Could I Claim If My Cancer Was Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis?

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 22nd April 2024. If your cancer was misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis as a result of negligence, then you could be entitled to claim. You would need to show that you were caused avoidable or unnecessary harm as a direct result of a breach of duty.

In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming compensation if you were harmed by medical negligence. We’ll address the duty of care that medical professionals owe and how this can be breached by looking at some circumstances that could be classed as medical negligence.

You may be wondering how much you could receive in the event of a successful claim. This guide will look at how settlements are valued and the different kinds of payments that could be included in a payout.

To see if you can claim compensation for negligent cancer care, please get in touch with our team today. You could be connected with one of the No Win No Fee lawyers from our panel if your case is valid.

Please make your enquiry today using the details below:

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What Is Bone Cancer?

There arte two types of bone cancer that could be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis. Osteosarcoma is a rare type of cancer which can develop in the bones or tissues in the bones, and often affects older children and teenagers.

Chondrosarcoma is a more common type of bone cancer, which often grows on the surface of a bone or inside the bone. It is more common in people over 40.

Symptoms of these bone cancers include the following:

  • Swelling where cancer appears
  • Pain in the affected bone
  • Weakness in the bone that could cause a fracture

Cancer is a condition that can get progressively worse over time. This means that is the condition is diagnosed late, it could spread to other parts of the body and become difficult to treat. For example, bone cancer can spread to the brain, lungs or other bones like the spine. In some cases, it could progress to the point where it cannot be treated, leading to a wrongful death.

All medical professionals have a duty of care towards the patients that they treat. They need to provide care that meets a minimum standard. If this is not met, and you’re caused harm that the right level of care would have prevented, this is an example of medical negligence. You could be entitled to claim compensation for how this has affected you.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition usually affects the hands, wrists and feet.

The sufferer may also experience inflammation in other parts of their body. Swollen joints may also appear red and warm to the touch. In addition, someone with rheumatoid arthritis may experience fatigue, appetite loss, and weight loss.

If you have been harmed by medical negligence, why not speak with a member of our team today? If your case is valid, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your case.

Examples Of Payouts For Cancer Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you make a successful claim after your cancer was misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, you will receive general damages. This is one of two heads of compensation that can result from a medical negligence claim. 

General damages are awarded to all successful claimants, because this heading addresses the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the harm you suffered.

When this heading is calculated, those responsible for valuing your claim can get help from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a document that can help when negotiating a settlement, as it provides guideline compensation brackets for different forms of harm at varying severities. 

We’ve included some of these brackets in the table below. Please note that these are only guidelines, and that the first entry in this table is not taken from the JCG.

Guideline Compensation Brackets

InjuryAbout This InjuryPotential Payout
Multiple Instances Of Severe Harm And Special DamagesA combination of severe harm and special damages, which includes financial losses such as lost earnings.Up to £1,000,000+
Brain Damage - Very Severe The injury leaves the person requiring full time care. How long they are expected to live and the extent of physical limitation impact the compensation payout.£344,150 to £493,000
Brain Damage - Moderately SevereThe person is left with serious disabilities and requires professional care. They will be substantially reliant on others.£267,340 to £344,150
Brain Damage - Moderate (ii) Moderate to modest impact on intellect and great reduction in the ability to work, if any at all. £90,720 to £150,110
Back Injuries- Severe (i) Damage to spinal cord causing pain and disability. £111,150 to £196,450
Back Injuries- Severe (ii) Damage to nerve roots, loss of sensation. £90,510 to £107,910
Lung Disease The person is younger and left with a serious disability. The condition will progressively worsen and lead to a premature death.£122,850 to £165,860
Lung Disease Lung cancer which impairs the function of the lung and the person’s quality of life. The person will also experience severe pain.£85,460 to £118,790

What Else Could I Claim?

