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Delay in diagnosis or treatment
of leprosy claims

Delay in diagnosis or treatment of leprosy claims

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Claiming for leprosy

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

Leprosy is often considered a medical condition that has long been eradicated in the UK. But, while rare, it is still possible to be infected with the disease, which has serious complications if left untreated. Leprosy can be completely cured with the swift  delivery of medication and leave no lasting effects. However, where vital treatment is delayed it can cause severe, debilitating disabilities.

Finding out that you have leprosy at any point can be terrifying but discovering the disease is the cause of your symptoms after being misdiagnosed can make it even more difficult to come to terms with. Patients that have been let down by the medical system can often feel vulnerable and unsure of where to turn to advice. Leprosy misdiagnosis compensation can help those that have been affected, not only offering them financial support but giving them answers too.

Holding those responsible to account for your suffering can provide you with compensation. Some of the complications of untreated leprosy can mean you need to make substantial changes to your life and the money awarded can help. For instance, you may need further medical treatment to ease conditions or adaptions to your home to accommodate disabilities. You may also no longer be able to work in your previous position and compensation can help lessen financial concerns you may have. 

We understand that the legal process can seem complex and scary. But here at Your Legal Friend, we pride ourselves on supporting those affected by medical negligence. From the very beginning of the process we’ll be by your side offering support and guidance. We’ll work on your behalf to build a strong case against those responsible for your misdiagnosed leprosy to ensure your case has the best possible outcome.

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

The time limit on making a leprosy claim

Every medical claim is subject to a three-year time limit. If you want to take a case forward you must act within this time period.

The starting point of making a medical claim can sometimes be confusing for those that have been affected by misdiagnosis. In legal terms, it’s referred to the ‘date of knowledge’ but it simply means the date that your realised a form of medical negligence had occurred. In some cases, such as those where you were misdiagnosed multiple times, it can be difficult to understand exactly how long you have to act. If you’re unsure, we can help you untangle the details and use our skills to show you how to progress your claim to the next stage.

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 a maximum of three years to take action, we advise that you start the process as soon you can. This means that when it comes to giving your witness statement you will be able to recall more of the details of your experience, helping to build a stronger case. We’ll also use documents to demonstrate your claim, such as medical records or payslips, and these can be easier to obtain the closer to the ‘date of knowledge’ they are requested.

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 leprosy 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 a leprosy 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 leprosy 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 leprosy 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 leprosy 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 leprosy 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 a leprosy misdiagnosis?

You may be able to make a claim for misdiagnosis of leprosy compensation if you did not receive the standard of care you should have while suffering. Misdiagnosis of the condition can occur in multiple ways and you’ll need to demonstrate that there was a missed opportunity for an accurate diagnosis. For leprosy, this could show:

  • That your doctor did not properly examine and assess your symptoms
  • That your doctor did not order any tests to determine the cause of skin lesions
  • That your test results were read wrongly
  • That abnormalities in test results were not followed-up
  • That biopsy results were negative but a follow-up skin smear was not ordered despite symptoms indicating leprosy
  • There was an unnecessary delay in the diagnosis or treatment being delivered for leprosy

To be able to make a misdiagnosis of leprosy compensation claim you’ll also need to be able to show that it led to undue suffering. This could range from the stress of having an undiagnosed condition to a lifelong disability caused by untreated leprosy.

If you want to take a claim forward, we understand that it can seem like a daunting prospect. With the support of a leprosy misdiagnosis lawyer we’ll ensure that the whole process is as smooth as possible, taking the stress and pressure off you.

How much compensation will I get?

All leprosy misdiagnosis claims are different and this is reflected in the compensation that each claimant receives. We’ll take a wide range of factors into consideration when placing a value on your claim, ensuring the compensation you could receive accurately reflects the undue suffering that you’ve experienced.

