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Delays in diagnosis, performing unnecessary surgery or poor surgical technique can result in a heart condition deteriorating to the extent that you are unable to continue with your career and support your family.
Claims can arise from the misdiagnosis of heart symptoms, treatment of heart attacks (myocardial infarction), a failure to diagnose a fatal cardiac arrhythmia or to recognise and treat endocarditis, an infection of the heart.
If you have concerns about the level of care you have received you may be able to bring a claim for the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of your cardiac condition or the negligent treatment of your heart problems.
How do I make a claim about a heart problem
This is a specialist area requiring both legal and medical knowledge to understand and appreciate what evidence is required and to interpret that evidence when it is obtained.
Your lawyers must have relationships with the appropriate medical experts who can advise on the quality of care you received and, in some circumstances, assess your current medical condition and advise on any future treatment that may be required.
Shoosmiths must be able to show that you received sub-standard medical treatment and that as a consequence of that sub-standard treatment you have suffered an outcome you otherwise would have avoided.
If you are worried about the treatment that you received you should seek advice from a specialist solicitor. There are time limits to making clinical negligence claims and it is best if you call us as soon as possible so that we are able to advise you of your options.
How long will a claim about a heart problem take
There is no simple answer to this question. The length of time a claim takes to conclude depends on a variety of factors, such as whether your injury is resolved or ongoing, and the other party’s response.
We will need access to your medical records and will obtain evidence from independent experts to provide reports to establish if there is a case to be answered. If we can establish that you have received sub-standard care we then need to obtain independent expert evidence about your current condition, future health and what help you may require on an ongoing basis.
Your personal circumstances, age and employment prospects will dictate how many reports are required and how long we will need to take account of lost earnings, if you cannot return to work, and the cost of whatever help and support you may need now and in the future.
The other side’s approach to the case will also effect the length of time matters take to come a conclusion. If the claim is robustly denied the claim can take longer to conclude. We will not want to resolve a claim if progression of your medical condition is uncertain. Although few cases proceed to trial, this remains a possibility in every case.
We will always aim to settle your case without delay, but it’s important we take the time to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
If I have a heart problem case
Establishing if you have claim depends on whether our expert lawyers can show that there was a breach of the duty owed to you by the responsible healthcare staff; that is to say, we have to establish your care fell below the reasonable standard expected.
Examples of breaches of duty would be failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis; GPs missing vital signs of heart disease or failing to refer their patients for further cardiac investigations; surgeons making avoidable errors or performing unnecessary operations.
If we can establish a breach of duty we then have to demonstrate on ‘the balance of probability' (i.e. there is a greater than 51% chance) that those failures caused you injury and loss that you otherwise would not have suffered.
There are time limits within which you can claim so whatever your circumstances you should contact us as soon as is practicable. We can then give you free initial advice about whether a claim is possible and establish what additional treatments you may require to help you deal with the future, whatever your prognosis.
Cardiology and cardiovascular claims can be challenging and complex. The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Shoosmiths which specialises in this sort of work and can advise you if you have a case that has prospects of success.
More about heart problem claims
Misdiagnosis is a cause of claims about heart problems. A myocardial infarction is often confused with conditions such as angina, bronchitis and oesophagitis. Symptoms of heart problems may be mistakenly ascribed to heartburn or an anxiety attack. This failure to diagnose and therefore treat a heart attack or a potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have very serious consequences.
Whilst treatment is often available such treatments may not reverse any damage already done and other injuries such as paralysis or brain damage can result from that initial misdiagnosis.
More useful information about heart problems can be found on the British Heart Foundation website.
If your injury was a consequence of medical negligence, whether due to misdiagnosis or errors in cardiac surgery, you may be able to make a claim. Damages will aim to help improve quality of life.
'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'
Our team of clinical negligence specialists includes former nurses and we have links with leading medical experts in the field whose input will be crucial to making a successful heart problem claim.Why Shoosmiths