You might also be eligible for special damages. Not all claimants receive this heading, because it covers the financial losses caused by the harm you suffered. For example, this could include losses such as:

  • Lost earnings after taking time off work to recover.
  • The cost of alternative childcare.
  • Paying for help with housekeeping, such as cooking and cleaning. 
  • Prescriptions and professional nursing care. 

These are just a few examples of costs that could be recouped under special damages. However, you need to be able to prove these losses, through evidence such as bank statements or receipts. 

To get started on your cancer misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis claim, contact our team of friendly advisors today.

Examples of How Cancer Could Be Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are a number of different ways that a condition could be misdiagnosed. Not all of these will be the result of a breach of duty of care. If you received a late or incorrect diagnosis even though the right level of care was provided, you would not be entitled to claim.

Below are some examples of how bone cancer could be misdiagnosed or how you could receive a delayed diagnosis of the condition:

  • Your doctor fails to perform a bone X-ray despite the fact that you have been experiencing your symptoms for some time.
  • A bone biopsy is performed as you have been complaining about pain and swelling in one of your legs. However, the sample of bone is taken from the other leg. This means that the tests indicate that you do not have cancer, so you’re diagnosed with arthritis.
  • An X-ray is performed on your affected bone, but the technician makes an error while doing so. This means that the test results are inconclusive.

You may have been harmed in a way we have not mentioned above. Provided that you were harmed as the result of a misdiagnosis resulting from negligence, you could be entitled to claim.

Now that we’ve looked at how cancer can be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, we will look in the next section at how you could be impacted by that. If you’d like to speak with someone directly about claiming, get in touch with an advisor today.

How Could Cancer Being Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect You?

Medical practitioners are legally required to provide their patients with a minimum standard of care. In other words, they have a duty of care towards their patients. If your condition is misdiagnosed, this could affect your health in a number of ways.

A delay in diagnosis usually means that you will not receive treatment as quickly as you could have. This could mean that your condition gets worse. In the case of cancer, the condition could spread to another part of the body. This could cause you more pain and suffering.

Furthermore, a delay in treatment could mean that you need more intensive treatment. For example, you may need a larger section of bone removed than you would have initially, or you might require a longer course of chemotherapy because your cancer has progressed.

How To Prove That Cancer Has Been Misdiagnosed As Rheumatoid Arthritis

Proving that medical negligence occurred and demonstrating the harm it caused you is important when making a claim.

Evidence which may be used to prove medical negligence could include:

  • A diary of your symptoms to demonstrate how the misdiagnosis affected you.
  • Your medical records. You might also be asked to attend a medical assessment as part of your claim to assist in the valuation.
  • Evidence of the financial impact of your misdiagnosis, for example, receipts from purchases you have made.

Please get in touch with a member of our team today. If you have a valid case, they could connect you with a lawyer from our panel.

Get Advice On Negligent Cancer Care

You may wish to work with a No Win No Fee lawyer when making a claim. If you work with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel, then you could be offered a kind of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement.

This means that, generally:

  • There aren’t any upfront or ongoing payments for you to make to your lawyer
  • If you aren’t awarded compensation, you won’t pay them for their services
  • If you are awarded compensation, a legally-capped percentage of your settlement will be deducted as a success fee

To see if you can start a claim for medical negligence, please get in touch with our team today:

  • Call 0161 696 9685 to speak with a claims advisor
  • Contact us via our website by filling out our form
  • Use the web chat widget below

Medical Misdiagnosis Resources

These guides may be helpful if you wish to claim clinical negligence compensation:

Wrong Patient Medication Errors

Advice On Making A GP Negligence Claim

Misdiagnosed Stroke Compensation Claims – if you’ve suffered harm because you were misdiagnosed with a stroke, this guide offers essential advice on your legal rights and what you can do.

We have also included some external resources that you could find useful:

Bone cancer – an NHS guide

Statutory Sick Pay – Government guidance

The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council

If you have any more questions about claiming compensation for cancer misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, speak with an advisor today.

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