By Jo Caine. Last Updated 26th January 2024. This guide will explore when you might be eligible to seek medical negligence compensation. Medically trained professionals must provide the correct level of care when treating patients. If the care they provide falls below the expected standard, this is known as medical negligence. If medical negligence causes you harm, you may be able to make a claim.
We will investigate what criteria your case needs to meet, including the time limits you have to start a claim. Also, we will explore the process of doing so, including the evidence you can gather to support your case.
In addition, we examine medical negligence payout examples. We also look at other additional out-of-pocket expenses that could made up your settlement.
To conclude we will look at how you could hire legal representation under the terms of a No Win No Fee arrangement. A specialist clinical negligence solicitor could help you gather the evidence needed to file your claim.
If you need any other information, please get in touch with our team. You can contact them by:
Select A Section
- What Is Medical Negligence?
- Can You Sue The NHS For Negligence?
- What Is The Medical Negligence Compensation Time Limit?
- What Evidence Is Used In Medical Compensation Claims?
- How Much Compensation Do You Get For Medical Negligence In The UK?
- No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
If you suffered an unnecessary illness or injury in a clinical setting because a medical professional provided substandard care, you may have a valid medical negligence claim. However, you will need to prove that you meet the medical negligence claims eligibility criteria.
When a healthcare professional agrees to treat you, they automatically owe you a duty of care. This means that you should be provided with a minimum standard of care.
What a healthcare professional is expected to do in regard to your treatment can vary depending on what field they specialise in. For example, the Duties of a Doctor is set out by the General Medical Council. Removed sentence in between here. However, the duties of a midwife may be different.
If you suffer unnecessary harm because of a breach in this duty of care, you could be eligible to make a claim for clinical negligence compensation. Private medical negligence claims could be made by patients who suffered medical negligence as a result of a private healthcare provider breaching their duty of care.
You will need to prove medical negligence occurred in order to have a valid medical malpractice claim. If you need any help, please contact a member of our advisory team. They can discuss the negligent incident and if you have a valid claim, they can help you get it started.
Medical Negligence Examples
If you suffered harm in a medical setting, you might be wondering what the definition of medical negligence is. As stated above, all medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. Should this be breached and patients suffer unnecessary harm as a direct result, they may be eligible to claim medical negligence payouts.
Medical negligence examples may include:
- Wrong site surgery – This is when the wrong body part is operated on.
- Delayed diagnosis – For example, if you suffer harm because antibiotics weren’t administered due to a delay in diagnosing an infection.
- Misdiagnosis – For example, a misdiagnosed stroke could lead to further complications.
- Prescribed the wrong medication – This could result in an allergic reaction if your allergy was known but you were prescribed it regardless.
- Failing to order tests, scans or X-rays when a patient presents with typical symptoms of a particular condition.
Medical negligence can occur in any healthcare setting, at any stage of diagnosis or treatment. For example, a hospital, GP surgery, dentist practice, private medical facility or pharmacy.
There are several steps you can take after suffering harm due to medical negligence. For example, you could gather evidence to support your claim. This can include medical records such as from your doctor or the hospital that contain details of your diagnosis and any treatment received.
Additionally, you may be required to attend an appointment with an independent medical professional. They can assess the harm you sustained and produce a report detailing the severity and the impact the harm has had and will continue to have on your quality of life.
You may also wish to seek legal advice from a solicitor to help you make a medical negligence claim. A solicitor from our panel could help you gather evidence and take you through each stage of the claims process.
For more information on the services our panel of solicitors can offer, get in touch on the number at the top of the page.
The Limitation Act 1980 sets the medical negligence time limit. This is usually three years from the date of the incident, or three years from the date it becomes apparent that medical negligence caused you harm. Exceptions may apply in some circumstances. These include:
- For those under the age of 18: A litigation friend could file a claim on the person’s behalf prior to them turning 18. If a medical negligence claim is not filed on their behalf, they have three years from their 18th birthday to start a claim.
- For those who lack the mental capacity: The person may lack the mental capacity to claim themselves. If so, a litigation friend could file a claim on their behalf. Otherwise, they will have three years from the date of regaining capacity to begin their own claim.
Speak to our team for more information about the time limits for seeking compensation for medical negligence.
You will need evidence to support your case if you are considering making a medical negligence claim. Providing sufficient evidence could help prove that you suffered harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.
When making a medical negligence claim, examples of evidence that could help support your case may include:
- Your medical records stating any diagnosis and treatments you’ve received.
