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Child misdiagnosis compensation
Because young children and babies cannot verbalise and tell us what’s wrong, or where it hurts, an exact diagnosis isn’t always easy.
In addition, a lot of childhood illnesses have similar symptoms, such as high temperature, lethargy, reduced appetite – with some illnesses being minor and some extremely severe. For medics, this makes diagnosis more difficult.
However, a misdiagnosis can have a significant impact on your child and could lead to a delay in them receiving the correct treatment. If your child has received a misdiagnosis from a healthcare professional and has suffered an injury, you may be eligible to make a claim.
Is there a time limit on making a claim for child misdiagnosis?
When making a claim for medical negligence, if the person who the mistake happened to is or was under 18 at the time, the time limit for issuing court proceedings is 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday). It is however helpful to make the initial enquiry long before that day arrives.
If the person the mistake happened to did not and does not have mental capacity, there is no time limit on making a claim.
How to make a claim
Although someone under the age of 18 cannot submit their own claim for medical negligence, a parent, guardian, or another responsible person, known as a ‘Litigation Friend’ can make a claim on their behalf.
The Litigation Friend will provide instruction and receive advice in connection with the case and may on occasion be able to manage the compensation that is obtained.
What happens to my child’s compensation?
If an award of damages is made or agreed for the child, approval by the court is needed. Not all medical negligence cases will require involvement of the court but in cases where a damages award is given for a minor, any settlement monies and their investment and management must be approved by a judge at a hearing. This hearing is called an infant approval hearing.
Whist attending court can seem daunting, infant approval hearings are often informal and quick, and the purpose is simply for the court to ensure any award is fair and reasonable for the child and is to be managed correctly.
If your child was misdiagnosed and has suffered injury, speak to us today for advice – our medical negligence experts will support you through the process and help you get the answers you deserve.