How To Claim Compensation For A Surgical Error Or Surgical Negligence?

By Daniel Kirk. Last Updated 30th September 2022.The vast majority of operations and surgeries have some degree of risk. However, as a patient, there is a standard of care that you should expect. If the surgeon has made a mistake and you have been injured as a consequence, you could be able to make a surgical negligence claim. 

Here at, we can help you to get the compensation that you deserve. We have years of experience in the industry and can expertly guide you through the claims process. You can call us on 0161 696 9685 to discuss the ins and outs of your case. However, before you do this, continue reading to find out everything you need to know about making a surgical error claim.

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A Guide To Claiming Compensation For Surgical Errors

Surgical negligence compensation claims guide

Surgical negligence compensation claims guide

In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know about making a claim for surgical negligence compensation. We will give you the surgical malpractice definition and provide you with information on specific types of surgical negligence, including everything from general surgical errors to instances whereby the surgeon has failed to get consent before the surgery. We will also provide you with information on the claiming process itself, including the medical negligence claims time limit, our No Win No Fee approach and average payout amounts. If you still have any queries by the time you get to the end of the guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

What Is The Definition Of A Surgical Error

What is the definition of medical negligence? What is surgical negligence? These are the sorts of questions we are often asked. A surgical error is a form of negligence. This happens when sub-standard, delayed, or incorrect surgical treatment has been provided by a medical professional. All medical staff and surgeons have a duty of care to treat patients to a very high standard.

Surgical Error And Surgical Negligence Compensation Calculator

No doubt, you will be wondering about the answer to the question, “how much compensation do you get for medical negligence?” In the table below, we have compiled the average payout amounts for injuries often linked to surgical negligence cases. This is the best way to get an understanding of the compensation you may get. We do not recommend using a personal injury claims calculator, as these are marketing tools.

Injury sustained Payout amount
Minor -Complete recovery within three months. £1,370 to £2,450
Minor – Complete recovery within 28 days. Up to £1,370
Minor – Complete recovery within 7 days. Up to £690
Below-knee Amputation of One Leg £91,950 to £124,800
Above-knee Amputation of One Leg £104,830 to £137,470
Below-knee Amputation of Both Legs £201,490 to £270,100
Less severe psychological damages £1,440 to £5,500
Moderate psychological damages £5,860 to £19,070
Moderately severe psychological damages £19,070 to £54,830
Severe psychological damages £54,830 to £115,730

The figures you can see above have been taken from guidelines published by a legal institution known as the Judicial College. As you can see, the brackets are quite broad. To see where you would fit more precisely in those brackets, contact our team of expert advisers today on the number at the top of this page.

Types Of Damages Victims Of Surgical Errors Can Claim

When making a claim for medical negligence, it is important to have an understanding of what you can and cannot claim for. Generally, there are two heads of claim you can seek compensation under. Let’s explore both in more detail. 

General damages

This relates to the payout you will receive for the injuries you have sustained – both physical and psychological. The level of award will depend on the severity of the injury, amongst other considerations. The table above can give you an idea of what you could recover under general damages.

Special damages

This relates to the money you will receive for any out of pocket expenses you have sustained because of the negligence you were a victim of. Here are some examples of the types of expenses you can recover:

Medical expenses

This includes the cost of treatment for the surgical error, as well as counselling costs.

Travel costs

You will be able to claim for travel costs associated with your injuries, including hospital parking tickets and travelling to and from the hospital.

Care costs

If you have needed someone to look after you while you recover, they will be able to claim care costs.

Loss of income

You will also be able to make a claim if you have experienced a loss of income because of what has happened. Not everyone has the luxury of being covered by full sick pay.

Be sure to keep hold of all receipts, bills or invoices as without evidence, you may not be able to claim back the cost.

Statistics For Surgical Errors

According to the most recent statistics provided by NHS Trusts, in 2013, there were 58 cases whereby incorrect prostheses or implants were fitted, 73 cases where medication tubes or patient feeding tubes were inserted into the patients’ lungs incorrectly, and 214 incidents whereby surgical procedures were carried out on the wrong body part. There were also 322 cases involving foreign objects being left inside a patient during an operation.

If you’ve experienced anything like this, please get in touch. You may be entitled to compensation. 


