Have you suffered avoidable harm after a medical professional breached their duty of care? If so, this might constitute medical negligence for which you might be eligible to seek compensation. Throughout this guide, we’ll be discussing some frequently asked questions about making a medical negligence claim.
To begin, we discuss when you could be eligible to start legal proceedings, what evidence can help support your case, and how long you have to take legal action.
Additionally, we provide some example medical negligence cases showing how you could be affected. Furthermore, we discuss what effects of medical malpractice a payout can compensate you for if your claim succeeds.
Finally, we explain how a specialist solicitor from our panel of medical negligence experts could help you make a claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you’re looking to sue for negligent care or just have some questions, our advisors can offer a free consultation to help you understand your potential next steps. To get in touch, you can:
Select A Section
- What Is A Medical Negligence Claim?
- What Types Of Medical Negligence Can You Claim For?
- How Do I Know If I Have Enough Evidence To Claim?
- Should I Use A Medical Negligence Claim Calculator?
- Is There A Medical Negligence Claim Time Limit?
- Can I Claim On Someone Else’s Behalf?
- Can I Make A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claim?
- Learn More About Medical Negligence Claims
A medical negligence claim is a type of claim made against a medical professional following negligent care.
Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to provide care that meets the correct standard. A failure to uphold this duty could result in the patient experiencing avoidable or unnecessary harm. This is called medical or clinical negligence.
The eligibility criteria for starting a claim following medical negligence are:
- A medical professional owed a duty of care.
- They failed to meet the correct standard of care and breached their duty.
- This led to their patient suffering avoidable harm.
If you would like to discuss your specific case and find out whether our panel’s expert clinical negligence solicitors could assist you with seeking compensation today, call the number listed above.
There are several types of medical negligence that could potentially lead to a claim. For example:
- Medical misdiagnosis. A medical practitioner like a doctor or GP could mix up your test results with another patient’s resulting in the misdiagnosis of testicular cancer. As a result, your condition could worsen due to receiving a delayed diagnosis of the correct illness. You could therefore need more invasive treatment.
- Incorrect medication. You could claim for a medication error if medical negligence was involved. For example, a doctor or nurse may give you medication you are allergic to because they failed to check your medical history and check whether you had any allergies before prescribing the medication.
- Surgical errors like wrong site surgery or a foreign object being left in the body can lead to surgical negligence claims. Both of these instances can be classed as never events.
- Birth injuries. Negligent treatment during the birthing process could see the mother or baby experiencing avoidable harm. In instances where the correct standard of care wasn’t met, a birth injury compensation claim could be made. For example, a midwife may have used the forceps incorrectly during labor causing the baby to suffer a brain injury and cerebral palsy.
If you’ve suffered unnecessary and avoidable harm because of substandard care from a medical professional, call today to learn if a medical negligence solicitor from our panel could help you claim compensation.
Am I Able To Claim If My Treatment Was Paid For Privately?
Whether you receive treatment from a public or private healthcare provider, you are still owed a duty of care by the medical professionals in charge of your care. If this duty is not upheld and avoidable harm is suffered, you could claim against the private healthcare provider.
Call the number above or contact us online to discuss claiming for negligent care provided by a private healthcare professional in more detail.
It is important to prove medical negligence through relevant evidence. As such, you could benefit from gathering the following:
- Notes that help identify any medical practitioners involved. This could include names, the location of the hospital, walk-in centre or other facility you went to.
- A copy of your medical records. This could include medical records showing any test results, scans, treatment you have received, and doctor notes.
- A diary of your medical treatment and any symptoms you experience.
- Pictures of any visible harm suffered.
As part of the medical negligence claims process, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination for further evidence.
The Bolam Test might be carried out for your medical negligence compensation claim as well. This is where relevantly trained healthcare practitioners assess the care provided and judge whether it met the correct standard. You don’t have to arrange the examination or the Bolam Test yourself if they’re required.
Will My Case Need To Go To Court?
In most cases, your claim shouldn’t need to go to court. If you instruct a solicitor to represent your case, they must carry out a set of steps to prevent the need for your claim to go to court.
However, there are some instances, such as more complex cases where liability hasn’t been admitted, in child compensation claims, or the harm suffered is very severe, that a case might need to go to court.
Our panel of No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors could be instructed to assist you through the claims process. They can help you gather and present evidence to support your claim and help you to secure an out-of-court settlement.
To learn more about how a solicitor can help you make a medical negligence claim, call the phone number listed above today.
If you’re wondering how much compensation you will receive from a successful claim, there is no definite answer as each claim is different. You could use a medical negligence claim calculator to get an estimate but they don’t always consider every aspect of your case so you should use this as a guide only.
