Suing The NHS For Medical Negligence – How Do I Make My Claim?

How To Make An NHS Negligence Compensation Claim

Have you sustained an injury because of medical malpractice or as the result of a botched medical procedure? If so, you should consider making a claim, as you will likely be entitled to medical negligence compensation. In this guide, we are going to take a look at making a claim against the NHS specifically. Here at Advice.co.uk, we have helped many people to claim NHS negligence compensation, as well as private hospital compensation, so please do not hesitate to call us if you need assistance. If you wish to bring a claim against the NHS for medical negligence, call 0161 696 9685, but first why not read on to discover all you need to know about these claims specifically.

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A Guide To Suing The NHS For Medical Negligence

NHS medical negligence claims guide

NHS medical negligence claims guide

Have you suffered an illness or injury while in the care of the NHS? If so, you may be able to make an NHS medical negligence claim. When we go to the hospital, we expect to feel better. We expect to get the treatment we need. While this is typically the case, there are instances when things turn sour. This could be because the wrong treatment was given, a mistake was made during surgery, or because of general low hygiene standards in the hospital. No matter what applies to you, you will find all of the information you need on making a medical negligence claim. 

This includes details about the different types of negligent treatment that can happen, as well as information on the service that we provide and the typical payouts for cases involving the NHS. You may be worried about the cost to the NHS, but it is only right that you get the help that you need. The same applies if you have lost a loved one because of a poor standard of care. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to know.

What Qualifies As NHS Medical Negligence?

You could make a claim if you have suffered harm because of someone else’s error. You need to be able to prove that those treating you breached their duty of care and, as a result, that poor service or care led to you suffering harm, or that your injury, condition or disease has become worse as a consequence of a lack of skill or care. If you can establish this, there is every chance you will be entitled to compensation. To be eligible to claim, you need to bring your case within 3 years from the date of the incident, or 3 years from the date you gained knowledge of an injury or illness. This is the typical medical negligence claims time limit for anyone who wants to make a claim. It’s also similar to the personal injury claims time limit.

NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Amounts

You will probably want to know how much money you are going to get if you proceed with a claim. For this reason, we have provided a medical negligence claims calculator, similar to a personal injury claims calculator which you may have used before. However, these tools are not very accurate. So instead, we’ve compiled a table based on data taken from guidelines produced by a legal body called the Judicial College. You can take a look at the payout amounts for claims similar to yours. 

Injury sustainedAverage payout
Death - full awareness£11,770 to £22,350
Moderate psychiatric damage£5,500 to £17,900
Minor injury whereby the person makes a complete recovery in just one week.£650 to £1,290
Moderate Brain Damage£85,150 to £140,870
Serious impairment of bladder control with some pain and incontinence.£60,050 to £75,010
Serious and permanent damage to or loss of both kidneys.£158,970 to £197,480

For an estimate more relevant to you, why not call our expert advisers on the number at the top of this page?

I Suffered Negligent Care By The NHS, What Can I Claim?

It is important to recognise that NHS medical negligence payouts can be split into two sections. Let’s take a look at both.

General damages

First and foremost, you will receive compensation for your pain and suffering. This is the type of compensation most people are aware of. It is determined based on the severity of your injury, as well as the impact it is going to have on your everyday life. Therefore, you can clearly deduce that the more serious your injury is, the more compensation you will receive. The calculator section above looks at potential awards.

Special damages

This essentially relates to out of pocket expenses that you have incurred because of the injury or illness. Therefore, you should keep receipts, bills, bank statements and the like which evidence your losses. A prime example of this would be your car parking tickets for trips to the hospital. You would never have had to pay for car parking if you had not sustained an injury. Other examples include childcare costs, medical expenses, loss of income and travel costs.

What Are The Most Common Forms Of Medical Negligence In The NHS?

There are many different ways that medical negligence by the NHS can happen. Some of the most common are explained below.

Negligent Advice On Medical Treatment

This occurs when you have been given incorrect advice regarding what treatment is right for your condition.

Negligent Dispensing Of Prescriptions And Medication

This happens when you have been given the wrong medication or the incorrect quantity of medication.

Surgical Errors

This occurs when the surgeon has made a mistake during your operation.

Misdiagnosis Of Your Condition

This is when the medical professional has diagnosed your condition as the wrong thing or they have overlooked it altogether.

Key Statistics For Medical Negligence In The NHS

The most recent statistics that have been published by NHS Resolution show that there were 10,673 medical negligence claims made in 2017/2018. This represents a slight decrease when compared with 2016/2017, in which there were 10,686 claims.

