Can You Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital?

You may be wondering if you can make a medical negligence claim for poor care in a hospital. This article examines the eligibility criteria to begin a medical negligence claim, including the duty of care owed by medical professionals to their patients.

We have included some illustrative examples of how poor care in a hospital could occur, as well as an explanation of the two heads of loss medical negligence compensation can be awarded under. You will also see some examples of possible evidence that can support hospital negligence claims.

The final section of this guide examines the type of No Win No Fee agreement offered by our panel of solicitors, and how you can benefit when you start your hospital negligence compensation claim under such a contract.

Our friendly and experienced advisory team are available to answer any questions 24/7. They can also offer an assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim for no charge. Speak to an advisor today via:

A clipboard with medical negligence written on it in bold lettering, a stethoscope and judge's gavel

Browse This Guide

  1. Can You Make A Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital?
  2. What Does Receiving Poor Care In A Hospital Mean?
  3. How Much Compensation Could You Receive For Hospital Negligence?
  4. What Evidence Could Help You Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital? 
  5. No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Claims For Compensation
  6. Learn More About Claiming For Poor Patient Care In Hospitals

Can You Make A Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital?

Medical professionals and healthcare providers have a duty of care to provide medical care that meets the correct standard to patients who are in their care. A failure to meet this standard can result in patients experiencing avoidable harm. What we mean by “avoidable harm” is harm that you would not have experienced had the correct standard of care been provided during your hospital visit.

The eligibility criteria for hospital negligence claims are as follows:

  1. A medical professional or the health care provider such as the hospital owed you a duty of care. Please note that when you become a patient of a practitioner or a hospital they then owe you this duty of care.
  2. The practitioner or hospital provided you with care that fell below the expected standard, therefore breaching their duty of care.
  3. This breach caused you to suffer avoidable harm.

It is important to note that poor care in a hospital will not always equate to medical negligence. Harm that was avoidable must have been suffered due to a breach in the duty owed to you as a patient. Therefore please call our advisors today to have your case assessed for free.

What Is The Time Limit When Making A Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital? 

In most hospital negligence claims, a limitation period of 3 years is imposed from the date of the negligent action or the date you would have been first expected to connect the harm that you sustained with negligent medical treatment or care. This is called the date of knowledge.

Exceptions to the general limit can be made in cases where the patient is under 18 or lacks sufficient mental capacity. A suitable adult can apply to act as a litigation friend and pursue the hospital negligence claim on their behalf. If the injured party turns 18 or the person recovers their mental capacity and no claim has been made they then will have 3 years to initiate legal proceedings. This is all stated in the Limitation Act 1980

To learn more about the time limit when making hospital negligence claims for poor care in a hospital, and to find if any exceptions are relevant to your particular circumstances, speak to an advisor via the details given above.

Lots of different clocks representing hospital negligence time limits

What Does Receiving Poor Care In A Hospital Mean?

This section looks at what circumstances are classed as medical negligence. Poor hospital care can mean the care you receive during your hospital visit has not met the correct standard, but that may not always be the case. For poor care in a hospital to be classed as medical negligence then the circumstances must satisfy the criteria above. Below we provide examples of medical negligence:

  • A doctor fails to adequately check your patient notes and prescribes a medication you have a known allergy to. This prescription error causes a severe allergic reaction.
  • Administrative errors resulted in your file being mixed up with another patient’s. This resulted in the misdiagnosis of your brain cancer. By the time your condition was correctly identified, it had spread.
  • You developed sepsis because the doctor at the hospital failed to notice the clear signs of the pneumonia that you were suffering from. This meant you received no treatment for the infection which eventually led to the body developing sepsis.
  • You have experienced poor care when moving from one place or the other or being put in a uncomfortable position which ended up in you getting bed or pressure sores.

There are many other scenarios where you could be eligible to start a claim for negligent care in a hospital. To get a free assessment of eligibility to begin a hospital negligence claim, contact our advisors today.

3 surgeons in an operating theatre conducting a surgical procedure

How Much Compensation Could You Receive For Hospital Negligence?

Compensation following successful hospital negligence claims for poor care in a hospital can be awarded under two different heads of loss, these are:

  • General damages for the physical and psychiatric harm caused by the negligent hospital care.
  • Special damages for the associated monetary losses resulting from the medical negligence.

The legal team responsible for calculating a potential value for the harm you have sustained can refer to your independent medical assessment, as well as relevant figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication details the guideline compensation amounts for different kinds of harm. We have used some of these figures, with the exception of the top entry, in the below table. 

Compensation Table

Please be aware the amounts in this table have been included for guidance purposes only, as hospital negligence claims are decided on a case by case basis.