- Test results, such as from blood tests or X-ray scans.
- Correspondence between yourself and the medical institute where you received your treatment.
- A copy of any prescription forms.
- The contact details of anyone who witnessed the treatment you received.
For certain medical negligence claims, the findings of the Bolam test could also be used as evidence. This is when a panel of relevantly trained medical practitioners evaluate whether the standard of treatment you received was of an appropriate level.
Contact our advisors today if you have any questions, such as ‘How much could I receive in a medical negligence payout for my claim?’ They may also connect you with a solicitor on our panel who could assist you with gathering evidence.
You might be wondering how much compensation you could get for making a successful medical negligence claim. Offering an average settlement can be hard, since compensation is awarded on a case-by-case basis based on the unique factors of each claim. However, we can offer more information on how this compensation is calculated, and what kinds of harm you could claim for.
There are generally two heads of claim that you could pursue as part of your claim. The first head of claim is general damages, which is awarded to all successful claimants. This head of your claim covers the harm you have suffered due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.
Those who value this head of claim may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document that contains a list of guideline compensation brackets for a number of different injuries and illnesses. Below, you can see some examples of these guidelines, but please note that the first entry in this table has not been taken from the JCG.
Guideline Compensation Brackets
|Guideline Compensation Bracket
|Multiple severe illnesses and injuries plus expenses
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Settlements may include compensation for multiple severe illnesses plus any incurred financial losses, such as lost wages, nursing care and home help.
|(a) Where there is serious and permanent damage to both kidneys or both kidneys are lost.
|Up to £63,980
|(b) Examples in this bracket include a significant risk of a urinary tract infection in the future.
|Up to £184,200
|(a) Double incontinence with other complications.
|In the region of £79,920
|(c) Embarrassment and distress from passive incontinence and faecal urgency.
|£90,720 to £150,110
|Moderate (c) (ii): A risk of epilepsy, reduced ability to work and an intellectual deficit ranging from moderate to modest.
|Reproductive system- Male
|£43,010 to £88,750
|Permanent significant sexual dysfunction in a person with children or someone who wouldn’t have had them.
|£63,980 to £79,930
|(c) Pain, incontinence and a serious impairment of control.
|Reproductive system- Female
|£56,080 to £71,350
|Infertility occurring in a young person without children where there are no aggravating features or sexual dysfunction.
|(a) The spleen is lost and there is an ongoing risk of internal infection and other disorders due to a damaged immune system.
What Are Special Damages?
The second head of compensation that you could potentially claim is special damages. This addresses the financial losses you have suffered due to the medical negligence. For example, under this head of claim, you could potentially recoup the cost of:
- Lost earnings.
- Help with cooking or cleaning.
- Mobility aids.
- Home adjustments.
These are only a few examples of the kinds of costs that could be covered by special damages. You will need to provide evidence of them in order to claim special damages. This could include payslips or invoices, for example.
Contact our team today to learn more about claiming compensation for medical negligence.
You could instruct a solicitor from our panel to represent your clinical negligence claim. Our panel of expert medical negligence solicitors typically offer to work on clincial negligence claims on a No Win No Fee basis. Their services might be provided under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
An upfront fee for your solicitor’s services isn’t payable under the terms of a CFA. You also don’t need to pay for their services if your claim fails.
If your claim is successful, your compensation will have a fee deducted from it. This is known as a success fee and the law places a limitation on the amount that is taken.
Our advisors could help you understand if you’re eligible to start your claim with a solicitor from our panel of medical negligence solicitors today.
For more information about seeking medical negligence compensation:
Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims
Additional external resources:
- GOV: Reporting A Problem With Medicine Or A Medical Device
- NHS Resolution: Annual Statistics
- GMC: What To Expect From Your Doctor
You can read more of our medical negligence guides below. If you have any queries, you may find our frequently asked questions page about clinical negligence helpful too:
- Care home negligence claims – if you’ve suffered harm because of negligence in a care home, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
- Pharmacy prescription error claims
- If you’d like to learn more about misdiagnosed brain cancer, head here to view our guide. We explain your legal rights and potential compensation payouts.
- Advice on claiming for negligence by an optician and how compensation is calculated for such claims.
- To learn more about medication error claims and how such incidents can arise, head here. You can see compensation payouts and details about how we can connect you with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.
We hope this guide on seeking medical negligence compensation has helped. If you need any other information, call our team.