Late Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis & Personal Injury Explained

Most medical practitioners do their very best to deliver the best care to patients. There are times however, when they make mistakes, misdiagnose or late diagnose. What are the differences and when does it constitute personal injury?

People are often wary about questioning clinicians, but there are times when those undergoing medical assessment or treatment, feel that they have suffered due to the inaction, error or negligence of those who delivered their medical care or diagnosis. In these instances, it’s important to find out if this is the case. Not only may you be entitled to claim for medical negligence*, but you may also prevent the situation occurring in the future, with another member of the public. At Pilar, our solicitors will listen to you, respect your views and will advise you on the best course of action to take.

Late Diagnosis

Being diagnosed with an illness or ongoing condition is stressful in itself. If this diagnosis is delayed, it can have an undue impact on quality of life and can be traumatising. It may also have prevented you from getting the correct treatment at an early stage. Whether it is in relation to ongoing conditions or more serious illness, including cancer, the effects of late diagnosis can be far ranging. If treatment is delayed or quality of life diminished due to a delay in diagnosing a condition, it can be life changing.  Medical negligence* can happen when a person suffers personal injury* as a result of the action or lack of action of a medical person or team. Late diagnosis can fall into this category, if it has caused unnecesary and preventable injury.


Misdiagnosis can occur for several reasons. A false positive or false negative result may occur following screening for illness. A screening may have been incorrectly assessed or an illness may not have been recognised upon screening. A doctor may also diagnose an illness which was not in fact present and the patient may have had unnecessary treatment. Laboratory and human error can result in misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis can have a huge impact on a patient, sometimes with severe implications and medical outcomes. Illnesses can also be missed if a clinician fails to carry out standard or recognised tests, to determine an illness. In some instances misdiagnosis can give rise to medical negligence.

Proving Negligence

Proving medical negligence in relation to late diagnosis or misdiagnosis, hinges on a range of factors. For negligence to occur, it has to be seen that the diagnosis should have been reasonably made, within an acceptable length of time. It should also be clear that it was reasonable to expect that a medical professional would usually have made the correct decision; in other words, if a diagnosis for a condition would ordinarily be made, but wasn't in your case, negligence may have occured.

If you have suffered due to a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis, you may have grounds to pursue a medical negligence* claim. This is normally done through your legal team, who will pursue the matter on your behalf. Claims are often vigourously defended. Our teams have over 20 yrs' experience in dealing with medical negligence* claims and are used to dealing with the compelxities of misdiagnosis cases. It is your legal representatives who will follow up on all aspects of proving negligence, leaving you to look after your health and wellbeing. 

Making a Claim

We often find that when it comes to medical issues, clients have already told people close to them of their concerns about their treatment. Often they’ve listened to numerous opinions on what they should do, or in some cases, have been told that they are overreacting or that they should just try to get better. The Injuries Board doesn't deal with medical negligence* cases, so a separate legal route is required. At Pilar, our solicitors are experts in personal injury* and we can give you skilled and honest advice, based on our years of working in the area. We will give you a clear idea of whether we think you have grounds for making a claim and we will do so quickly. 

Medical Experts

At Pilar, our solicitors, work with medical experts from Ireland and abroad. Together we will assess the legal and medical aspects of your treatment or the lack of care and attention that has occurred. We have the ability to obtain and examine your medical records or history of treatment. Our experts are thorough and we will do everything to make sure that you have all the information and the best advice available.

The medical experts we work with are highly experienced in the area of assessing medical negligence* and leave nothing to chance. It’s important to trust people who will handle your case. At Pilar, our legal and medical teams know how stressful it can be to suffer personal injury* following a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis. We will make sure that you get access to the best medical advice available, no matter what the area of medicine or treatment is.

Contacting Pilar Lawyers

If you have suffered an injury following misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, you may have a case to make a medical negligence* claim. At Pilar our solicitors will advise you on whether we think you have grounds to make a claim. We will give you honest and expert opinion about all aspects of your case, using clear and jargon free language.

 You can call us on 01 2943846 to discuss your case in confidence.

You can also contact us by our easy to use form on our homepage





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