Can I Claim If A Hospital Missed A Collapsed Lung?

You might be able to claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung during a diagnosis or assessment through the provision of substandard care. A medical professional failing to diagnose a collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, could lead you to suffer unnecessary and avoidable harm. For example, your condition could get worse and in some instances might be life threatening.

In this guide, we look at when and how you could make a hospital negligence claim. We explain what duty of care medical professionals and hospitals owe patients, what circumstances are classed as medical negligence, how the claims process works, what you could be awarded in compensation and how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you claim a settlement.

For further information on how to claim medical negligence compensation for negligent hospital care, contact a member of our team today. You can do so via the contact details below:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685 to discuss medical negligence claims.
  • Request a call back by filling out our online contact form.
  • Use our live support feature to talk to a member of our team.

A cartoon image of a punctured lung caused by medical negligence.

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When Are You Able To Claim If A Hospital Missed A Collapsed Lung?

Medical professionals working in a hospital, whether private or public, owe a duty of care to their patients. This requires them to provide care of the correct standard. 

The way in which medical professionals are expected to uphold this duty of care will differ depending on the area of medicine they specialise in. For example, the Royal College of Nursing sets out the duty of care for nurses whilst the General Medical Council outlines the professional standards for doctors. 

If a hospital missed a collapsed lung due to providing substandard care and this caused you to suffer avoidable harm, this could constitute medical negligence. 

In order to make a hospital negligence claim, you need to show:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty of care.
  • You suffered avoidable harm as a result of the breach.

To find out more about the eligibility criteria when claiming for a collapsed lung misdiagnosis, call our team on the number above.

How To Claim Compensation If A Hospital Missed A Collapsed Lung

In order to make a successful hospital negligence claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung you need to have supporting evidence that shows you received negligent hospital care.

Evidence which could help you to show that hospital negligence led to your collapsed lung could include the following:

  • Medical evidence. You can ask for copies of medical reports from any hospital, GP or other relevant medical appointments. Medical records could also include copies of any X-Rays you were given, your treatment plan and the results of any medical tests.
  • Keep a record of any letters or emails you have from the hospital, your GP or other medical professionals.
  • Keep a medical diary. In this you should keep a record of when you first visited the hospital and what happened there. You should also keep a diary of any subsequent symptoms you still have, when your condition is diagnosed and what treatment you receive. Try to also record how the lung damage or impaired lung function has impacted your overall physical and mental health.

You can find out more about how to prove medical negligence if you call an advisor using the number above. They can also advise if you have a valid medical negligence claim .

Time Limits In A Medical Negligence Claim

Hospital negligence claims must be made within the applicable time limit. In most instances the standard time limit of three years, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980, will apply to your claim. The time limit on medical negligence claims will begin either at point medical negligence occurred or at the point you became aware your condition had been misdiagnosed due to substandard care. 

There are exceptions to this three year rule. If the claimant is under the age of eighteen at the time of the claim they would not be able to claim on their own behalf. They could either have someone act as a litigation friend to claim on their behalf, or can wait till they are eighteen. At this point the standard limitation period of three years begins. 

If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim for medical negligence, a litigation friend may be appointed to make the claim on their behalf. Unless this person regains sufficient mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, their claim is not subject to a limitation period. If they do recover the capacity to claim and no claim has been made for them, the time limit starts from the recovery date.

Contact us to discover more about limitation periods which could apply to your collapsed lung medical negligence claim.

A stop watch representing time limits for medical negligence claims.

How Could A Hospital Have Missed A Collapsed Lung?

The medical term for a collapsed lung is pneumothorax. A collapsed lung may happen when air has become trapped between the lung and the chest wall. This may affect one or both lungs causing partial or full collapse. 

A collapsed lung is a serious and even life-threatening condition. If it is not treated complications could include cardiac and brain injuries because of reduced levels of oxygen. 

Whilst there may be several symptoms of a collapsed lung, the diagnosis may be confirmed through a chest X-ray. Failure to recognise the symptoms, to refer for an X-ray or failure to read an X-ray could all lead to the misdiagnosis of your injury. In order to be able to claim it will need to be shown that the medical professional treating you failed to provide the correct standard of care causing you avoidable harm.