Edit
Type of Harm Severity Guideline Compensation Notes
Multiple severe injuries with lost earnings, care costs and other expenses. Very Severe Up to £1,000,000 and above The negligent medical care has caused multiple instances of severe harm, as well a loss of earnings, ongoing care costs and other special damages.
Injuries involving paralysis Tetraplegia (a) £324,600 to £403,990 Paralysis of the upper and lower body. Cases where the injured person has retained their senses, is not in physical pain and has life expectancy of at least 25 years but requires support with bodily functions will attract an award in the middle of this bracket.
Kidney Loss or Serious Damage to (a) £169,400 to £210,400 The loss of, or lifelong serious damage to both kidneys.
Bowels Total Loss of Function (a) Up to £184,200 Total loss of natural bowel and bladder function resulting in double incontinence and other complications.
Epilepsy Established Grand Mal (a) £102,000 to £150,110 Awards for epilepsy are dependent on factors such as: the extent to which medication can control attacks, behavioural issues, the impact on work and social life and the condition’s prognosis.
Bladder Loss of function (b) Up to £140,660 Complete loss of natural bladder function and control
Neck Injuries Severe (a)(ii) £65,740 to £130,930 Cases where there have been serious fractures in the cervical spine giving rise to serious disabilities such a substantial loss of neck movement and limb paralysis.
Back Injuries Severe (a)(iii) £38,780 to £69,730 Soft tissue injuries, disc fractures or lesions causing continuing pain and discomfort, impaired agility and sexual function and psychological injuries.
Digestive System Non-traumatic Injury (b)(i) £38,430 to £52,500 Acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever resulting from severe toxicosis. Hospital admission for days or weeks will be necessary and continuing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and incontinence will be present.
Injuries to the Pelvis and Hips Moderate (b)(i) £26,590 to £39,170 Significant injury that does not result in major permanent disability or risk of future disability.

Special Damages

Certain costs you incur as a result of the harm caused by the negligent treatment can be awarded under special damages in your hospital negligence compensation settlement. This can include your lost earnings, as well as costs for care, prescriptions or transport to and from work.

Claiming special damages will require you to submit supporting evidence, so ensure you hold onto financial documents such as your payslips, care invoices and receipts as proof of the costs you have incurred.

calculator and stethoscope representing a medical negligence calculator

For a more in-depth estimate of what your potential hospital negligence claim could be worth, talk to our advisors today. You can speak to a team member 24 hours a day using the contact information provided below.

What Evidence Could Help You Claim For Poor Care In A Hospital? 

Evidence is used to prove medical negligence occurred and the effects this had on you. Examples of evidence you could use as part of your claim for poor care in a hospital are:

  • Medical records, such as copies of any scans, the results of tests and your patient notes. These can be used to highlight the negligent treatment that took place, as well as any additional treatment you required as a result of the medical errors.
  • Keeping a diary during your treatment, making particular reference to your physical and psychological symptoms can be very useful in showing the effects of the negligent medical care.
  • Persons who attended your hospital visit with you can provide a witness statement during the claims process, so be sure to collect their contact details.

The Bolam Test

In some medical negligence claims, the Bolam Test may be applied. This is where a panel of medical professionals from the relevant field assess the care you received and decide whether or not it met the correct standard.

The test’s usage is decided on a case-by-case basis, and you won’t be organising this yourself. However, you can use any findings from the test in your body of evidence if it is used.

The evidence you collect needs to show that the correct standard of care was not given during your treatment and that this resulted in your suffering avoidable harm. While you may be dissatisfied with the hospital treatment you received, you cannot begin a claim if the correct standard was met.

Experienced medical negligence solicitors from our panel of legal experts could assist you with collecting supporting evidence for your medical negligence claim. Talk to our advisors today for a free consultation regarding your eligibility to pursue legal action. If eligible, a solicitor from our panel could take up your case and help build a strong body of supporting evidence.

No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Claims For Compensation

Contact our advisors for a free assessment of your eligibility to begin a clinical negligence claim following poor care in a hospital. If eligible, an experienced medical negligence solicitor from our panel could offer to take up your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement or “CFA.”

A CFA is a type of No Win No Fee contract that gives claimants some notable advantages. There will not be a fee for the solicitor to begin working on your case. You will also not typically be charged fees during the claims process itself.

In the event your claim fails, you will similarly not be charged any fees for this work.

For clinical negligence claims that are a success, you will receive a compensation payout. The solicitor will deduct a success fee from this compensation. Success fees are legally capped percentages, meaning you will receive the majority of any compensation that is awarded for your claim.

A no win no fee solicitor with a set of scales and judges gavel

Our friendly and experienced advisory team are available to answer any questions 24/7. They can also offer an assessment of your eligibility to pursue legal action for no charge. Speak to an advisor today via:

Learn More About Claiming For Poor Patient Care In Hospitals

You can view some of our medical negligence claims guides on other topics via these links:

We have also included these links to external resources you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to a clinical negligence claim for poor care in a hospital.

You can speak to our advisors 24 hours a day if you have any questions regarding how to claim compensation. They can also provide a no-cost, zero-obligation assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim. Get in touch today via the contact details provided above.