Can I claim for the failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis against my doctor who failed to diagnose it if I now have a pulmonary embolism as result?
It may be possible for you to make a claim for the failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis against your doctor. The fact that you are now suffering from what can be a dangerous condition that could have been avoided suggests a demonstration of negligence due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose DVT. Some people are more prone to developing DVT than others, especially women on birth control. When consulted your doctor about it they should have examined your medical history and taken into account any other factors that could have made you likely to develop DVT. If your doctor failed to do any of this, then you could have strong grounds on which to make a deep vein thrombosis medical negligence claim.
It is advisable that you discuss this with a claims solicitor as soon as it is convenient. He or she will be able to determine whether or not negligence did take place by consulting with an independent medical expert. This medical expert will establish if another competent doctor would have been able to diagnose your DVT. They will share their findings with your solicitor who may represent you in your claim for the failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis based on what the medical expert concludes. If they deem your claim for failing to diagnose DVT to have a considerable chance of success, they may offer you legal representation.
Your solicitor will begin the claims process by writing a letter of claim to the negligent party, informing them that you are pursuing a deep vein thrombosis medical negligence claim against them. The negligent medical professional will have twenty one days to acknowledge receipt of the letter and then a further ninety days to inform your solicitor if they accept liability for the failure to diagnose DVT. If they accept responsibility then your solicitor will enter into negotiations to obtain the maximum amount of compensation you should be entitled to. This will be calculated based on a value obtained from the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages which is a publication listing a variety of injuries and their claim values depending on their nature and extent. This figure will be adjusted in accordance with your age, sex, the pain and suffering you endured because of your undiagnosed DVT and the impact failing to diagnose DVT has had on your life as result.
Because of the UK Statute of Limitations which was established in 1980 as part of the Limitations act, you will have three years from the date that you learned you had DVT to pursue a claim. Although this may appear to be a sufficient time to prepare a claim, it is still advisable that you contact a claims solicitor at the first possible moment. Unforeseen delays may occur in the form of your solicitor encountering difficulties in gathering adequate evidence, or in negotiating your final settlement. Furthermore, if your claim is being made against the NHS a letter of complaint will have to be sent within one year of you learning that you have DVT. Discussing your claim for the failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis at the first possible moment will allow your solicitor a more sufficient amount of time to pursue a claim.