Medical Negligence Claim FAQs
In this guide, we answer frequently asked questions relating to medical negligence. We discuss when a medical negligence claim could be made, the evidence you could gather to substantiate your case, and how long you have to initiate legal proceedings.
Additionally, as you move through this guide, we discuss the duty of care medical professionals owe their patients. We also look at examples of how medical negligence could potentially occur if this duty is not upheld.
Furthermore, we explore medical negligence compensation payouts looking at what they could include and how they are calculated.
Finally, we provide insight into the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel and the services they could potentially offer to help you seek compensation.
If you have any questions, please contact an advisor for free. They can offer advice and information relating to your potential claim for medical negligence. To get in touch, you can:
- Call 020 3870 4868.
- Discuss your possible claim online.
- Open the live chat box below and send a message.
Select A Section
- When Could You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
- What Is The Medical Negligence Claim Time Limit?
- What Are Examples Of Medical Negligence?
- How Do I Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?
- How Is A Medical Negligence Claim Calculated?
- Can A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitor Help You Claim?
- Read More About Making A Medical Negligence Claim
Medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses and surgeons, owe their patients a duty of care. They must provide care that meets the correct standard. Whilst the way they are expected to uphold this duty of care could differ depending on the area of medicine they work in, the care they provide must not fall below the correct standard. If it does, it could lead to you experiencing harm that could have otherwise been avoided which could constitute medical negligence.
In order to begin a medical negligence compensation claim, you must prove the following:
- A medical professional owed a duty of care.
- They breached their duty of care by providing care that fell below the correct standard.
- This breach led to you suffering unnecessary or avoidable harm.
For further guidance on the eligibility criteria that need to be met in order to have valid grounds to pursue a medical negligence claim, please contact an advisor on the number above.
In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria above, you need to begin legal proceedings within the limitation period. As per the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have three years to begin a medical negligence claim. This can start from the date of the medical negligence or the date you became aware of medical negligence occurring.
Further exceptions can also alter the time you have to claim. For example, under-18’s cannot start legal action themselves, so the time limit is paused until they turn 18. While the time limit is paused, however, a litigation friend who has been appointed by the courts could make the claim on the child’s behalf. Alternatively, if no claim has been made for them, the child will have until their 21st birthday to begin the claim themselves.
Similarly, the time limit has a pause applied to it for those who have a reduced mental capacity to start legal proceedings themselves. This pause is indefinite. During this time, a litigation friend could be appointed to make the claim on their behalf. If no claim has been made for the injured party, and they recover their mental capacity, they will have three years from the recovery date to start their own claim.
For further guidance on how long you have to seek compensation for medical negligence, please contact an advisor on the number above.
Below, we have provided some potential examples of medical negligence.
- Misdiagnosis: A patient experiences a pneumonia misdiagnosis after their chest X-rays are misinterpreted. Instead, they are incorrectly diagnosed with bronchitis. This results in them being given the wrong treatment which causes complications. Additionally, they experience a delay in treatment for the correct illness leading to their condition worsening.
- Medication error: A doctor prescribes the wrong medication to their patient that is unsuitable for them to take due to another medication they are taking. This causes complications such as organ failure.
- Surgical error: An operation has gone wrong because a surgeon operated on the wrong leg. This led to the patient having the wrong limb amputated.
Please keep in mind that it is not always possible to begin a medical negligence claim. To do so, you must prove that the care provided by a medical professional fell below the correct standard, and this caused you avoidable harm as a result.
If you would like to discuss your specific case to find out whether you’re eligible to seek compensation for medical negligence, please contact an advisor on the number above.
In order to support a medical negligence claim, you need to provide evidence that the avoidable harm you suffered resulted from a medical professional providing substandard care. For example:
- Copies of your medical records, such as scans, test results, letters confirming your diagnosis, and treatment plans.
- An independent medical report showing the full extent of the avoidable harm you suffered and how long it is likely to affect you in the future. This can be gathered through a medical assessment that is arranged as part of the claims process.
