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Failure to diagnose appendicitis
compensation claims

Failure to diagnose appendicitis compensation claims

How much can you claim?

A 15 year old boy suffered adhesions and a strangulated bowel as the result of negligently performed appendectomy surgery. He was awarded:


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Claiming for appendicitis

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

Appendicitis is a common condition in the UK and in most cases simple surgery can be used to treat the condition. But patients that experience a delay in an accurate diagnosis can risk complications, including sepsis that can be fatal. For those that have been affected by medical negligence when suffering with appendicitis, an appendicitis misdiagnosis lawsuit could help them.

A claim for compensation can not only help those affected get the answers they have been looking for but provide financial relief too. The financial compensation victims of medical negligence receive can’t undo the suffering they’ve experienced but it can help them move forward by taking money worries off their mind and allowing them to focus on what matters – recovering.

As experts in medical claims, we understand that taking a claim forward can seem like a daunting prospect. But with the support of an appendicitis misdiagnosis lawyer, we’ll make the whole process as smooth and stress free as possible. We’ll work on your behalf to build a strong case against those responsible for your suffering and secure you the best possible outcome. From the very beginning through to representing you in court if necessary, the Your Legal Friend will be on hand to guide and offer support during your appendicitis misdiagnosis clam.

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

The time limit on making an appendicitis claim

Appendicitis misdiagnosis compensation claims are subject to the same time limit as all medical claims. You have three years to hold those responsible to account if you’ve experienced a delay in diagnosis or another form of medical negligence.

The ‘date of knowledge’, referring to the point when you first realised that mistakes had been made with your care, is the starting point for the time limit. In some case, particularly those that have experienced multiple misdiagnoses, it can be difficult to understand exactly when the time limit began. If you’re unsure exactly how long you have to take your claim forward, we’re on hand to help. We’ll use our experience of representing those making medical claims to pinpoint your ‘date of knowledge’.

Despite having a maximum limit of three years, we recommend that our clients start the compensation process as soon as possible. We’ll use your witness statement, along with other documentation, to support your case. It’s often easier to recall details of your experience the sooner you write them down, providing a stronger foundation to build your case on.

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.

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

  • Specialist team of medical negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No win, no fee – guaranteed
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 appendicitis claims experience

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of misdiagnosis cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring an appendicits 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 medical misdiagnosis team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high value appendicitis 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.

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 appendicitis 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 appendicitis 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 appendicitis 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 appendicitis misdiagnosis?

If you’ve been affected by a late appendicitis diagnosis you may be able to claim compensation in order to reflect the undue suffering it has caused. In order to make a successful failure to diagnose claim you must first show that medical negligence occurred and there were opportunities to achieve an accurate diagnosis and that you have been affected as a result.

There are numerous ways that medical negligence can occur, from a doctor failing to adequately investigate your symptoms to test results being read incorrectly. Demonstrating how medical negligence has occurred can vary from case to case. If you’re unsure whether you have a case you could take forward, our expert team can use their insights to offer you advice.

Failure to diagnose appendicitis can have serious consequence, including more extensive and risky surgery being required if the appendix has burst, causing undue suffering. There are also other ways that you can be affected by the misdiagnosis of appendicitis, such as experiencing pain for longer than necessary or a loss of earnings through not being able to work.

Can I claim if I was wrongly diagnosed with appendicitis?

In some cases, you may be diagnosed with appendicitis despite another condition being the cause of you symptoms, resulting in necessary treatment being delayed. In these instances you may have a claim for medical negligence, particularly if you were treated for appendicitis.

However, it’s important to note that if appendicitis is suspected but not conclusively diagnosed doctors may still remove the appendix. This is because the organ can burst causing serious damage and put a patient’s life at risk. If you underwent surgery that wasn’t necessary but, at the time, was deemed essential because of your symptoms you may not have a claim you can take forward.

How can misdiagnosed appendicitis compensation help me?

An appendicitis misdiagnosis claim can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re still recovering. However, it can help you take the time you need to improve your health and reflect the damage a misdiagnosis has caused.

