If you or somebody close to you has suffered an injury due to a burst appendix, after the symptoms of the condition have been overlooked, it may be possible to claim compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis. However, before making a claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence, there are some potential issues that need to be overcome.
The first issue is whether or not the symptoms of appendicitis were easy to recognise. If you attended your doctor during the early development of the illness, the symptoms could have likely been very similar to other potential illnesses. This issue can be resolved by finding out if a “competent” doctor would have recognised the symptoms of appendicitis “at the time and in the circumstances”.
The second issue is how long you took to seek medical attention when you were suffering from the symptoms of appendicitis, and what medication you self-prescribed. Medicines such as pain relief tablets and laxatives can mask the symptoms of appendicitis, and you doctor cannot be considered fully liable for your burst appendix if you contributed to the misdiagnosis by your own lack of care.
Making a Claim for a Burst Appendix due to Medical Negligence
To establish whether your burst appendix was attributable to medical negligence, your solicitor would ask an independent medical expert to review your medical notes to determine if “on the balance of probabilities” appendicitis should have been diagnosed when you first consulted your doctor. If evidence of negligence exists, your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the person(s) responsible for your care (usually an NHS Trust or a GPs practise).
The letter informs the person(s) responsible for your care that you have suffered a burst appendix due to medical negligence and that you are claiming compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis. The NHS Trust or GPs practise has ninety days to conduct its own investigation and then either admit liability for your injury or contest your claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence.
In the event that the claim is contested, it may be necessary to issue court proceedings. This does not necessarily been you will have the ordeal of a full court hearing as claims for compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis as frequently settled out of court. If you have any concerns about the potential to resolve your claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence at court, please advise your solicitor.
How Much Compensation for the Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis?
How much compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis you are entitled to will depend on a number of different factors. A compensation figure for your physical pain and suffering will be obtained from the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, and then adjusted to account for your age and your general state of health prior to being misdiagnosed with appendicitis.
If you believe that you have suffered any degree of psychological trauma, your solicitor will ask you to undergo a psychiatric evaluation so that the degree of your emotional injury can be quantified and included in your claim. The evaluation will also be used to help determine your “loss of amenity” – the deterioration in your quality of life if you are unable to engage in social and recreational pursuits that formed part of your life before your burst appendix.
Finally your claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence will allow you to recover any related costs and expenses you have incurred – or may incur in the future – and claim back any loss of income if you have been unable to work. Making sure that a settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis is accurate involves many different process, and this is why no claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence is ever like any other.
Specific Legal Advice about Appendicitis Misdiagnosis Claims
Naturally there is more to claiming compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis than is written above. This is because the circumstances of the misdiagnosis, the treatment you received when your appendix burst and the consequences of your avoidable injury will be different from anybody else.
To receive legal advice about appendicitis misdiagnosis claims that relates specifically to your individual circumstances, we invite you to contact our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau and discuss compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis directly with a medical negligence solicitor. Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about making a claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence, or about representing your child if they have suffered an injury due to a misdiagnosis of appendicitis.
All calls to our Medical negligence Advice Bureau are completely confidential and, by using our service, you are not under any obligation to proceed with a claim for compensation for the failure to diagnose appendicitis. We aim to provide impartial and specific legal advice which is relevant to your individual circumstances, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for a burst appendix due to medical negligence that may be worth your while to pursue.