Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

A Guide To Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

medical negligence compensation

When you go to the hospital or a doctor’s appointment, the expectation is that your health will improve because of it. However, in some cases, a mistake could be made by whoever’s treating you. This can cause you injuries or even make existing injuries or illnesses worse than before. If you are unfortunate enough to experience this, then you may deserve medical negligence compensation.

You could make a claim against a healthcare provider if it can be proven they’re responsible for an injury or illness you’ve suffered. Alternatively, if you are the next of kin of an individual who has died, is a child or lacks the mental capacity to take legal action themself, you could make a medical negligence claim on their behalf.

Read on to learn more about what exactly medical negligence is. We’ll also explain how to make a compensation claim for it and how the process works. We’ll look at how you can use our services to help with a medical compensation claim you want to make.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Looking to make a claim for medical negligence? You can contact UK Law for free legal advice on making this type of claim. Our panel of lawyers can provide valuable insight on what to expect when making a claim.

Our claims team can also advise on the strength of your potential claim and estimate the amount of compensation you could receive. So feel free to get in contact with us now by filling our online claim form or by phoning us on 020 3870 4868.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
  2. What Is Medical Negligence?
  3. Common Types Of Medical Negligence
  4. Am I Eligible To Claim For Medical Negligence?
  5. Statistics On Medical Negligence In The UK
  6. Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator
  7. NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
  8. Private Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
  9. Birth Injury And Cerebral Palsy Claims
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
  11. I Was Harmed By Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?
  12. Do You Handle Medical Negligence Compensation Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Contact Us For More Help
  14. Other Information
  15. FAQs About Medical Negligence Compensation

Everything You Need To Know About Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

Medical negligence claims can centre on many different kinds of issues and some cases can become very complex. In this guide, we’ll explain to you how medical negligence is defined and how it can happen. We’ll also explain how you can work out if you have grounds to claim medical negligence compensation.

This guide covers how this type of claim works depending on different circumstances. We’ll also explain why it’s wise to get help from a specialist medical negligence solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional provides substandard care to a patient, which then causes injuries to the patient or worsens their existing condition. This issue can come in many forms, which can make identifying medical negligence seem difficult for some.

If you’ve suffered medical negligence, then you may choose to hire a specialist medical negligence solicitor to work on the case. These types of solicitors have been specially trained to secure compensation deals for victims of medical negligence.

Specialist medical negligence solicitors should have prior experience working on medical negligence cases. Consequently, they’ll be familiar with the procedures and info required for these types of claims. You can contact us for free legal advice and other support for starting a medical negligence claim.

Common Types Of Medical Negligence

If you are getting a diagnosis, treatment or advice from a medical expert, then it’s possible they could make a mistake that could lead to medical negligence.

Medical negligence can come in many forms because of the vast number of conditions and treatments which exist. Certain types of medical negligence are more common than others though. If you are looking to make a medical compensation claim, it could be for one of the following types of negligence:

Birth injuries (including cerebral palsy)

Some medical negligence cases can centre on birth injuries. These can include any harm the mother or baby suffer either during pregnancy or delivery because of a medical professional’s negligence. Problems during pregnancy can cause life-changing issues for the mother and baby.

Issues can include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Bowel trauma

If it can be proven that a health expert or hospital contributed to any of these issues, then a medical negligence case could be made.

A claim can also be made in wrongful birth cases, where a procedure like a vasectomy went wrong.

Hospital negligence

Sometimes a patient could be harmed because the hospital and its staff they’re visiting provided incorrect or poor treatment. Another example of hospital negligence is poor hygiene standards from the staff.

If you become ill or your injuries become worse after a hospital visit, then a specialist medical negligence solicitor can help determine if the hospital contributed to your problem in some way.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is when a medical expert fails to correctly diagnose a condition which a patient is suffering from. This might happen if the expert thinks the patient has a different illness or it could be a missed diagnosis. A patient could therefore be prescribed the wrong treatment or receive no treatment at all. This can make the patient’s existing condition worse or even create new health issues.