If your case is successful you will receive financial compensation, helping you to not only cover costs associated with treatment, such as taking time off work, but remove financial worries while you recover. It can also help you to understand why you were affected and let down by the healthcare system, helping you to move forward past the experience.

How much compensation will I get?

As with all medical negligence cases, the amount misdiagnosis appendicitis compensation claimants receive varies but it can be significant amounts of money. For instance, a patient that required open surgery after a delayed diagnosis meant there appendix burst resulting in it being necessary to take a longer period off work, would receive more compensation than a patient that could still have keyhole surgery.

When you take a claim forward with us we’ll consider the full impact medical negligence had on your treatment, experience, and long term implications. Misdiagnosis of appendicitis compensation will reflect the suffering you have experienced, taking a wide variety of factors into account.

If you would like to discuss your misdiagnosed appendicitis lawsuit with a professional, Your Legal Friend is here to help you. Our expert team can use their skills to accurately value your individual case and help you take the next steps.

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

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you believe you have a case after experiencing misdiagnosed appendicitis and would like to hold those responsible to account, we recommend that you start the process as quickly as possible.

Legally, those affected have up to three years to make appendicitis misdiagnosis claims from the ‘point of knowledge’ but doing so quicker can make the process smoother. To support your case we’ll use witness statements, medical records, and other documents and these can often be easier to obtain the closer to the point of knowledge they are requested.

The term ‘point of knowledge’ can make it difficult to understand exactly how long you have to make a claim. But with the support of our appendicitis misdiagnosis lawyers, we’ll help you pinpoint your time limit.

What is appendicitis?

The appendix is on the lower right side of the abdomen and is attached to the large intestine. Appendicitis is where the organ painfully swells. As the function of the appendix isn’t exactly known, it’s often treated through removing the organ, which doesn’t affects the patient’s life.

However, where there is a delay in appendicitis diagnosis it can result in death due to the complications it can cause. If left untreated, it is possible for the appendix to rupture and cause sepsis. Even if it is still possible to treat the condition, an initial wrong diagnosis of appendicitis can mean that the surgery required is more extensive and complicated.

Appendicitis is a common condition in the UK, affecting around 1 in 13 people over their lifetime. It can occur in anyone but is more likely to occur in those aged between 10 and 20.

What causes appendicitis?

In many cases it’s not exactly clear what causes appendicitis but it is thought that something blocking the entrance of the appendix can be linked in most cases.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

The most common symptom of appendicitis is pain. Typically the pain starts in the middle of the abdomen and may come and go. Over a period of hours the pain travels to where the appendix is located, on the lower right hand side of the abdomen, and becomes constant and severe. In some cases, the pain can worsen when the area is pressed on or when the patient coughs or walks.

Other symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Being sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • A fever and a flushed face

The NHS recommends that anyone suffering with abdominal pain that gradually becomes worse contact their GP, allowing for a quick and accurate diagnosis if the symptoms are the result of appendicitis.

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

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

When you visit a GP with the signs of appendicitis they should conduct a physical examination, including seeing if the pain worsens when pressure is applied to the area. Often a diagnosis can be made at the GP where you will then be referred to a hospital for treatment.

However, if the signs aren’t typical of appendicitis, you may have to have further tests in order to rule out other conditions. These tests could include:

  • A blood test
  • A pregnancy test for women
  • A urine test
  • An ultrasound scan
  • A CT scan
  • Laparoscopy

Even if the diagnosis isn’t conclusive, you may still be recommended treatment to remove the appendix rather than risk it bursting.

As the GP is often the first place a patient heads when they have the symptoms of appendicitis, a doctor recognising the potential signs is crucial for a quick diagnosis. A GP misdiagnosis of appendicitis can have a serious impact on the prognosis. If you received a wrong appendicitis diagnosis that caused you undue suffering, you may be able to make a claim for appendicitis misdiagnosis malpractice.

How is appendicitis treated?

If you have appendicitis the usual course of treatment is surgery to remove the appendix. In order to reduce the risk of the appendix bursting the surgery will often be conducted as soon as possible. In some cases, the surgery may be conducted if there is not a clear diagnosis.

The appendix doesn’t play an important role in the functioning of the human body and the surgery doesn’t cause any long-term complications.

