Not everybody who suffers a cardiac infarction after visiting their doctor with chest pains or a shortness of breath is entitled to make a claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack. This is because, before it is possible to claim compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence, it has to be proven that the treatment you received fell below that which is accepted by the general medical community.
You might understandably feel that the treatment you or a loved one received was negligent, but patients who are about to become victims of a heart attack do not necessarily display an exact range of symptoms. Some only show mild symptoms of their impending injury, while others may be much younger than the average age associated with a heart attack, or may have no other indicators – such as an unhealthy lifestyle – that they are at risk of suffering an injury.
Making a Claim for the Misdiagnosis of Symptoms of an Impending Heart Attack
Therefore, as it is impossible to retrospectively examine the symptoms that were shown prior to the heart attack, a solicitor would ask for your permission to access your medical records. These would be reviewed by an independent medical expert to determine whether “at the time and in the circumstances” the symptoms you were presenting should “on the balance of probabilities” have been diagnosed as the symptoms of an impending heart attack.
If sufficient evidence of medical negligence is identified, your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the NHS Trust or GP surgery responsible for your care. The letter will advise the NHS Trust or GP surgery that you are making a claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack and will be supported by the evidence of negligence identified by the independent medical expert.
Depending on the strength of your claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack, liability for your injury may be admitted quickly or it may be necessary to issue court proceedings. The issuing of court proceedings rarely requires that you have to endure the trauma of a court hearing, as many claims for compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence are resolved in out-of-court settlements.
The Settlement of your Compensation for a Heart Attack due to Medical Negligence
The settlement of your compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence will depend on many factors. The outcome of the heart attack and any subsequent reduction in your life expectancy will be the primary factors considered by your solicitor, and you will also be able to claim compensation for any psychological injury – such as depression or an anxiety disorder – with which you are diagnosed.
The deterioration in your quality of life following the heart attack will also be taken into account, especially if you are a younger person with a healthy lifestyle who is no longer able to pursue recreational and social pastimes. You age will also be a factor in the calculation of compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence if your injury affects your employment prospects and you experience a loss of income.
There are circumstances in which the settlement of compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence can be reduced because of your own lack of care. These circumstances occur when you do not disclose any relevant medical history or any medication you are on to your doctor. Certain conditions and medications mask the symptoms of an impending heart attack and, if you failed to advice your doctor of these, the settlement of your claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack could be reduced to reflect your contributory negligence.
Independent Legal Advice about Heart Attacks and Medical Negligence
Because it is not guaranteed that you automatically meet the criteria to claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack, we invite you to call our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau to discuss the circumstances of your misdiagnosis with a medical negligence solicitor.
Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about claiming compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence, and although he or she will not be able to confirm you are entitled to compensation during an initial telephone conversation, they will be able to advise you of the options that are available to you.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for the misdiagnosis of symptoms of an impending heart attack once you have spoken with us. The aim of our service is to provide impartial legal advice so that you can make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for compensation for a heart attack due to medical negligence that may be worth your while to pursue.