A misdiagnosis can potentially be devastating. Therefore, it’s certainly worth consulting a specialist medical claim expert if you experience this problem. A claim could also be made if your condition has been correctly identified but the diagnosis was delayed.

Surgical negligence

There is an inherent risk in virtually all surgical procedures. Sometimes, though, an issue during surgery that brings you harm may be caused by a mistake.

Potential mistakes can include:

  • Foreign objects being left in a patient.
  • The wrong area of the body being operated on.

Surgical negligence also covers cases where an operation wasn’t actually required and the patient is harmed or the patient did not provide their full consent and suffers.

Dental negligence

Dental negligence compensation claims can be made against a dentist if they provide low-quality treatment that causes you to suffer.

Potential issues which fall under dental negligence can include misdiagnosis, mistakes during surgical procedures or generally poor patient care from a dentist.

Cancer misdiagnosis

Cancer is one of the most serious conditions a patient could experience, so diagnosing it accurately and as soon as possible is critical. A specialist solicitor could work on a medical negligence case if a doctor or hospital makes a mistake or delays while diagnosing cancer, providing it causes you harm.

GP medical negligence

If you fall ill or notice another issue with your health, then the first medical expert you may consult could be your General Practitioner (GP).

Potential mistakes a GP could make include a misdiagnosis, prescribing the wrong medication or failing to refer you to an appropriate specialist. If any of these issues happen, then it could harm your health. You could then claim against the GP for medical negligence.

Am I Eligible To Claim For Medical Negligence?

Have you been injured or suffered another medical issue? Do you have reason to believe it was caused by negligent medical treatment? If so, it’s absolutely worth establishing whether you can claim compensation.

To understand whether you’re eligible to make a claim, you should check whether:

  1. Someone owed you a duty of care.
  2. They breached that duty.
  3. You suffered injuries or an illness because of that breach.

The objective of a claim is to prove that negligent treatment caused injury or made an existing condition worse. The same applies if you are the next of kin claiming on behalf of someone who died, is a child or lacks the mental capacity to claim themself.

If you choose to use the services of a solicitor for your potential claim, they will review the evidence you have available. Usable evidence can include medical records which your solicitor can acquire (like X-rays or ultrasounds), photographs and a detailed statement from yourself. Witnesses like family members may also be able to provide evidence.

You would also attend an assessment with an independent medical expert. They’d produce a report which details whether your condition was at least worsened by the incident. This report, if it does establish that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by the incident, could act as crucial evidence too.

You can contact UK Law online or by phone if you are looking for advice on whether you’re eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

Statistics On Medical Negligence In The UK

The NHS Resolution’s annual report and accounts for 2019/20 provides insight into the number of medical negligence claims they deal with and their cost.

According to the report, there were 11,682 new clinical negligence claims and reported incidents recorded in 2019/20 by the NHS. In the same period, the cost of settling claims was £2.3 billion, which is £103 million less compared to the previous annual report. An extra £61.4 million was spent on settling general practice claims.

Of the 15,550 claims the NHS resolved in 2019/20, 71.5% were resolved without court proceedings, while 27.9% included court proceedings. 0.6% were resolved at trial.

Obstetrics claims settlements covered 50% of the total estimated value of all claims. However, they only represented 9% of the volume of claims received. 

The graph above was created by the NHS as part of their annual report for 2019/20. It provides a visual representation of their payments across all their indemnity schemes plus the relative size of the schemes.

Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator

A question you or others may have when considering a medical negligence claim is how much compensation you could receive. It’s a good question since compensation can prove vital in paying for the medical treatment you’ve required due to negligence. Other costs created as a direct result of the negligence can be covered too.

When the amount of compensation is being worked out in these particular cases, the impact on your mental health may be factored in. If your medical negligence claim relates to medication that was wrongly prescribed, the physical harm of that could add to your compensation too.

Compensation for injuries, illnesses or mental suffering is known as general damages.

In the table below, we’ve included estimates on what you could potentially receive in general damages based on issues you may have experienced in a medical negligence incident. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication solicitors may use to value injuries.