The surgery, known as appendectomies, is typically carried out through keyhole surgery, allowing for a quicker recovery time. However, in some cases open surgery may be recommended, including if the appendix has burst.

How can appendicitis be misdiagnosed?

Misdiagnosed appendicitis can be the result of multiple factors but due to the need for surgery to be delivered as quickly as possible a delay in diagnosis of appendicitis can be serious. A GP is often the first point of contact that a patient suffering from appendicitis has with a medical professional and an accurate diagnosis can rely on the doctor’s ability to recognise the signs. Where the symptoms aren’t linked to the condition it can lead to doctor misdiagnosed appendicitis.

Among misdiagnosed appendicitis cases reasons can include:

  • A doctor failing to recognise the sign or symptoms of misdiagnosis
  • A failure to order the necessary tests to rule out other conditions
  • Tests results being read inaccurately
  • Abnormal test results failing to be followed up

If you’ve been affected by misdiagnosis of appendicitis for one of these or another reason, you may be able to make a compensation claim. When you’re ill you should be able to rely on those responsible for your care to act in your best interests, including conducting the necessary tests to achieve an accurate diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis of appendicitis can have serious consequences and in rare cases even prove fatal if those with a duty of care fail to take the necessary steps expected.

What can appendicitis be misdiagnosed as?

Due to the symptoms of appendicitis being similar to other conditions it can be easy for undiagnosed appendicitis to be linked to other medial issues. The NHS recognises that appendicitis can easily be confused with a variety of condition, including:

  • Gastroenteritis – A common condition that is caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug, resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – IBS is a long-term digestive disorder that doesn’t have a conclusive diagnosis test. Symptoms similar to appendicitis include stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
  • Constipation – A common condition that can cause discomfort and pain in the abdomen.
  • Bladder or urine infection – UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable but are easily treated with antibiotics.
  • Crohn’s disease – Abdominal pain and diarrhoea are common symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a long-term condition that causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive system.
  • Pelvic infection – Symptoms of a pelvic infection can also mimic those of appendicitis.

In young women, it’s also possible for the pain of appendicitis to be linked to gynaecological causes, including an ectopic pregnancy or menstrual pain.

While there are several other conditions that can lead to appendicitis misdiagnosis occurring, constant stomach pains require urgent medical attention. As a result, symptoms that resemble appendicitis should be tested further and monitored by a medical professional to prevent a missed appendicitis diagnosis and risk the organ rupturing.

How often is appendicitis misdiagnosed?

There aren’t any official appendicitis misdiagnosis statistics for the UK but other research suggests that the symptoms can commonly be mistaken for other conditions, leading to a delayed or missed diagnosis. According to one study published in the British Medical Journal, relying on clinical observations without using imaging meant that up to 12% of appendicitis cases are missed. As a result, an accurate diagnosis can depend on the doctor’s skills in spotting the potential signs of appendicitis and ordering the necessary tests.

Cases of misdiagnosis of appendicitis

There are examples of appendicitis misdiagnosis cases, including those where appendicitis was wrongly linked to another condition. Misdiagnosed appendicitis stories have appeared in the news, demonstrating the serious consequences medical negligence can have on those suffering from the condition but do not receive the level of care expected.

  • A 7-year-old girl died due to appendicitis after being misdiagnosed by an out of hours doctor, who believed she was suffering from an upset stomach. Read more.
  • A teen with learning disabilities was mistakenly diagnosed with a urinary tract infection when he had appendicitis, resulting in his death.
  • A grandmother was mistakenly told she had bowel cancer that needed risky surgery before finding out her symptoms were the result of appendicitis. Read more.
  • A four-year-old girl was misdiagnosed several times when she had appendicitis. She was misdiagnosed with tonsillitis before an accurate diagnosis was reached.
  • A six-year-old boy died when a junior doctor wrongly diagnosed his burst appendix as constipation. Read more.

What are the statistics of appendicitis?

Every year in the UK around 40,000 people are admitted to hospital with appendicitis. It’s estimated that around 1 in 13 people will be affected with the condition at some point in their lifetime, most commonly occurring in those aged between 10 and 20 years old. In many cases, appendicitis requires surgery.