First Aid Negligence Compensation Claim

By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 27th July 2023. Have you been hurt by negligence while receiving first aid? If you are injured in an area such as a public place or in work, then someone in that area may give you first aid treatment. This emergency care can be given to an injured person before regular medical aid can be obtained. First aid can provide immediate relief of symptoms.

first aid negligence

In some cases, however, the administering of first aid can, unfortunately, lead to further injuries. If those who offer first aid treatment carry out a procedure negligently this may cause you to be injured unnecessarily. In this guide, we’ll examine what your options maybe if you have suffered unnecessarily due to negligent first aid treatment. 

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You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on personal injury claims from our claims advisors. Our advisors can look at your case and evaluate the chances of it being awarded compensation. If they can see it has a fair chance they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel. If they agree to work on your case they can offer No Win No Fee terms. 

You can reach us online with our claim online form or our call back form. You can also use our online live chat service to speak with us. To speak to us on the phone instead, you can call us on 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About First Aid Negligence
  2. What Is First Aid Negligence?
  3. What Does Duty Of Care Mean In First Aid?
  4. First Aid In Bystander Situations
  5. How Should First Aid Be Practiced?
  6. When Should First Aid Be Given?
  7. Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts For The UK
  8. Best Practice In Administering First Aid Treatment
  9. Do People Need To Get Consent To Administer First Aid?
  10. What Harm Could First Aid Negligence Cause?
  11. Time Limits To Make A Personal Injury Claim
  12. I Was Injured By First Aid Negligence, What Should I Do?
  13. Can I Claim For Harmful First Aid Negligence On A No Win No Fee Basis
  14. Contact Us For More Help
  15. Resources
  16. FAQs About First Aid Negligence

Everything You Need To Know About First Aid Negligence

When someone provides first aid treatment in a workplace, public area or elsewhere, they may have received training to do this. That doesn’t guarantee, however, that mistakes won’t be made while giving such treatment. If someone acts negligently while providing first aid, it could create all sorts of problems for whoever’s receiving the treatment. Existing injuries could end up being made worse than before or new injuries could be created.

Read on to learn more about how first aid negligence is defined. We’ll also explain the duty of care that applies to individuals while they are giving first aid. We’ll also clarify where and how first aid is meant to be given. We will also discuss the payouts and time limits that may apply if you are able to start a medical negligence or personal injury claim. 

What Is First Aid Negligence?

First aid negligence refers to incidents where a specially trained first aider provides first aid to a casualty in a manner that is harmful or substandard. This type of negligence can come in different forms. First aid error examples could potentially include the following: 

  • Failing to call an ambulance when necessary.
  • Performing CPR on an unconscious casualty that’s still breathing.
  • Failing to put a casualty in the recovery position when they are at risk of choking (because of certain issues they may have such as vomiting.)
  • A first aider may unintentionally assault a person that’s injured, by not explaining their intentions or not receiving consent from the injured person before touching them.

What Does Duty Of Care Mean In First Aid?

If a designated first aider chooses to perform first aid on someone who is injured, then that person owes a duty of care to whoever they are treating. As part of their duty of care, a first aider is expected to provide a reasonable standard of care for whoever they are helping. That means the first aider should behave responsibly while performing any actions which could foreseeably cause harm if not carried out properly.

For many public areas and workplaces, those in control have an obligation to have a first aider on site. This responsibility may apply to first aid in a workplace, sports centres, outdoor instructors or other people in similar roles. 

A person with a first aid qualification is not considered comparable to medical professionals like doctors or nurses. Therefore, those usually giving first aid are not expected to match the same standards as expert practitioners. If, however, a first aider behaves negligently while attempting first aid, this could create an injury or aggravates an existing one. 

First Aid In Bystander Situations

If a first aider witnesses an incident that injures someone outside their specific duty of care, then they are not obliged to perform first aid on that casualty. If you choose voluntarily to perform first aid on an injured bystander, then you will take on a duty of care towards that casualty.

Always call 999 if you think the person or persons need emergency treatment, especially when you are unable to help yourself. The emergency services may be able to help talk you through steps to take to stabilise the situation.

How Should First Aid Be Practiced?

Anyone who is not a medical practitioner can receive first aid training and a first aid certification. There are many training course providers in the UK which can provide people with a first aid course. Having first aid training can give you the ability to provide immediate assistance to unwell or injured people.

