By Jo Caine. Last Updated 27th June 2023. 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
Medically trained professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means that they are responsible for providing care that meets the minimum standard. However, in some cases, they might fail to do so leading to you suffering harm as a result of negligence.
It’s important to note that not all incidents of harm sustained in a medical facility will form the basis of a valid claim. For example, there are occasions when the treatment you receive could cause you harm, but this is necessary harm, such as when receiving chemotherapy to treat cancer. In these cases, you may not be able to claim.
In order to seek compensation, you must prove that you sustained harm, either physically or mentally, due to medical negligence.
For more information about whether you’re eligible to seek medical negligence compensation, call our team.
Negligence In Other Healthcare Settings
The definition of medical negligence includes healthcare settings beyond hospital and GP negligence. For example, a pharmacist could dispense the wrong medication in a community pharmacy.
Dentist negligence could occur if the dentist knowingly drills into healthy teeth. This could result in unnecessary pain and suffering for the patient. Additionally, dentist negligence could occur if the dentist fails to spot a gum infection or abscess.
As well as dentist negligence, therapists, opticians, or any other healthcare professional could be found to be negligent.
Call our advisors if you suffered unnecessary harm in a healthcare setting due to negligence.
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 seek medical negligence compensation. 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 medical negligence compensation.
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 claim for medical negligence compensation, 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.
Medical negligence settlements could be formed of two heads. This includes general damages to compensate for the harm you came to as a result of medical negligence. This can include both physical and psychological harm, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Special damages is the second head. This could recover costs incurred as a direct result of the harm you sustained due to medical negligence.
We have explored how each of these are calculated in the sections below.
The figures in the table provided are from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals, such as medical negligence lawyers, use this document to help assign value to harm you have sustained due to negligence.
Please note, the figures in the table are only to be used as a guide because other resources are considered when valuing the general damages head of claim. For example, medical evidence can also be used to determine the severity of the harm you experienced.
|Injury||Guideline Compensation Bracket||Notes|
|Bowels||Up to £184,200||(a) Double incontinence with other complications.|
|(a) Where there is serious and permanent damage to both kidneys or both kidneys are lost.|
|Kidney||Up to £63,980||(b) Examples in this bracket include a significant risk of a urinary tract infection in the future.|
|Brain damage||£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.|
|Bowel||In the region of £79,920||(c) Embarrassment and distress from passive incontinence and faecal urgency.|
|Bladder||£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.|
|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.|
|(a) The spleen is lost and there is an ongoing risk of internal infection and other disorders due to a damaged immune system.|
|General psychiatric damage||£19,070 to £54,830||(b) Moderately Severe: The symptoms cause significant problems, but the prognosis is optimistic.|
You can only claim for the harm sustained due to medical negligence. As such, you wouldn’t be able to claim compensation for your original condition. For example, if you sustained a broken arm but were misdiagnosed with a sprain and you suffered complications from receiving the wrong diagnosis, you could only claim for the complications caused.
As mentioned, you can recover costs you incurred due to the harm you sustained as a result of medical negligence under special damages. Examples of the costs you could recover include:
- Loss of past and future earnings
- Medical expenses
- Home and vehicle adaptations.
However, proof must be submitted, such as wage slips or receipts.
For more information on the medical negligence compensation you could receive, please get in touch with our team at the number above.
You could hire a medical negligence No Win No Fee solicitor to represent your claim. 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 today. You could be passed onto a specialist medical negligence solicitor from our panel who could offer you a No Win No Fee arrangement.
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
- Pharmacy prescription error claims
- Optician negligence 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.
- Botched derma and lip filler claims
- Dental negligence compensation claims
- Suing the NHS for medical negligence
- Claiming compensation for hospital-acquired infections
- Medication errors at nursing homes
- Frequently asked questions on medical negligence cases
- How much compensation for dental negligence?
- How to claim compensation for an operation gone wrong
- Reporting negligence in a nursing home
- How to make a claim against the NHS
- How to prove medical negligence in a compensation claim
- Death in a care home. How to claim compensation
- Time limit on medical negligence claims against the NHS
- Making a GP negligence claim
- Walk-in centre negligence claims
- Birth injury claims
- Making a blood transfusion claim
- What circumstances are classed as medical negligence?
- How to claim for a medication error
- Claiming compensation for a medication calculation error
- I was harmed by a prescription error, how do I claim?
- Can I claim compensation if I was prescribed the wrong medication?
- Missed fracture compensation claims
- Everything you need to know about prescription error claims
We hope this guide on seeking medical negligence compensation has helped. If you need any other information, call our team.