A 33 year old woman's diabetes was left undiagnosed for six years without any investigation. She was only diagnosed after being rushed to hospital with a life-threatening diabetic condition. She was awarded:
Discovering you have diabetes can be a shock. However, once diagnosed most patients receive the care and support they need to continue with their lives. If you have had a delayed diagnosis of diabetes or you have been mis diagnosed with the wrong type, you probably have questions that you want to be answered. A medical negligence claim may be the way forward for you, if you believe that you have suffered an injury as a result of these mistakes. Diabetes is a serious condition that has the potential to result in lifelong disabilities and in rare cases can be fatal. Where treatment is delayed, these risks are increased. As a result, those that have faced medical negligence may be entitled to make a claim for compensation from those responsible. While compensation can’t undo the damage that medical negligence has caused, it can provide support to those affected. Our expert team are on hand to offer you the advice and support that you need throughout your claims process, including representation in Court if necessary. Here at Your Legal Friend, we pride ourselves on helping those that have been affected by medical negligence receive the justice and compensation that they deserve.
If you want to claim misdiagnosis of diabetes compensation you must act within three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ – the date that you first realised that mistakes had been made with your care, including the process of diagnosis.
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.
In complex cases, for example where there has been a significant delay in your diagnosis, it can be difficult to understand when the timeframe ends. If you’re unsure you can speak to one of our specialist diabetes misdiagnosis lawyers, who will be able to use their skills and expertise to help you understand what you must do next..
While you do have a maximum of three years to bring your case against those responsible forward, we advise our clients to act as soon as they can. We know that after being misdiagnosed and coming to terms with living with diabetes, a compensation claim is likely to be the last thing on your mind. But doing so sooner can help you move forward and give you access to compensation to alleviate financial concerns.
Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way
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 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 a diabetes 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 diabetes 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.
Director of Medical Negligence
Pay nothing if you lose your case, get maximum compensation if you win
Whatever the nature of your diabetes 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 diabetes 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The value of your claim comprises:
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.
Although only a small number of cases proceed to a trial, we prepare every case for this eventuality.
The trial takes place before a Circuit or High Court judge who will make a decision based on the evidence we have prepared.
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.
It is possible to make a claim for wrong diagnosis of diabetes if the results of the misdiagnosis have caused you undue suffering. A late diabetes diagnosis can leave more time for the associated complications of diabetes, such as nerve damage or retinopathy, to develop due to blood sugar not being controlled.
Your case will also need to show that those responsible for your care missed an opportunity to accurately identify diabetes. Doctor or GP misdiagnosis diabetes cases could show that:
Misdiagnosed diabetes is a serious mistake that can have a lifelong impact on a person’s life. Those patients who are affected are able to hold to account the medics who failed them – if they have been injured as a result of the failures made. We can investigate if you have a case . If you would like to discuss diabetes misdiagnosis claims, we’re on hand to answer your questions and provide advice to those affected.
It may be possible for you to make a claim if you were wrongly diagnosed as diabetic when another condition was behind your symptoms. Misdiagnosis can mean your condition is likely to develop and process without the necessary treatment. While the treatment you are taking for the wrongly diagnosed condition can also cause issues.
If you want to make a misdiagnosed diabetes lawsuit after you were incorrectly diagnosed, the same procedures will apply, including the time limit and demonstrating that the negligence resulted in undue suffering.
Cases of misdiagnosis of diabetes are all different and so too is the amount of compensation awarded to each successful claimant.
When you instruct Your Legal Friend, we’ll take the time to fully understand your diabetes misdiagnosis lawsuit in order to place an accurate value on your case. We’ll take a range of factors into consideration when calculating a value, from lost earnings due to having to take time off work to life-altering complications related to diabetes misdiagnosis.
While it’s not possible to give your diabetes misdiagnosis compensation claim a value without first talking to you about your experience, every year the NHS pays out millions to those affected by medical negligence. With the support of a team of diabetes misdiagnosis lawyers, you know that your claim will reflect your personal situation and give you the best possible chance of success when you choose to instruct Your Legal Friend.
All medical claims are subject to a three-year time limit, after this point you cannot bring a claim forward against those responsible.
This timeframe starts from the point that you first realised that you did not receive the standard of care that you should be able to expect. In diabetes misdiagnosis compensation claims this may be some time after your first visited your GP with concerns and symptoms. While the starting point typically gives you longer to act, it does mean that it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how long you have.
If you’re interested in making a claim for diabetes malpractice but are unsure where you stand, we can help you. We have extensive experience of supporting those making medical claims, including diabetes claims, and can help you understand how long you have to take action.
While you have three years to act for diabetes misdiagnosis cases we recommend that where possible you do so sooner. It can be easier to obtain supporting documentation when you act closer to the experience, allowing us to properly prepare your case.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high. Diabetes means there’s not enough insulin to break down the glucose into energy. The condition has been linked to both short and long-term complications that can have a serious impact on an individual’s health and their quality of life.
Diabetes is broken down into two main types:
Type 1 diabetes – This is where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin because the body’s immune system attacks the cells that are responsible for this function.