The best way to avoid personal liability while administering first aid is to follow good practice to the best of your abilities. To help achieve this aim, it’s worth checking that your training is up to date and relevant to your situation. It may be worth regularly updating your training with annual refreshers.

When Should First Aid Be Given?

There are many potential scenarios that could occur where first aid could be required. These can apply in workplaces, public areas or other places. Examples of when a person may require first aid treatment include the following:

  • When someone has a minor or major cut
  • When it’s suspected someone has fractured or broken bones
  • During diabetic emergencies
  • While someone is choking
  • When someone has become unconscious
  • When someone has stopped breathing or is having a heart attack

This guide by no means attempts to offer any medical advice. We are not medical professionals. For any medical-related issues always seek out a professional.

Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts For The UK

If you’ve been harmed due to negligence in first aid, you may have grounds to make a medical negligence compensation claim. The compensation you might receive is determined by considering factors such as how severe your injury is and its impact on your quality of life.

Solicitors also consider compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines when valuing claims. The amounts in the table should not be considered medical negligence payout examples as they are only a guide. The amount you might receive may not match the figures in the table since payouts are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Your medical negligence compensation claim could comprise both general damages and special damages. The general damages aspect of your compensation covers you for the pain and suffering your injury has caused. If you experienced related financial loss, this is covered by the special damages aspect of your compensation.

Injury Severity Compensation
Brain or Head Injury Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010
Brain or Head Injury Less Severe £15,320 to £43,060
Chest Injury Fracture of ribs or soft tissue Up to £3,950
Injuries Affecting Sight Loss Of Sight In One Eye £49,270 to £54,830
Injuries Affecting Sight Minor Injuries £3,950 to £8,730
Injuries Affecting Sight Transient Injuries £2,200 to £3,950
Foot Injury Modest injuries Up to £13,740
Neck Injury Severe £55,990 to In the region of
Neck Injury Moderate £7,890 to £38,490
Neck Injury Minor From around £2,450 to £7,890

You may also receive compensation for special damages. This takes into account any financial losses which can be directly linked to the subsequent injuries you’ve suffered. Examples of financial losses which could be covered under special damages include:

  • Loss of earnings due to having to take unpaid time off while recovering from your injuries.
  • The cost of medical care you’ve received to treat your injuries.
  • The cost of repairing personal property damaged in the accident you were in.
  • Travel expenses made in order to receive medical treatment for your injuries.

You can contact UK Law for a more specific compensation estimate based on the details of your potential claim.

Best Practice In Administering First Aid Treatment

For first aiders to treat a casualty in a responsible manner and to acceptable standards, they may keep the following in mind:

  • Only perform first aid if you are able to.
  • When possible, ensure you obtain consent to provide treatment from the casualty.
  • Only treat a casualty in the way you’ve been trained.
  • Only act in the best interests of whoever you are treating.

Do People Need To Get Consent To Administer First Aid?

A first aider must always ask permission from a conscious casualty before providing them with any treatment. If a person seems of sound mind a first aider cannot use any form of force against a casualty while giving treatment they didn’t receive consent to. 

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is there to support those who may not have full mental capabilities. It is there to help those who must make decisions on behalf of others who cannot. A casualty has the right to refuse treatment from a person offering first aid. By law, it is presumed that a person has the mental capacity to make their own decisions unless proved otherwise.

If a casualty refuses treatment, you may suspect that they are acting against their own self-interest. There are, however, a few questions you can consider:

  • Can the casualty self-treat?
  • Will the casualty accept treatment from someone else?
  • Is the casualty aware of how serious their condition/injury is?

Ultimately, the casualty should not be coerced or pressured into accepting treatment. Instead, they should be helped towards making an informed decision.

If a casualty is unconscious, then a first aider can only provide treatment if it is a lifesaving procedure. Alternatively, a first aider can still provide treatment if the casualty provided consent to receive treatment before they became unconscious. When a first aider finds a casualty who appears to be unconscious, they should still try communicating with them before going ahead with any treatment. 

What Harm Could First Aid Negligence Cause?

If someone acts negligently while giving first aid, then it could cause injuries or illnesses to the person receiving treatment or make existing injuries/illnesses worse. There are many different ways someone could be harmed by first aid negligence, such as the following:

  • Performing CPR on someone already breathing could damage organs or lead to broken bones.
  • A cut or laceration could become infected if it is not cleaned properly.
  • A delay in calling emergency services could lead to a worsening of the casualty’s condition.

