 35% of adults in England diagnosed with liver cancer will survive their diagnosis for more than a year and over 10% do so for 5 years or more.

There are no UK-wide statistics for liver cancer survival by stage but there are liver cancer statistics published in the European Clinical Guidelines for cancer split down into each stage. According to Cancer Research UK, the primary liver cancer survival rate recorded in the document is:

  • Stage 0 – Stage 0 is very early stage cancer and between 70 and 90% of patients diagnosed and undergoing treatment at this stage will survive for 5 years or more. Treatment can include surgery, a liver transplant and ablation therapy.
  • Stage A – Stage A means that there are up to 3 small tumours and the liver is still functioning well. When diagnosed at this stage, patients still have a good chance of beating the disease, with between 50 and 70% surviving for more than 5 years.
  • Stage B – Stage B of liver cancer means that there are many tumours within the organ. On average the survival rate for liver cancer diagnosed at this stage with treatment is 20 months.
  • Stage C – Stage C liver cancer indicates that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, including other organs, blood vessels and lymph nodes. With treatment the median survival for stage C liver cancer is between 6 and 11 months.
  • Stage D – If liver cancer is not diagnosed until stage D there are no treatment options available. The survival rate for liver cancer that is not diagnosed until this late stage is less than 4 months.