- The contact details of anyone who was present during treatment or appointments. They could be asked to provide a statement at a later date.
- Pictures of any visible unnecessary or avoidable harm you suffered, such as scarring due to a surgical error.
Additionally, when determining liability in medical negligence claims The Bolam Test may be carried out. This consists of a group of medical professionals, trained in a similar area, assessing whether the care you received met the correct standard. If the findings support your case, these can be used to substantiate your claim. You will not have to arrange this test yourself and whether it is carried out is determined on a case-by-case basis.
If you are eligible to move forward with your case, you could instruct an experienced medical negligence solicitor from our panel to assist you with gathering evidence and building your claim. To find out more about the services they offer and how they could help you, please contact an advisor on the number above.
You might be wondering, ‘How much is a medical negligence claim worth?’. Each payout will differ depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. However, generally, an award can comprise up to two heads of loss.
The primary head of loss is known as general damages, which account for the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the medical negligence. When valuing this part of your settlement, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document featuring guideline compensation brackets for different types of harm. They can use this document alongside any medical evidence.
The table below contains figures from the JCG. It is important to remember that the table should only act as a guide and the figures are not guaranteed.
|Kidney||£169,400 to £210,400||Both kidneys are seriously and permanently damaged or lost.|
|Kidney||£30,770 to £44,880||One kidney is lost but there is no damage to the other.|
|Bowels||Up to £184,200||Double incontinence i.e. the complete loss of natural bowel function and urinary function and control. There will also be other medical complications.|
|Bowels||Up to £150,110||Natural function is completely lost and the person has a dependence on colostomy.|
|Bladder||Up to £140,660||Function and control are completely lost.|
|Bladder||£63,980 to £79,930||Control is seriously impaired and there is some pain as well as incontinence.|
|Spleen||£20,800 to £26,290||The spleen is lost and there is an ongoing risk of internal infection and other disorders caused by a damaged immune system.|
What Are Special Damages?
If general damages are awarded, you could also be awarded special damages. This head of loss compensates for the financial losses incurred as a result of the medical negligence. For example:
- A loss of earnings.
- Medical fees, such as paid prescriptions.
- Costs for care at home.
- Travel expenses.
You would need to produce documents to prove these losses. As such, you should keep hold of any receipts, travel tickets and payslips as evidence of the costs incurred.
For a free valuation of your potential medical negligence claim payout, please call an advisor.
If you have an eligible medical negligence claim, you could choose to instruct a solicitor to assist you. Working with one of the clinical negligence solicitors from our panel could benefit you because they have experience in handling claims of this nature and could guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
If one of the solicitors from our panel takes on your claim, they could do so on a No Win No Fee basis offering a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that you do not have to pay the solicitor for their work:
- In advance.
- At any point during the claims process.
- After a claim loses.
Under a CFA, the solicitor will collect a success fee if the claim wins. This fee is taken as a percentage of your compensation. However, The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 applies a cap to the percentage they can take.
Get In Touch With Our Team
If you would like a solicitor from our panel to represent your claim for medical negligence and offer their services in a No Win No Fee capacity, please contact an advisor. They can assess your case for free and, if they find it’s valid, could connect you with a solicitor to begin working on your claim.
Alternatively, if you have any other questions about seeking medical negligence compensation, they can offer free advice and guidance.
To reach an advisor, you can:
For more helpful medical negligence claims guides:
- A guide discussing how to claim for paralysis after surgery and the compensation that could potentially be awarded.
- Information about making a first aid negligence compensation claim and the steps you could take if you suffered avoidable harm.
- Guidance on the steps you could take following negligent diabetes treatment that caused you to suffer avoidable harm.
Some more useful resources:
- Helpful statistics from NHS Resolution’s annual report for 2022/23.
- Information on raising your concerns about a doctor to the General Medical Council.
- Information on the NHS Constitution for England from GOV.UK.
We hope this guide answering frequently asked questions about making a medical negligence claim has helped. However, if you require any further information, please contact an advisor on the number above.