The figures shown below should only be treated as estimates rather than as a guarantee of what you’ll receive in your particular case.

InjurySeverityCompensation
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury(i) Severe£36,060 to £49,270
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury(ii) Serious But Short-Lived £8,950 to £18,020
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury(iii) Significant Discomfort For A Few Weeks£3,710 to £8,950
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury(iv) Disabling Pain For Some Days Or WeeksUp to £3,710
Mental AnguishFear Of Impending Death/Reduction In Expectation Of Life£4,380
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerately Severe£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyModerate£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage GenerallyLess Severe£1,440 to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate£7,680 to £21,730
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Less Severe£3,710 to £7,680

For a more specific estimate, you can contact UK Law by phone or online. We could provide you with an accurate estimate for your compensation based on the details of your medical negligence case.

NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

In the UK, people may want to put in a medical negligence compensation claim against the NHS. The NHS has an online page with advice for those considering a claim against them.

The NHS recommends that you use their complaints procedure before you make a claim. You are not obliged to do this, but it may prove useful since the procedure is designed to provide more information about what has happened that lead to your injury.

You may still want to go forward with a claim even after your complaint has been investigated, but reporting your experience to the NHS could provide you with some more valuable information.

If you do proceed with a negligence claim against the NHS, they are represented by a certain part of their organisation called NHS Resolution. Normally, you can still start or continue a complaint with the NHS if you begin a claim against them.

In exceptional circumstances, a judge may rule that a complaint would interfere with your negligence case. If your complaint is blocked for this reason, you should be informed within a reasonable time frame.

Private Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

Private medical professionals are expected to offer the same standard of care as those who work for the NHS. Potential errors mentioned previously like misdiagnosis, surgical negligence or dental negligence could all occur when receiving private health care.

Medical negligence claims against private healthcare companies are mostly similar to ones involving the NHS. There are a few differences though. Identifying the right defendant is key but not always immediately obvious. For example, a hospital may be owned by a separate company which could be treated as the defendant.

A patient who uses private healthcare may have a contract with their provider. A potentially tricky aspect of private medical claims is that the circumstances around how a particular procedure was ‘sold’ to you can be difficult to establish. The terms of a contract (or any other evidence that supports that a certain outcome was guaranteed to you) can prove valuable.

Birth Injury And Cerebral Palsy Claims

The birth of a child is a very emotional occasion for parents. Unfortunately, not everything always goes to plan during it. Medical negligence can cause birth injuries that have severe physical and mental effects on both the mother and child. Such incidents can lead to a compensation claim which may be complex to resolve and could include a very high payout.

Birth injury is the term used for any health issue sustained by the baby or mother during childbirth. Consequences of birth injuries can include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Spine injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Bone fractures
  • Hypoxia
  • Erb’s palsy

Cerebral palsy is arguably among the most commonly highlighted birth injuries. It is a type of brain injury that can occur from certain actions during a delivery procedure. The injury can lead to defective brain development after birth. Consequently, the growing child can develop permanent disabilities which affect muscle movement, posture and body balance.

If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to medical negligence at birth, you could be entitled to compensation. You can contact us by phone or online to get free legal advice on claims related to cerebral palsy.

How Much Time Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

When an incident involving medical negligence takes place, there is a time limit for a compensation claim to be made by the patient. As standard, the time limit for medical negligence claims is three years from the date of the incident.

Sometimes, an injury you develop as a consequence of medical negligence may not be immediately obvious. In such cases, the three-year time limit starts from the date of your diagnosis or the date you obtained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury or illness. This is also known as the date of knowledge.

If a child is a victim of medical negligence, then the time limit works differently. The three-year time limit won’t activate until the child reaches the age of 18. Before a child turns 18, they can not make their own claim.

However, one can be made on their behalf by a representative known as a litigation friend. Alternatively, the child can make a claim on their own when they turn 18. The three-year time limit starts when they turn 18.

Adults can be represented by a litigation friend if they suffer because of medical negligence and they don’t have the mental capacity to represent themself. In this scenario, the three-year time limit is frozen for the adult victim. It will, however, start if they recover enough to the point where they can reasonably be expected to claim on their own behalf.

