Examples Of Payouts If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To A Hospital

When you go to an opticians for an eye test, an optometrist will carry out the procedure and look for any issues. If they spot a medical condition, illness, or disease, they can refer a patient to an ophthalmologist, often in a hospital, for further examination. This guide explores what could happen if an optometrist did not refer you to a hospital when you had clear symptoms of a medical condition that needed further tests. 

As you go through this guide, you will see how two types of heads of claim could compensate for the impacts of optometrist negligence and the eligibility criteria that must be satisfied for you to have an eligible claim. 

We have provided illustrative examples of how optometrists could breach the duty of care they owe to all patients or customers and what harm could result. If you have decided to make an optometrist negligence claim, you will need to gather evidence to prove your case. Therefore in a section further down, we have listed relevant supporting evidence that you could collect. 

Claim For An Optometrist Not Referring You To A Hospital

A Guide To Claiming For An Optometrist Not Referring You To A Hospital

Finally, you will see how your claim could get the support of a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. Our advisors have plenty of useful information about optometrist negligence claims, so for guidance and a free claim assessment, reach out to us through any of these routes:

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  1. Examples Of Payouts If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To A Hospital
  2. Are You Eligible To Claim If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To A Hospital?
  3. What Evidence Is Needed For An Optometrist Negligence Claim?
  4. Examples Of Negligence By Optometrists
  5. No Win No Fee Optometrist Negligence Claims
  6. Related Eye Injury Claims Guides

Examples Of Payouts If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To A Hospital

If you make a successful claim for the impacts of an optometrist failing to refer you to a hospital, the payout will depend on the specifics of the case and can be split into two heads.

One head of a claim is general damages. This compensates you for the physical harm and mental distress brought about by an optometrist breaching the duty of care they held towards you.

A valuation will be calculated for any injuries suffered based on factors such as their severity and the impact on your life. Those who figure out your compensation could refer to a document of guideline compensation brackets called the Judicial College Guidelines. We have used some of the figures from this document in the table below.

Compensation Table

Because each case is unique, the figures in this table are just a guide.

Total Blindness Around £268,720 A loss of sight in both eyes.
Lost Sight in One Eye, Reduced Vision in the Remaining Eye (i) £95,990 to £179,770 There is a major risk of further deterioration in the working eye.
Loss of Sight in One Eye, Reduced Vision in the Remaining Eye (ii) £63,950 to £105,990 The remaining eye has reduced vision and/or other issues like double vision.
Total Loss of One Eye £54,830 to £65,710 Age, cosmetic effect and the psychological impact affect the level of award.
Complete Loss of Sight – One Eye (e) £49,270 to £54,830 There is some risk of sympathetic opthalmia. Scarring in the eye region may lead to an award in the upper end of the bracket.
Complete Loss of Sight – One Eye (f) £23,680 to £39,340 Cases of serious but incomplete loss of vision in one eye without significant risk of loss or reduction of vision in the remaining eye.

Types Of Special Damages

General damages might not be the only part of your payout. There are also special damages, accounting for the monetary loss stemming from optometrist negligence.

If diminishing eye function causes you to miss work, or even means you cannot go back to work, you could seek compensation for a loss of earnings.

Special damages may also cover the likes of:

  • Eye test or medication costs.
  • Necessary travel expenses.
  • Mobility aid or home adaptation fees.
  • Personal health care charges.

Talk to our advisors to learn more about damages or discuss what you could be compensated for. Our phone number is at the top of this page.

Are You Eligible To Claim If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To A Hospital?

An optometrist owes you a duty to provide a service with reasonable skill and care. When you visit an optician, part of the optometrist’s duty is to check the health of your eyes. If you are showing clear symptoms of illness or disease or another condition for which should be looked at by an ophthalmologist, then a referral should be made. If the referral was not made because the optometrist was negligent, they may be liable for harm you suffered as a result.

The eligibility criteria for an optometrist negligence claim are as follows:

  • The optometrist owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached their duty.
  • This resulted in you suffering avoidable harm.

Let us know if you have experienced avoidable harm after an optometrist did not refer you to a hospital, and an advisor can evaluate your case for free. Just call the number above to speak to us today.

Limitation Periods

Another important factor is the timeframe in which you claim for optometrist negligence. The Limitation Act 1980 states that a claim must start within three years of the negligent action. However, you may be given three years from the date of knowledge if you only become aware later on that your eye condition was caused by a breach of duty. There are also other exceptions to this limitation period. 

An advisor can help you determine how long you have to begin your claim, so call without delay and find out more about the time limit for starting legal action.

What Evidence Is Needed For An Optometrist Negligence Claim?

Your chances of winning a case are likely to improve with the support of relevant evidence. You could set yourself up for a successful case by collecting the following:

  • Your records from the opticians. 
  • Medical records. These may show the additional injuries caused and the treatment needed. You can ask your healthcare provider to give you a copy of your records.
  • Proof of any financial loss for the special damages portion of your claim.
  • Witness contact details.

Collecting evidence may seem daunting, and you may be unsure as to what you need to gather. If you decide to work with a solicitor from our expert panel, they will collect, organise and present the evidence for you as part of the No Win No Fee service that they offer. 

Examples Of Negligence By Optometrists

If an optometrist spots something that needs closer inspection, they must refer you to an ophthalmologist. An optometrist negligence claim could become possible if the referral to a specialist should happen, but doesn’t due to care falling below the expected standard, and you suffer avoidable harm as a result. Here are a couple of examples to illustrate this:

  • You go to the optician with clear symptoms of amblyopia. However, they fail to recognise the condition when they clearly had the skill set to do so. This negligent misdiagnosis means that you are not referred to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment, which allows the condition to deteriorate.  
  • The optometrist does not check the eye for the tell-tale signs of glaucoma. You are not referred despite having symptoms, and the glaucoma causes permanent damage because it is untreated.
  • You explain to the optometrist that you have blurred vision, a change in eye appearance, and your eye is bulging. They provide antibiotics for an eye infection when you should have been referred to a hospital for further testing. Therefore, your eye cancer is not diagnosed early enough leading to you losing an eye.

Discuss your potential optometrist negligence claim with an advisor to learn if you have grounds to seek optometrist negligence compensation and to see what your options are.

No Win No Fee Optometrist Negligence Claims

Should you have the right grounds to pursue a claim, you could find the process more straightforward and comfortable with the guidance of an experienced solicitor. Working with a solicitor from our panel could make a significant difference to your optometrist negligence claim, and their service may be available to you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA.)

A CFA is a form of No Win No Fee arrangement where you do not need to pay an upfront fee for the solicitor’s work. You do not have to pay running solicitor fees either, while there is no charge at all for their service should the case fail.

If you win your claim, the solicitor will take a success fee. This is a small percentage of the compensation you are awarded, and that percentage is capped due to The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Contact Us

You can speak to an advisor to learn more about optometrist negligence claims and have your own possible case assessed. If you have valid grounds to seek compensation, an advisor could connect you to one of our panel’s expert solicitors. There is no obligation, so talk to us today. You can either:

Related Eye Injury Claim Guides

We provide guidance on various topics, including the below:

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Thank you for reading our guide exploring payouts for avoidable harm caused because an optometrist did not refer you to a hospital.