Generally, a medical negligence compensation payout could be made up of two heads of the claim.
General damages, the primary head of claim, award compensation to address the pain and suffering caused by the medical negligence. The independent medical report can be referred to when valuing general damages. Additionally, guideline compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can also be referenced. These brackets correspond to different types of harm.
You can find JCG figures in the table below. Only the top row is not from the JCG. Please only use the table figures as a guide because settlements for successful clinical negligence claims will vary.
|COMPENSATION BRACKETS - GUIDELINES
|Multiple Serious Injuries/Illnesses With Financial Losses
|Up to £1,000,000+
|A payout recognising the effects of more than one serious injury and associated losses like lost earnings.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|The level of award is affected by factors including, but not limited to, life expectancy and the ability to communicate, either with or without assistive technology.
|Loss or Serious and Permanent Damage
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Both kidneys are affected.
|Cases Involving Double Incontinence
|Up to £184,200
|Double incontinence refers to the complete loss of natural bowel function and a total loss of urinary control and function. There are also other medical complications.
|Total Loss of Natural Function
|Up to £150,110
|As well as lost natural function, there could be an age-dependent reliance on colostomy.
|£100,670 to £135,920
|A serious disability in a young person and there is a probability of the condition progressively worsening and causing a premature death.
What Are Special Damages In A Medical Negligence Case?
Special damages compensate for past and future monetary expenses incurred due to medical negligence. This is the potential second head of claim that could appear in a settlement alongside general damages.
Here are some examples of the costs you could claim back, plus evidence needed to prove they happened:
- A loss of earnings if you miss work, which you could show using payslips.
- Travel expenses, for example commuting to and from appointments, which bus or train tickets could prove.
- Domestic care costs could be proven with invoices.
- Home adaptation costs, such as implementing a stair lift or wheelchair ramp. You can keep receipts that show the cost of the work.
- Medical bills, including payments for prescriptions. Receipts and the prescriptions themselves could help prove this loss.
Call if you want to discuss medical negligence compensation in further detail. An advisor can offer a free valuation and help you understand how much you could potentially be owed.
It is important to get your medical negligence case started within the limitation period set out in the The Limitation Act 1980. This sets out a three-year deadline for starting a medical negligence claim. Generally, this means you have three years from when the negligent care occurred to start legal proceedings.
However, the three years may also start on the date of knowledge in some cases. This refers to when you became aware that you suffered medical negligence. For example, if a pharmacy gave you the wrong medication or wrong dosage, you may only become aware of it when the effects of that error become clear.
In some instances, you might be able to make a clinical negligence claim on behalf of someone else. The time you have to do so can differ. For example:
- If the injured person is under the age of 18, the three year time limit for starting a medical negligence claim is paused until they turn 18. During this time, you can apply to the courts to act as a litigation friend, meaning you can pursue clinical negligence compensation on the child’s behalf.
- If someone lacks the mental capacity to seek compensation, the time limit is paused indefinitely. Whilst the pause is in place, a litigation friend can be appointed to start the claim on the injured person’s behalf. If the person recovers their capacity and no claim has already been made for them, they will have three years from the recovery date to start legal proceedings themselves.
If you choose to instruct a solicitor from our panel to represent your case, they can ensure your claim is brought forward within the relevant time limit. They can also advise those making a medical negligence claim on behalf of someone else.
Our panel’s experienced medical negligence solicitors can provide their helpful services under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee agreement which typically means the following:
- No fees to pay your solicitor for their work upfront, during the claims process, or if the claim has a failed outcome.
- A small percentage of your compensation is paid to the solicitor as their success fee. There is a legal cap placed on the percentage by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 ensuring you keep most of your settlement amount.
If you’d like to know more about making a medical negligence claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, get in touch with an advisor on the number above. Whether you want a full assessment of your potential case or just have a couple of questions, you can talk to an advisor via a free no-obligation consultation.
To contact our team, you can:
You can find more guides relating to medical negligence claims below:
- A guide providing examples of the different types of medication errors you could claim for.
- If you’re still unsure whether you could claim, this guide to circumstances classed as medical negligence could give you useful insight.
- A guide discussing whether you could make a compensation claim for a blood clot or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) with the help of an expert solicitor.
Try these external sources for further useful information:
- Learn when you can seek Statutory Sick Pay from your employer with guidance from GOV.UK.
- Information on the NHS Constitution for England from GOV.UK.
- The professional standards for doctors from the General Medical Council.
We hope this guide has answered your questions regarding making a medical negligence claim. If you need any further information about starting a claim for compensation or how our panel of specialist medical negligence solicitors could assist you, give us a call on the number above.