Common Causes Of Private Or NHS Surgical Negligence

There are a number of different reasons why surgical errors can happen. Usually, it comes down to one of the following:

  • Neglect, i.e. a situation whereby surgeons have become unnecessarily complacent during surgery
  • Fatigue, which can be a serious issue when you consider the long hours that surgeons work
  • Poor communication, i.e. errors are likely to happen if there is a breakdown in communication during surgery
  • Lack of preoperative planning – errors can happen if the initial preparation has not been carried out properly
  • Incompetence, i.e. when a surgeon does not have the required skills to carry out surgery successfully

Surgical Error Claims – Examples

When undergoing surgery, negligence can take many forms. If you’ve been injured due to an act of negligence during surgery, a compensation claim could be made. However, it can be useful to know what can be defined as surgical negligence.

Below, we have compiled a short list of examples. However, this is not a complete list. There can be other instances of surgical negligence too.

  • Foreign objects left inside the patient – This can include surgical equipment, for example.
  • Wrong-site surgery – This is when a procedure is carried out on the wrong part of the body. For instance, a patient may have required a left leg amputation, but the right leg was amputated instead.
  • Operating on the wrong patient – A procedure intended for one patient may have been mistakenly carried out on someone else entirely.

It may be possible to make surgical errors claims for any of the above scenarios, and others. If you have any questions regarding whether or not what you experienced could be categorised as surgical negligence, get in touch with our advisors today.

Types Of Surgical Error And Negligence

In the upcoming sections, we are going to take a look at some of the most common types of surgical negligence cases. If you cannot find the type of case that relates to what happened to you, there is no need to fret, as you can still make a claim. The following is merely a handful of examples.

Cancer Surgery Error Claims

For anyone suffering from cancer, every operation is pivotal. If a mistake is made, it could cause cancer to spread and get worse. If this has happened, you could be able to get compensation.

Keyhole Surgical Error Claims

During keyhole surgery, damage can be caused during the first incision, and this is not always deemed negligent. Nevertheless, further errors can be deemed negligent. Here are some examples:

  • Failure to notice an infection that has developed after surgery
  • Failure to notice any nerves or organs damaged during the surgery
  • Damage to the blood vessels
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Damage to the bladder or the bowel
  • Bile duct damage
  • Mistakes in gallbladder surgery

General Surgical Error Claims

We can help you to make a claim for any sort of negligence that has happened during surgery. Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Leaving instruments, swabs, or other items inside of the body
  • Hernia operations that have lead to the death of a testicle
  • Damaging the bile duct while removing the gallbladder
  • Failing to notice damaged organs
  • Damaging organs
  • Damaging arteries or nerves
  • Performing the operation in the incorrect place
  • Performing the wrong operation

Failure To Get Consent Before Surgery

Before any operation, it is imperative that all of the risks are explained to you and that your consent is given to the surgeon. If this is not the case, and something has happened to injure you, you will have grounds for compensation.

Claims For Objects Left Inside A Patient

You may also need the services of medical negligence solicitors in London or anywhere else in the UK if an object has been left inside of your body after surgery. This is one of the more common types of medical negligence cases. Often, surgeons are busy operating and they forget that they have left something inside of the body. This often means another operation is needed to remove it, and so you will be able to claim for everything associated with this.

Anaesthetic Awareness Compensation Claims

You can also make a claim for any negligence relating to the anaesthetic stage. There are a number of ways negligence could occur here. Perhaps you were not made aware of what was involved. Or maybe you were given too much or not enough anaesthetic? If the anaesthetic wears off mid-surgery it can be extremely worrying, and so you could be able to make a considerable claim.

Claims For NHS Surgical Errors

These sorts of hospital negligence claim simply relate to any surgery carried out at a public hospital. The procedure when making an NHS claim can be slightly different but this is nothing for you to worry about. We will make sure we provide you with a solicitor with experience to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Claiming On Behalf Of Someone Else

You can also claim compensation for surgical errors on behalf of someone else. You will be able to do this if the victim of negligence is not in a position to make a claim because their injuries are so severe or they have passed away from them. In making a claim, you would be called a ‘litigation friend’ and will act on behalf of your loved one.

How Much Time Do I Have To Make A Surgical Error Claim, And How Long Do These Claims Take?

It is advisable to make your claim as quickly as possible. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Firstly, the sooner you make your claim the easier it will be. After all, the details will be fresh in your mind and it will be a lot easier for your solicitor to acquire witness statements and anything else that could help your case. Moreover, did you know that there is actually a three-year time limit on medical negligence claims, just like with personal injury claims? This means you have three years from the date of the incident for court proceedings to be issued.

