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Misdiagnosed lung cancer &
lung cancer compensation

Misdiagnosed lung cancer & lung cancer compensation

How much can you claim?

A 65 year old woman was left with a year to live after her lung cancer was undiagnosed for 2 years, even after X-rays. She was awarded:


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Claiming for lung cancer negligence

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

Finding out you have lung cancer is a terrifying experience and during such a difficult time you should be able to rely on those responsible for your care. While the majority of UK patients receive an excellent standard of care, a few are misdiagnosed or have a delay in diagnosis due to medical negligence. Such an experience can not only mean that treatment is less effective but can also have an impact on the confidence of the patient and their wellbeing.

If you find out you have been affected by lung cancer malpractice, you may be able to make a compensation claim. For instance, you could receive compensation if your doctor missed the signs of lung cancer when further tests should have been ordered and your outcome is worse. We know that what you want is answers but that financial compensation can help you get back on your feet and ease money concerns while you recover. Following treatment, you may not be able to work or decide to take some time off or may need further medical treatment, compensation can give you more choices.

Here at Your Legal Friend we’ve worked on a wide range  of medical negligence cases and understand that making a compensation claim can be a daunting prospect. But we’re here for you every step of the way, if you’ve been affected by misdiagnosis of lung cancer our expert and friendly team can use their experience and skills to support your case. We’ll work on your behalf to secure you the best outcome possible in your case and take reduce the  stress  of the process.

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

The time limit on making a lung cancer claim

If you have been affected by lung cancer and didn’t receive the level of care you should have, resulting in misdiagnoses or delayed diagnosis, you may be able to make a compensation claim. However, you must make a lung cancer misdiagnosis compensation claim within 3 years from your diagnosis or ‘date of knowledge’.

This means that you have 3 years to start your claim in court but it can take time to investigate so it is better to speak to us soon. If you’re unsure we’re here to help and guide you through the process.

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.

After being diagnosed with lung cancer  and undergoing treatment we know that you need to focus upon your health and recovery. We recommend that you begin the claims process as quickly as possible. This not only means you can secure compensation as quickly as possible but also means that you will be better able to remember details of your signs and symptoms and we will be able to access the medical records and scans. We’ll handle the process for you, allowing you to focus on what really matters – recovering.

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

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 lung 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 lung 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 lung 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 lung cancer misdiagnosis

Yes, it is possible to make a failure to diagnose lung cancer claim, In order to be successful, you’ll need to prove that the medical professionals failed to recognise your symptoms and so your treatment was delayed, or that you were not sent for the correct scans or tests.  You also have to show that your current helath is worse than it would have been with proper treatment, so you have to have suffered an injury as a result of the misdiagnosis or delay.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of money you receive from lung cancer misdiagnosis settlements varies. It depends upon you  your personal circumstances, such as how a late diagnosis impacted on the treatment needed, how  it’s affected your quality of life and whether you have a shortened life expectancy as a result.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you believe you have suffered from medical negligence, including being misdiagnosed, you have 3 years to make a claim. The date for lung cancer misdiagnosis claims starts from the ‘date of knowledge’,  or the date upon which your cancer was diagnosed. While you have 3 years to make a claim in Court, we recommend that you start the process as soon as possible. This is so we can properly investigate your claim and the  details are still fresh in your mind.  It will also be easier to  access the necessary medical records and scans. We know recovering will be your top priority and we will enable you to focus on that whilst we investigate your case.

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

What causes lung cancer?

One of the most widely known causes of lung cancer is smoking. Smoking cigarettes is the biggest cause of lung cancer, it’s estimated to be responsible for 85% of all cases. Tobacco smoke is known to be one of the main lung cancer causes as it contains over 60 toxic substances, some of which are known carcinogenic. According to the NHS if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer when compared to a non-smoker.

As well as smoking, there are other risk factors for lung cancer, including:

  • Exposure to radon gas
  • Exposure to certain chemicals that can be present in the workplace, including silica and asbestos
  • Air pollution
  • Previous lung disease
  • A family history of lung cancer

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

During the early stages of lung cancer, it’s common for there to be no symptoms. Lung cancer symptoms and signs tend to develop as the disease progresses and spreads, this means it can be difficult to pick up during the earliest stage and can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions.

The main lung cancer signs include:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away after 2 or 3 weeks
  • A long-standing cough that worsens
  • Persistent chest infection
  • Coughing up blood
  • An ache or pain that’s caused by breathing or coughing
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss

There are less common lung cancer symptoms that could also indicate that you should undergo tests for the disease, including:

  • Changes in the appearance of your fingers
  • A temperature that is 38C or above
  • Difficult swallowing or pain when swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • A hoarse voice
  • Swelling of the face or neck
  • Persistent chest or shoulder pain

The NHS recommends that people experiencing the common signs of lung cancer visit their GP as soon as possible

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

There are several ways for doctors to diagnose lung cancer. Should you have lung cancer signs and symptoms, such as a persistent cough or chest pain, you should first arrange to see your GP. Your doctor should ask you questions about your condition and conduct an examination. This could include using a spirometer to measure your breathing and ruling out common alternative conditions associated with the symptoms. There is currently no lung cancer screening program that can detect the disease in the early stages.

If your GP suspects that you have lung cancer you should be referred. NHS guidelines set out how quickly people should be referred. In many cases where signs and symptoms of lung cancer are present this is within 2 weeks. A diagnosis can be obtained through the following tests and procedures.

  • Chest x-ray

For many a chest x-ray is the first step in receiving a lung cancer diagnosis. Tumours usually show up on x-rays as a white-grey mass, allowing professionals to highlight an issue. However, an x-ray can’t distinguish between cancer and other conditions so further testing is needed if the results are abnormal.