For instance, those that have suffered minor nerve damage to their limbs will receive less compensation that someone who has lost their vision or needed a limb amputated due to the complications of misdiagnosed leprosy. We’ll take the time to listen to your experiences, ensuring we understand the full impact misdiagnosis has had on you and the severity of your condition. Using our legal experience, we’ll then give your case a value.

Leprosy misdiagnosis malpractice claims can also consider general damages. This can include areas such as lost earnings due to being unable to work and travel expenses.

While we can’t tell you how much your misdiagnosed leprosy lawsuit could be worth without first speaking to you, it could amount to thousands. Every year the NHS is forced to pay out millions to those patients that have been affected by medical negligence, including those that were misdiagnosed.

How long do I have to claim?

If you’ve been affected by misdiagnosis when you had leprosy and would like to make a claim for compensation, you must do so within the timeframe for all medical claims – three years – failing to act before this point means you won’t be able to take a claim forward.

We know that the last thing on your mind when you’ve been diagnosed with leprosy is likely to be making a claim. But we advise our clients to start the leprosy misdiagnosis lawsuit process as soon as possible. This not only means that you are able to move past the experience sooner but it can also help build your case too. When you work with us, we’ll use evidence to support your claims. This could be medical records demonstrating where you were let down by those responsible for your care and a witness statement, detailing your experiences. These are often easier to obtain and complete the sooner you act, helping to support your leprosy misdiagnosis claim.

The starting point of the medical claim time limit can be difficult to understand and we can offer you support here too. The timeframe starts from when you first realised that mistakes had been made, referred to in legal terms as the ‘date of knowledge’. In complex cases, it can be difficult to understand when this occurred. But by listening to your experiences our team of leprosy misdiagnosis lawyers can help you understand exactly how long you have to act.

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

What is leprosy?

Leprosy is an infectious disease that’s been around since ancient times. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected worldwide but it’s rare in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Historically, leprosy has been a disease that’s terrified civilizations and has negative stigmas attached to those suffering, including being outcast. However, with modern medicine and treatment, it’s a disease that’s curable, without any lasting effects occurring if it’s delivered quickly. For this reason, missed leprosy diagnosis can be serious and lead to those affected living with life-altering side effects because of the delay in treatment. Those that have experienced a delay in diagnosis of leprosy may be able to make a compensation claim against those responsible.

There are different types of leprosy and the one that you’re diagnosed with can affect the treatment that you’re given.

What causes leprosy?

Leprosy is the result of a slow growing type of bacteria called Mycobaterium leprae. While there are very few cases of people in the UK catching and spreading leprosy in modern times, it’s possible to pick up the infection while abroad, where the disease is more common, such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, or Nigeria.

Leprosy is spread through close and repeated contact with someone who has untreated, severe leprosy. It’s most likely to develop in children but it’s also possible for adults to develop the condition.

What are the symptoms of leprosy?

Leprosy affects two main areas of the body – the skin and the nerves outside the brain and spinal cords. In most cases leprosy takes years to develop after initially coming into contact with the disease, with noticeable symptoms usually taking around three years to develop but in some cases the signs of leprosy aren’t evident until up to 20 years later. The gradual nature of the disease means it can be easy for leprosy misdiagnosis to occur as it typically won’t be linked to the time period when the patient first became infected.

Often the first signs that people notice are on their skin. These may include skin sores, lumps, or bumps that do not heal or disappear even after several weeks or months. The skin sores of leprosy are lighter than your normal skin tone.

As the disease also affects and damages the nerves, other symptoms may include a loss of feeling in the limbs and muscle weakness. The disease may also affect the eyes and the tissue that lines the inside of the nose, resulting in vision loss, frequent nosebleeds and feeling congested.

How is leprosy diagnosed?

If you’re affected by leprosy you’re first medical visit is likely to be your GP with concerns about skin lesions. Your doctor should look at the affected areas of skin and ask you about other symptoms you may have.