Evidence Which Can Support Your Claim Against The NHS For Medical Negligence

When it comes to making a strong claim, it is all about evidence. You need to be able to prove that someone else is responsible for your suffering if you are to get the compensation you deserve. Of course, this is something your solicitor is going to help you to achieve. Nevertheless, keep on reading to discover a little bit more about the steps you can take to ensure your case is as strong as possible.

Medical Records

First of all, it is useful to your case if you see a doctor. Of course, if you were injured in the hospital, you will naturally be in this environment, but make sure you follow up if you feel ill once you get home. The medical notes detailing what has happened to you will be a crucial piece of evidence. It will state what injuries you have suffered and what treatment has been required and this will be used to determine whether negligence has taken place.

Witnesses

You can also strengthen your case massively by getting the contact details of anyone that witnessed the incident. Simply ask them for their full name, address, and telephone number. This could be someone who visited you or another hospital patient, for example. Witness statements work really well when it comes to making a strong claim.

Take Photographs

This will only be applicable in some cases. Nevertheless, if you can take photographs of your injuries or any damage that has occurred then you should do so. For example, if there were poor hygiene standards and dirt around the hospital, you could photograph this.

What Should I Do If I Suffer Negligent Treatment By The NHS?

If you have been injured due to negligent treatment, here are some steps to take…

  • See a medical professional – It is best to see a medical professional for your injuries. This is of paramount importance. Not only for the sake of your wellbeing but also because you might need the doctor’s medical notes if you are to secure compensation for NHS negligence.
  • Report the incident to the NHS – Many people make the mistake of simply waiting for the NHS to receive the letter from their medical negligence solicitor. However, this strategy isn’t always advised. Instead, you should inform the right department of what happened so that there is an official record of it.
  • Get witness contact details – In terms of evidence, witness statements are very valuable. If anyone saw something happen, make sure you get their contact information.
  • Keep proof of special damages – If you have experienced any costs because of your injuries, you can claim for these as special damages. Common examples include prescription costs, loss of earnings, counselling expenses and the cost of travelling to and from the hospital. If you are to claim for these, you will need proof, so keep a hold of any receipts or relevant documents.
  • Take photographs – It could help to strengthen your case if you take photos of your injuries.
  • Make a note of what happened – By doing this, you will almost guarantee that you do not forget any crucial details later down the line. Make as many notes as you can, and be sure to include any relevant names and telephone numbers.

Claiming For Medical Negligence Suffered By A Family Member

A lot of people do not realise that they will be able to claim if a loved one has suffered medical negligence. There are a number of different circumstances whereby this applies. You could be able to make a claim if a loved one has suffered an injury that is so severe whereby they are not able to make a claim themselves. In this instance, you would act as their litigation friend.

Also, you would also be able to make a claim if it is your child that has suffered an injury because of the NHS. In this instance, you would be able to make a claim for your child until their 18th birthday. If you don’t, your child will then have three years from the date of their 18th birthday. However, we do recommend that you make the claim, as it is a lot easier to investigate the closer to the incident date.

Claiming For Cases Of Fatal Medical Negligence – Causing Death

You may also be able to make a claim if someone you love has lost their life because of negligence. This can often be the case for the likes of cancer negligence. If an illness like cancer is not diagnosed correctly or quickly, this can cause the illness to get a lot worse and it can sometimes become fatal when it would not have been. Of course, this is just one example of how NHS negligence can result in a fatal accident. If this has happened, you would possibly be able to claim NHS negligence death compensation for the likes of general damages, punitive damages, medical expenses, a bereavement award, and funeral expenses.

Claims For Misdiagnosis By A GP Or Doctor

Doctor misdiagnosis negligence

Doctor misdiagnosis negligence

You might also make a claim if your doctor has misdiagnosed you. This includes wrongful diagnosis and delayed diagnosis as well. When you make a claim, there are a number of factors that will be taken into account. This includes the following:

  • The nature of your illness
  • The severity of the injuries you have sustained
  • The unnecessary pain and suffering you have experienced because of the incorrect diagnosis
  • How long your recovery time was extended by
  • How the misdiagnosis has impacted your quality of life
  • If your life expectancy has been impacted because of the misdiagnosis

Claims For Internal Bleeding And Other Postoperative Injuries

Aside from the different cases that have been mentioned so far, you could also make a claim for compensation if the NHS is to blame because you have sustained internal bleeding after surgery. You might also claim for any postoperative injuries that have been suffered. If the internal bleeding was not a foreseen complication and it was not caused because of a medical mistake, you will not have the ability to make a claim for compensation. However, if the surgeon made an error while the surgery was being carried out, you could be able to get compensation.