If you have suffered an injury after receiving first aid that could have been avoided, collect evidence that proves that you received negligent treatment. Then call our claims team for a free case assessment. In a no-obligation friendly chat, your case along with any evidence you have can be examined for free. 

Time Limits To Make A Personal Injury Claim

A time limit usually applies for starting any personal injury or medical negligence claim. A claim typically has to be started within three years of when the incident occurred. Or three years from when you became knowledgeable that your injury was caused by negligence. 

The time limit for claiming could be frozen (at least temporarily) in certain circumstances. For example, if a child is hurt through negligence, then the time limit for claiming is frozen until the child turns 18. Anyone below the age of 18 can’t start a claim on their own behalf. However, a representative known as a litigation friend, could possibly start a claim on behalf of a child.

Another way the time limit for claiming may become frozen is when the injured party lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. A litigation friend could potentially start a claim on behalf of someone in this condition. If at some point the injured party recovers enough mental capacity to act on their own, then the time limit for claiming starts from the day this happens.

I Was Injured By First Aid Negligence, What Should I Do?

If you are injured due to receiving first aid in a negligent manner, then the first priority should be getting the medical attention you require for your injuries. While receiving medical treatment, your medical condition will be logged in your medical records. This could act as evidence. Medical evidence could include medical notes and discharge letters.

When you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries, you should then start gathering other evidence to support your claim. Other evidence may include witness contact details, CCTV footage and photos related to your injuries and accident.

After you’ve finished gathering evidence, you may then wish to get in touch with a solicitor who can support your claim. Ideally, you’ll want to hire a solicitor who has previous experience in handling claims related to negligent first aid treatment. If your solicitor has enough confidence in your case to support it, you can then sign an agreement with them. From this point, your solicitor will guide you through all the following steps needed to process your claim. You can contact UK Law if you have any questions about starting up a compensation claim. 

Can I Claim For Harmful First Aid Negligence On A No Win No Fee Basis

Now that you know more about whether or not someone can give you first aid if they are not trained, you might be interested in learning about No Win No Fee agreements and how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you.

Our panel of solicitors offer their services under a kind of No Win No Fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This arrangement allows you access to a solicitor’s services without having to pay an upfront fee for their work, nor do you have to pay any ongoing fees to keep their services. On top of this, if your claim doesn’t succeed, then you won’t be asked to pay a fee for your solicitor’s work.

However, if your claim succeeds, then your solicitor will take a success fee. They take this fee directly from your compensation award as a previously agreed-upon percentage. This percentage is legislatively capped, ensuring that you keep the majority of what you receive.

There are many benefits to working with a No Win No Fee personal injury claim solicitor on your first aid negligence case; for example, a solicitor can help you support your claim by taking witness statements and gathering other relevant evidence.

To learn more about the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor or to get started on your claim, contact our team today:

Contact Us For More Help

You can contact UK Law for advice and support on making a personal injury claim. Our panel of solicitors can advise on a variety of different compensation claims. You can contact us through the following methods:


If you are looking for advice on how to claim compensation for medical negligence, then you can view our other guides below:

Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

This guide provides an overview of the different kinds of medical negligence you may be able to claim compensation for.

Compensation For an Operation Gone Wrong

This guide focuses on how you could claim compensation following an operation that has gone wrong.

How to Report a Doctor For Medical Negligence

In this guide, we discuss how to start a claim against a doctor if you have evidence that they’ve caused you harm through negligence.

We also have guides advising on other kinds of personal injury claims, such as the following below:

FAQs About First Aid Negligence

In this final section of our guide on claiming for injuries caused by negligent first aid, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions related to the subject.

How do you proceed with a negligence claim?

If you want to pursue a compensation claim after suffering from negligence, you should collect evidence as soon as possible that can support your case. You can also consider hiring a solicitor who can support you. If a solicitor agrees to take on your case and you sign an agreement with them, they will guide you through the following steps to process your claim.

What is negligent first aid?

Negligent first refers to cases where this type of treatment is given in a manner that is below acceptable standards or harmful.

Can first aiders be held liable?

If you have suffered preventable harm because you were administered first aid that you think was negligent call our advisors who will assess your case for free. 

Can you be sued for giving first aid?

If you provide first aid to someone who is hurt, then you owe a duty of care to whoever you are treating. That duty means you should provide a reasonable standard of care to the person you’re treating. The Bolam test can be used to see whether the standard of skill used was correct. 

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for first aid negligence.

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