If you have a suspicious skin sore, you’ll likely have a biopsy conducted. This is where a small sample of the affected tissue is removed and sent to a lab for further testing. In most cases, a biopsy will show that bacteria is present and rule out other potential causes of the symptoms. However, some forms of leprosy are not diagnosable through a biopsy so you may also have a skin smear, which will detect and highlight leprosy as the cause.  

Due to leprosy being uncommon in the UK, leprosy misdiagnosis cases do occur. In fact, some medical professionals have previously commented that the disease is commonly misdiagnosed here because its rarity means it’s often overlooked, resulting in misdiagnosed leprosy stories.

How is leprosy treated?

Leprosy can be cured, usually with antibiotics. In some cases, antibiotics may need to be taken for extended periods of time, such as for up to a year, to completely be rid of the disease. There are different medications that can be given for the disease, sometimes in combination, and which one you’re treated with will depend on the type of leprosy that you have been diagnosed with.

While treatment can completely cure leprosy, it can’t reverse the nerve damage that the condition may have caused and there are other complications associated with the disease too. It’s for this reason that a delay in leprosy diagnosis can be serious, leading to complications that can’t be treated and may leave those suffering with life changing effects. If you’ve experienced undiagnosed leprosy, despite seeking medical advice, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose leprosy claim to reflect the undue harm delayed treatment has resulted in.

What conditions can leprosy be misdiagnosed as?

The symptoms of the condition mean that it’s possible for misdiagnosis of leprosy to occur, as the signs mimic other medical issues, particularly symptoms that affect the skin.

Common conditions that misdiagnosed leprosy may be labelled as, include:

  • Skin infections
  • Eczema
  • Syphilis
  • Vitiligo
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Erythema nodosum
  • Erythema multiforme

While the symptoms of leprosy can be diagnosed as another condition, tests and lack of effective treatment should highlight where wrong leprosy diagnosis has occurred. The wrong diagnosis of leprosy can have a serious impact on how easy it is to treat and allow complications linked to the disease to develop further, some of which may be irreversible. Late leprosy diagnosis may be able to form the basis of a compensation claim.

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

What are the complications of misdiagnosed leprosy?

When diagnosed and treated during the early stages, there are usually no lasting effects of leprosy. However, cases of misdiagnosis of leprosy or incidences where treatment has been delayed, mean that complications are allowed to develop. In some cases, these complications can lead to lifelong disabilities.

Complications associated with misdiagnosed leprosy cases include:

  • Sensory loss
  • Muscle weakness, that can lead to claw-like hands
  • Disfigurement
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic nasal congestion and collapse of the nasal septum
  • Permeant nerve damage
  • Iritis – inflammation of the iris of the eye
  • Blindness
  • Amputation of limbs due to nerve damage
  • Kidney failure

The severe extent of the complications that can be caused by untreated leprosy highlight the need for a fast diagnosis. GP misdiagnosis leprosy can mean that complications are more likely to occur, giving them a longer period to progress before vital treatment is delivered.

How often is leprosy misdiagnosed?

There aren’t any official leprosy misdiagnosis statistics for the UK. However, in the past researchers have warned that there were up to 129 cases of leprosy in England and Wales between 2001 and 2010 and that a delayed diagnosis of leprosy was possible because many assume it’s a condition that’s been eradicated in Britain. Those behind the research, urged doctors to be on the lookout for the signs of the disease over fears that many cases are remaining undetected.

If you’ve experienced doctor misdiagnosed leprosy in the UK, you may be able to make a failure to diagnose claim. You should be able to rely on those responsible for your care to take all the necessary steps to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms in order to achieve an accurate diagnosis. Where you’ve been let down, the legal system can provide support.

What are the statistics on leprosy?

According to the World Health Organisation, there are over 210,000 cases of diagnosed leprosy each year – around one every two minutes. However, this doesn’t take into consideration those that aren’t diagnosed. It’s also worth noting that most of these cases occur outside of Europe, in fact, over half of cases were in India.

It’s estimated that two million people globally are affected by disabilities due to the complications of the condition and from leprosy misdiagnosis delaying treatment.