Claims For Medical Negligence Caused By An NHS Dentist

There are many organisations and charities in the country that help to promote the high standard of dentistry and oral care. This includes the Dental Practice Board and the British Dental Association, with a prominent charity being the British Dental Health Foundation.

Out of all of the NHS dentistry claims, dental negligence can be regarded as one of the most common. This is when a dentist has not provided proper care or has provided inaccurate advice and information. A lot of dental negligence claims are also made when a dentist has carried out a treatment incorrectly and caused further damage or has perhaps carried out the treatment on the wrong tooth. 

Aside from this, other incidents when dental claims may be made are when you have injured your teeth as part of another incident. Perhaps you slipped on a wet floor at the NHS hospital. Quite often these incidents can lead to broken teeth or even fractured jaws.

If you feel that you have suffered because a dentist has provided you with wrong advice, intervention, or a dental procedure that has gone wrong, then there is a chance that you will be entitled to compensation. This does not tend to happen very often. After all, there is an extremely high level of quality when it comes to dentistry in the UK. Yet mistakes can occur. No matter what has happened, our NHS medical negligence solicitors can ensure you get the maximum payout possible.

NHS Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Time Limits

A lot of people do not realise that there is a time limit when making a claim. You can use the table below to see the NHS medical negligence time limit for your case.

CircumstancesTime Limit
NHS injury3 years from the date of the injury
NHS illness (developed over time)3 years from the date of the diagnosis of the illness
Criminal activity involved2 years from the date of the accident
Child injuredParents can claim until their child turns 18. After this, the child has three years

How Do Start A Claim For Medical Negligence By The NHS

Have you suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence by the NHS? Perhaps you were already suffering from a particular condition that has been made worse because of a lack of skill or care? Whatever may have occurred, if you believe you have been the victim of clinical negligence you should think about making a claim. Read on to discover all you need to know about making this type of claim…

Determine whether you have the basis for a winning compensation claim

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you should make a claim for NHS medical negligence compensation. Obviously, you want to ensure you get the compensation you deserve, yet you certainly do not want to waste your time if you do not have a strong case. Essentially what you need to do is be able to prove that you have suffered at the hand of someone else’s error or negligence.

Make a formal complaint

It is always advisable to make a formal complaint to the applicable body. For instance, if you have suffered whilst getting treatment in a public hospital, you should make a formal complaint to the NHS or that hospital trust. This will be useful when it comes to making a compensation claim, as it shows you have gone through the proper channels.

Get in touch with Advice.co.uk

Last but not least, the final thing you should do is get in touch with Advice.co.uk. You need a brilliant and specialised solicitor on your side when making a medical negligence claim, and this is exactly what you will get with Advice.co.uk—great advice and the chance to be matched with a solicitor that can help you.

No Win No Fee Claims For NHS Negligence Compensation

The solicitors on our panel work on a No Win No Fee basis. They will handle your case for you, ensuring minimal hassle and stress is caused. After all, we appreciate how much of a distressing time this can be. Since all of these solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis, financial risk is diminished and you do not actually need any money to begin your claim. There won’t be any fees to pay during the case either. If that wasn’t enough, they will only take on your case if they think you have a strong chance of getting compensation. They won’t waste your time. And if the case does not succeed, you will not be charged anything at all. 

If your claim is a success, your solicitor may seek a modest percentage of your compensation to help cover their costs. This is legally capped, so you don’t have to worry about losing lots of your compensation.

Why Choose Our NHS Medical Negligence Specialists

The first thing to do if you want to make a medical negligence claim is to get in touch with Advice.co.uk. We come with many years of experience. You can call us on our free legal helpline and we will connect you to one of our specialist NHS negligence solicitors from our panel. They all work on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you do not need any money to begin your claim. It is also wise to make a formal complaint about your circumstances to the NHS. This can really help when it comes to the claims process, which we have made really easy, as you can see below.

Contact our team by email, phone, or post. Our team will assess your claim.Once you are ready, we can then start your claim.

Our NHS Negligence Claims Experts

If you have any further questions about making a claim against the NHS, please do not hesitate to get in touch. The NHS is widely considered to be one of the best healthcare systems in the world, yet mistakes do occur. This is not something you should simply accept. Get in touch today on 0161 696 9685 and get the compensation you deserve.

Additional Advice For Those Injured By The NHS

NHS complaints – Read the NHS page on making complaints.

NHS legislation on complaining – This is legislation covering the complaints system.

Workplace Rights – our guide to accidents in the workplace.

No Win No Fee Claims – our guide to making No Win No Fee claims.

 

Guide by OS

Edited by DEG