The nature of the incident How long do you have to make a claim?
Surgical error with criminal activity involved Two years from the accident
Surgical negligence Three years from the negligence or from diagnosis that something went wrong

How Do I Start A Surgical Error Or Negligence Claim

Claiming compensation for surgical error

Claiming compensation for surgical error

No matter how the situation occurred, read on to discover some top tips for making claims for surgical error. This advice will help to ensure you have the best chance of getting the compensation you are entitled to.

Keep proof of any expenses incurred

Have you had to pay for someone to look after your children whilst you recover? Perhaps you’ve had to cover the cost of prescription fees? Or have you suffered a loss of income because of your inability to work? These are things that you will be able to recover when making your claim. Nonetheless, you will need proof, so keep receipts and such like.

Gather as many details as possible

The more details you have the better. After the accident, it is advisable to sit down and write down as much as you can remember – even the things you think may not be significant. You never know what could be relevant and what you may forget later down the line. As well as this, you will want to get your hands on as many contact details as possible. Not only should you get the details of the person that caused the accident, but anyone that witnessed it too.

Give us a call

We will handle everything for you. All you need to do is give us a call, and we will take it from there. We will provide you with a free consultation, ensuring we have all of the information we need to give you the best possible advice.

No Win No Fee Claims For Surgical Errors And Negligence

An increasing number of medical negligence victims are turning to a No Win No Fee solicitor when it comes to making a claim. This is a service that has grown and grown in popularity ever since the conditional fee agreement was introduced in 1998. But, why is a No Win No Fee solicitor the best option to go for?

There is only one place to begin, and this is with the financial benefits you will reap if you opt for a No Win No Fee solicitor. Prior to the No Win No Fee service, there were many people all over the UK who were failing to make a compensation claim for the sheer fact that they couldn’t afford to. However, a No Win No Fee solicitor eliminates this problem. You don’t need any money to begin your claim. Moreover, you will only pay for the service if you win your case. This eradicates financial risk. After all, you can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t find yourself in a situation whereby you have failed to receive compensation yet you are faced with an extortionate legal bill.

In addition to this, generally a No Win No Fee solicitor will provide a better service. Why? Well, they are affected by the outcome of your case. They need to win it if they are to be paid for everything they have provided you with. However, a traditional solicitor is not impacted by the success of your case in terms of money, as they will still receive the same amount no matter what. Because of this, it is not uncommon for your case to receive less attention than it requires. By going down the No Win No Fee route, you know you are getting the best of the best, which will provide you with peace of mind and ensure the case is as stress-free as possible.

At we are pleased to only work with No Win No Fee solicitors. Get in touch with us today and we will tell you whether you have a good chance of a successful compensation case or not.

How Our Team Can Help Victims Of Surgical Errors

It is highly important to ensure that you find a good medical negligence lawyer for you, and so a lot of thought and consideration needs to be put in before you make the final decision on who is going to handle your case. Here at, we can help with this. Read on to discover what you should look for in a  solicitor, and how you can be sure you won’t be disappointed with our service, which aims to connect you with one.

Nowadays, there are a whole host of different law firms available and so there are, of course, a whole host of different lawyers specialising in medical negligence available to select from as well. This is obviously great because it means that there is a better chance of a person finding a lawyer whom you feel comfortable with and is well suited to you. However, it can also make the selection process a lot more difficult and a lot more stressful.

The first thing that an individual obviously needs to consider is the experience of the lawyer. This should be available on the company’s website. If you check our website, you will see that we will match you to a solicitor that has specialist experience. The experience of a company is highly important, as the law is not an area that can be dealt with lightly and so there is no margin for error. By opting for our service, with our many years in the locker, you can have the peace of mind that you are in safe hands as you will know that the lawyers we work with have the knowledge, experience, and unique insight to deal with any issue that comes their way.

Finally, you should take the time to discover what previous customers thought about the lawyer and the service that they received. The way to find this out is to merely do a quick search on Google and go to the relevant forums or review pages.

Another benefit of our service is that we make it as easy and convenient as possible. All you need to do is follow the three-step process 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.

Call Our Team Today

If you are ready to go about making a claim for surgical errors medical negligence compensation, we are ready and waiting to help and advise you. All you need to do is give us a call on 0161 696 9685. We will be happy to answer all of your queries and we can start the claim’s process for you too. There are other ways to get in touch with us as well if you would prefer. Why not enter your details and we will give you a call back at the earliest opportunity?

Advice And Resources

NHS Resolution – Want to complain, or see how complaints are resolved for the NHS – see here.

Gov – NHSLA – Litigation information from the GOV website.

Statistics on NHS complaints – Information on numbers of complaints etc.

Workplace Rights 

No Win No Fee Claims


Guide by OS

Edited by DEG