  • CT scan

A CT scan is usually carried out after a chest x-ray has been conducted. Before a CT scan you’ll be injected with a solution containing a dye, allowing the lungs to be shown more clearly on the results.

  • PET-CT scan

A PET-CT scan can be used to highlight where active cancer cells are present if a CT scan indicates you have early stage lung cancer.

  • Bronchoscopy

A bronchoscopy allows a doctor or nurse to remove a small sample of cells from inside your lungs. This procedure is undertaken if a CT scan shows that there could be cancer in the central part of your chest. The sample cells are then tested for cancer.

  • Biopsy

Biopsies are used to remove a small sample of cells from the body for testing if results are not clear enough to obtain a diagnosis. There are several different types of biopsy that are used for different parts of the lungs.

When you are diagnosed with lung cancer it is then categorised. The stages of lung cancer show how advanced and widespread the disease has become and will have an impact on the treatment chosen.

Can lung cancer be misdiagnosed?

It is possible to receive a misdiagnosis of lung cancer. The initial mild symptoms that can be confused with other lung conditions means that doctors can misdiagnose the disease or fail to order the correct tests in order to accurately assess the full extent of your condition. The wrong diagnosis of lung cancer can have a significant impact on the extent of the treatment needed and the success of it. Misdiagnosed lung cancer can be incorrectly labelled as a number of different conditions, including:

  • Lung cancer misdiagnosed as pneumonia

Pneumonia shares many symptoms with lung cancer, such as coughing up blood and chest pains that worsens when breathing or coughing. It can develop very quickly and as a result if the signs of lung cancer progress rapidly it is possible for your GP to misdiagnose the disease as pneumonia. Pneumonia can also be diagnosed with a chest x-ray.

  • Lung cancer misdiagnosed as asthma

If you are only experiencing mild symptoms of lung cancer, it’s possible that your GP may believe you have asthma initially. The severity of asthma symptoms varies from person to person and is usually diagnosed with a spirometer that measure your breathing. This means it can be easy for lung cancer to be missed or misdiagnosed during the early stages.

  • Lung cancer misdiagnosed as COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name given to a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, a common symptom of lung cancer. A doctor may order a chest x-ray in order to rule out other causes, including cancer.

  • Lung cancer misdiagnosed as tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) mainly affects the lungs and symptoms can be very similar to those experienced when a patient has lung cancer. While it is possible to initially misdiagnose lung cancer as TB, test results should indicate that another condition is causing the signs.

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

How is lung cancer treated?

When you are diagnosed with lung cancer your treatment and care will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team, a group of experts in specific fields. This team will work together to create the best treatment plan for each individual. The treatment recommended will depend on many factors, including the type and stage of lung cancer you have, where the cancer has developed in the lungs and your general health. While the health professionals will create and recommended treatment plan, the final decision remains with the patient.

Most patients undergoing treatment for lung cancer will have surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or a combination of these three, but there are also alternatives available in some cases.

  • Surgery

Surgery is more commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer, where it is confined to one lung and can be followed up with a session of chemotherapy. The surgery aims to remove the cancerous cells and a portion of healthy tissue. Surgery can range from removing a small section of the lung if the cancer is diagnosed during the early stages and limited to one area to the removal of an entire lung. It can take many weeks to fully recover from a lung operation and, as with all surgery, there are potential complications  

  • Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy can be used in several different ways, including to cure cancer and slow the spread of the disease. If a patient isn’t suitable for surgery, radiotherapy can be used as an alternative for a cure for non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often the treatment of lung cancer used if a patient has small cell lung cancer. The cancer-killing medication can be taken through an IV drip, tablets, or injections. Chemo can be combined with both surgery and radiotherapy to provide a complete treatment solution or on its own to slow the spread of the disease if a cure isn’t possible. It’s usually given in cycles and the number of cycles will vary from person to person and can also be used as a preventive measure to stop cancer from returning.

Alternative treatment options are sometimes recommended instead of or to complement the usual lung cancer treatment. The treatments are sometimes relatively new, can only be used in limited circumstances or are only offered when surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy are not viable. The alternative treatment options for lung cancer include biological therapies, radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.

What are the different types of lung cancer?

Lung cancer can be both primary cancer, where it started in the lung, and secondary, where it started in another part of the body and later spread to the lungs. There are several lung cancer types and the type can affect the treatment that is recommended. Lung cancer is split into two groups – small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer, also known as oat cell cancer, is often caused by smoking and it’s very rare to see this type of cancer in someone that has never smoked. It accounts for around 12% of lung cancer cases and derives its name from how it looks under the microscope.

Non-small cell lung cancer

There are three types of cancer that are classed as non-small cell lung cancer and together they account for 87% of lung cancer diagnoses. The three types of non-small cell lung cancer are:

  • Adenocarcinoma – There are several sub types of adenocarcinoma and it’s the most common type of lung cancer. It is typically found in the outer areas of the lungs and develops from cells that make up the lining of the airways.
  • Squamous cell cancer – Squamous cells are the flat cells that cover the airways and this type of cancer is also associated with smoking.

-      Large cell carcinoma – Named for how it looks under the microscope, large cell carcinoma tends to grow rapidly.

The lung cancer type has an impact on the type of treatment that is best suited to fighting the disease, although it’s occasionally not possible to tell the exact type of cancer a patient has. Small cell lung cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy while surgery is often used to remove cancerous cells for non-small cell lung cancer. Treatment for secondary lung cancer will also vary, depending on where the disease initially started.

What is the lung cancer survival rate?

Lung cancer statistics show that around a third of people in England and Wales survive their disease for more than a year, however, just 5% survive for ten years or more. The stage that the cancer has reached when it is diagnosed plays a role in the survival rate as does the age of the patient, people diagnosed under 40 have a higher chance of surviving the disease.