Type 2 diabetes – This is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body doesn’t react to the insulin that is produced.
The symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are consistent. Common symptoms of the disease include:
While the symptoms of both types of diabetes are often the same, the pace at which they develop is typically different. Those with type 1 will generally experience obvious symptoms of type 1 diabetes over a period of a few weeks, while type 2 diabetes signs tend to develop gradually and may not be recognised for several years.
The signs and symptoms of diabetes can often be mistaken or interpreted incorrectly by those suffering, this can lead to a delayed diagnosis of diabetes. It’s vital that those experiencing the symptoms of diabetes are diagnosed quickly in order to reduce the risk of complications associated with the disease. The misdiagnosis of diabetes can also lead to an increased risk of complications due to a delay in treatment beginning.
The diagnosing process for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is the same. If you experience the signs of diabetes you should make an appointment with your GP. If after speaking to you about your symptoms they believe that diabetes could be the cause they will order further tests.
Typically, the first test conducted is a simple urine sample to test for glucose. Glucose in the urine is an indication of diabetes but it may also be related to other conditions. As a result, if your urine contains glucose a specialised blood test for diabetes will then be ordered.
A glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test can be used to both diagnose diabetes and show how well treatment is controlling the condition. The test gives a patient’s average blood glucose levels over the previous two to three months. Those diagnosed with diabetes will often have a HbA1c test to see how the condition is being managed and assess the effectiveness of treatment.
The tests available to diagnose diabetes means that it’s often a quick process for diagnosis and treatment. However, there are misdiagnosed diabetes stories that demonstrate that it is possible for misdiagnosis to occur, for instance if a GP fails to spot the initial symptoms and order the necessary tests the signs can be attributed to another cause. Wrong diabetes diagnosis can lead to serious complications and if it’s something you’ve experienced you may be able to make a failure to diagnose diabetes claim.
Treatment plans for type 1 and type 2 diabetes varies, reflecting the different causes of the condition. In both cases, treatment aims to keep blood glucose levels as close as possible to normal levels to help manage symptoms and prevent associated health problems developing.
Type 1 diabetes
As type 1 diabetes means that your body doesn’t produce insulin, those diagnosed will need regular insulin treatments to keep glucose at normal levels. This is commonly delivered through injections but may also be given through a pump. You’re GP or a diabetes care team will frequently monitor your glucose levels, allowing them to tailor the treatment plan to suit you.
Type 2 diabetes
In many cases, lifestyle is the first area that’s looked at when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through looking at healthy eating, losing weight if you’re overweight, and exercising regularly, it is sometimes possible to manage blood glucose levels without other treatment being necessary. Doctors will look at your current lifestyle and recommend changes, such as reducing sugar and fat intake or doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week.
In some cases, lifestyle changes may need to be complemented with other treatment. This could include medication and insulin injections.
Misdiagnosed diabetes cases show that there are a range of other conditions that the signs of diabetes can be mistakenly linked too, although it is rare for diabetes to be misdiagnosed but it is more common for the various types to be confused.
Case studies of misdiagnosis of diabetes have linked the disease to:
It is possible for those with another condition to wrongly be diagnosed as diabetic. In fact, a 2011 audit of GP patient records indicated that around 100,000 people in England may have been incorrectly diagnosed with diabetes. Around 80 out of 1,600 diabetic patients are misdiagnosed.
Misdiagnosis not only means that underlying conditions and the cause of symptoms go untreated but can affect the health of a patient directly too. Being prescribed and taking medication that you don’t need can be dangerous. If you were wrongly diagnosed with diabetes when you had another condition, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose claim.
A missed diabetes diagnosis means that those suffering have a longer period before their blood sugar levels are controlled, increasing the risk of long-term complications developing. Complications associated with diabetes can lead to disabilities and in some cases, may even be life threatening.
Among the complications that a delay in diabetes diagnosis can increase the risk of are:
Diabetes increases the risk of a number of cardiovascular problems developing, including having a heart attack or a stroke. Cardiovascular disease can be life threatening and those with diabetes are more likely to experience them, especially if their blood sugar levels are not managed effectively through treatment.
Retinopathy can lead to vision problems, including blindness and other serious vision conditions. Diabetes can damage the vessels in the retina and uncontrolled blood sugar makes it more likely to occur. Those that have been diagnosed should be invited to an annual check to monitor damage. A delay in diagnosis of diabetes means that these checks aren’t carried out so the complication develops further before detection.
Excess sugar can cause neuropathy, or nerve damage, particularly in the legs. It’s usually first detected due to tingling or numbness that starts at the tips of the fingers or toes and spreads.
Nephropathy, or kidney damage, can also be a complication, which in rare, severe cases can lead to kidney failure and the need for a transplant. Diabetics are at a greater risk of kidney disease as the condition can affect the tiny blood vessels within the organ.
The seriousness of the long-term complications for diabetes highlight the risk that doctor misdiagnosed diabetes can bring. In order to minimise the risks, a quick diagnosis is important.
According to Diabetes UK:
An estimated 10% of people with diabetes are have Type 1 diabetes, while the remaining 90% of Type 2 diabetes.