I Was Harmed By Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?

If you get harmed by medical negligence, then the first priority should always be to ensure you get the medical care you need for your injuries. When you receive your treatment, collect what evidence you can which shows what sort of treatment you’ve had and why you’ve received it. This medical evidence could prove valuable for your potential claim.

The next step is to make a claim if you’d like to. You could contact a solicitor who can handle your case. It is advisable to contact a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence cases.

Your chosen solicitor should ask for details about the medical negligence that has affected you. They could also help you understand what evidence you can use. Your solicitor should determine how strong your claim is and if it’s a case worth pursuing.

Do You Handle Medical Negligence Compensation Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Want to make a medical negligence claim? Then our panel of lawyers can handle it for you on a No Win No Fee basis. Our panel of lawyers provide expert knowledge and advice. You can also experience reduced financial risk through our No Win No Fee agreement.

By signing such an agreement with us, it means that:

  • You will only pay legal fees to your legal representative if you win your case.
  • Under a No Win No Fee agreement, a small percentage of your compensation payment is taken by your solicitor.
  • There is no need to pay a solicitor’s fee at the start of or during a claim.
  • If your case is unsuccessful,  then the agreement ensures you don’t have to pay your solicitor’s legal fees.

This means that your solicitor should fight hard for your case since the financial burden is shared with them.

Contact Us For More Help

You can contact us if you’d like to get free legal advice and guidance on making a medical negligence claim. Our team is on hand to help and we’ll happily answer any question you may have.

You can reach our team by:

Alternatively, you can chat with us now by using our live chat, bottom right, or writing to us by using our contact form.

Other Information

Looking for additional information on how medical negligence claims work? You can view the additional resources included just below.

Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST)

This NHS page provides information on the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST). It handles all clinical negligence claims against member bodies.

Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice

This NHS page provides more details on the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice. It is a government-backed scheme designed to provide more stable and affordable indemnity cover for GPs.

Fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims

This UK Government page gives information on a closed consultation that took place in 2017. The consultation covered the fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims. The Government sought views on the proposal to launch a mandatory system in England and Wales of fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims of a low value.

We also have guides that may be of use to you:

What are your rights after an allergic reaction at a restaurant?

We explain what a personal injury is

What is an accident at work?

FAQs About Medical Negligence Compensation

How do you prove medical negligence?

When making a compensation claim for medical negligence, you need to prove fault and causation. This means proving that the healthcare professional that treated you was negligent and failed to carry out their duties responsibly.

You also need to prove that the professional’s negligence was what caused the harm you’ve experienced. Proving these points is achieved through evidence.

This can include medical reports, receipts and witness statements. Other evidence could be included to show the costs you’ve incurred as a direct result of medical negligence.

Will my personal injury claim need to go to court?

Similar to medical negligence claims, though some personal injury claims do end up in court, it is not inevitable. In fact, medical negligence cases are more often than not settled before a court case. A medical compensation claim is more likely to go to court if it is particularly complex and a substantially large payment could be paid out.

Will my treatment be affected by making a claim?

Making a medical negligence claim against the NHS or a private healthcare provider should not affect the treatment you receive at present or in the future.

Could I claim on behalf of a child?

Suitable adults can claim medical negligence compensation on behalf of a child. In such cases, they become what is known as a litigation friend.

Could I claim for pressure sores?

If you experience pressure sores because of a hospital or medical professional, then you could make a claim if you suffered substantially. Hospitals and other care providers should do everything they reasonably can to prevent pressure sores from forming on their patients.

What are some examples of common surgical errors?

There are many potential errors that could happen during a surgical procedure. An example is accidentally leaving equipment inside the patient’s body. Other potential errors include causing an infection and failing to complete a procedure correctly. Wrong-site surgery or damage to internal organs or structures are other possible errors.

Writer PD

Checked by HT

You may also find the following guides helpful:

Thank you for reading our guide on medical negligence compensation.