Examples of how a delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis could happen could include:

  • Someone visits the A&E department presenting with chest pain and other clear symptoms of a collapsed lung. They are not referred for a chest X-ray. The patient is sent home without additional tests. Their condition becomes worse and they suffer both heart and brain damage. 
  • The person was referred for a lung biopsy but this was either carried out incorrectly or the results were not interpreted correctly so the collapsed lung is missed. As a result the person suffers lung or heart damage. 

Contact us to discuss your specific case and see if you could claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung.

Potential Compensation When Claiming For Hospital Negligence From A Collapsed Lung

If you make a successful medical negligence claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung, you could be awarded a settlement that consists of up to two heads of loss. The first is general damages which compensates for the pain and suffering caused by medical negligence.

Those valuing this head of loss can make reference to the guideline compensation brackets listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Additionally, they can refer to a report generated from an independent medical assessment you might need to attend as part of the claims process.

Compensation Table

You can find a selection of figures from the JCG in the table below. However, how much compensation you receive may depend on different factors, such as the severity of the harm you suffered and how it affected your overall quality of life. As such, you should use the figures in the table as a guide only. Also, the top entry is not from the JCG.

Injury SeverityGuideline Compensation BracketsOther Information
Multiple severe injuries and/or illnesses with financial lossesSevereUp to £1,000,000+ Compensation for the pain and suffering of multiple severe injuries and/or illnesses as well as monetary losses, such as lost income, care costs, and medical bills.
Brain InjuryVery Severe (a)£282,010 to £403,990There is little evidence that the person can meaningfully respond to their environment. They also suffer from double incontinence and have poor language function. Around the clock nursing care is needed.
Moderately Severe (b)£219,070 to £282,010The person is substantially dependent on other people due to being very seriously disabled. They need constant professional care.
Chest InjuriesComplete Removal of One Lung and/or Serious Heart Damage£100,670 to £150,110The person experiences serious and prolonged pain and suffering as well as significant and permanent scarring.
Damage to the Chest, Lung(s), and/or Heart£65,740 to £100,670Permanent damage, function and impairment, physical disability, and a reduced life expectancy is present.
Damage to the Chest and Lung(s)£31,310 to £54,830There is ongoing disability caused by the damage.
LungSerious Disability £100,670 to £135,920There is a probability of a progressive worsening causing an early death in cases where the person is young.

Special Damages When Making A Claim For Medical Negligence

Special damages compensate for the financial losses incurred due to medical negligence. They could include:

  • Loss of earnings.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Travel costs, such as the cost of travelling to medical appointments.
  • The cost of adaptations to your home.

In order to claim for these expenses, you will need to provide evidence such as bank statements, invoices and wage slips.

For more information on how much medical negligence compensation you could receive, call an advisor on the number above.

Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Negligent Hospital Care

Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors could help you to claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement. This allows you to access their services without needing to pay upfront. You will also not need to make any payments to your solicitor for the work they do on your claim whilst it is being made.

If your claim for a collapsed lung is successful, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation. The percentage they take as a success fee is capped by law, ensuring that you will get the majority of your settlement. This cap is set out in The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013If your claim is not successful, there will be no success fee to pay.

For more information about hospital negligence claims and when you could claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung, please get in touch with an advisor. They can assess your case and if you’re eligible to proceed, they could connect you with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel.

To get in touch about compensation claims, you can use the contact details below:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685 to discuss punctured lung compensation claims.
  • Request a call back by filling out our online contact form.
  • Use our live support feature to talk to a member of our team.

A solicitor working on a claim after a hospital missed a collapsed lung.

More Resources About Making Hospital Negligence Claims

Below, we have included more of our guides which can help if you have experienced medical negligence and wish to claim compensation. 

Finally, below you will find some external resources:

If you have any other questions about making a claim if a hospital missed a collapsed lung, call our team on the number above.