By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 15th June 2023. If you’ve arrived at this page you’re likely looking for legal advice on medical negligence claims.
Clinical negligence, as it’s otherwise known, refers to the unnecessary and avoidable harm inflicted by healthcare professionals during the course of treating you.
Medical negligence can relate to the likes of:
- Birth injuries
- Misdiagnosis of an injury or illness, like cancer
- Prescription or medication errors
- Unnecessary surgery
- Never Events, which are incidents that should never happen in a clinical setting
Below, you can find out more information about medical negligence claims. But importantly, you can learn about how we can help you.
Our team boasts some of the finest medical negligence solicitors in the country, some securing multi-million-pound settlements.
We can connect you with them today. All you need to do is contact us in one of the following ways:
- Call us on 0800 073 8801
- Write to us about your claim online
- Or chat with us now using our live chat box, bottom right
Select a section
- What is medical negligence?
- Common medical negligence claims
- Do I Need Evidence For Medical Negligence Claims?
- What are the time limits for medical negligence claims?
- Can you make medical negligence claims against the NHS?
- What happens when medical negligence causes death?
- Can you make medical negligence claims against a private practice?
- How much compensation do you get for medical negligence?
The term “medical negligence” is an umbrella term for a range of actions, or inactions, which medical professionals may take which causes injury, illness or the worsening of a condition in their patient. Any medical professional has a duty of care towards you as a patient and so any act which breaks that duty and causes harm or unnecessary injury can be deemed medical negligence.
Common medical negligence claims are often brought about after occurrences such as misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, surgical errors, mishandled births, care home or hospital negligence and incorrect treatment. These kinds of errors can have catastrophic repercussions which could lead to life-altering injures or conditions, life-long psychological problems and even death. If you or a loved one have suffered through an error on the behalf of your medical practitioner, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Do I have grounds to make a claim?
In order to be able to qualify for medical negligence payouts, your solicitor must be able to prove these three points:
- Your medical negligence solicitor must be able to show that the medical professional in question did not adhere to their legal duty of care towards you.
- Your lawyer must also be able to prove that the injury you sustained, illness you contracted or worsening of a condition you suffered was the result of the medical professional’s breach of that duty of care.
- In order to calculate the compensation you deserve, your lawyer must be able to give evidence of your injury/illness/condition and also present evidence of the financial strains and implications of said injury.
Your specialist medical negligence solicitor will be on hand to guide you through the process of claiming medical negligence compensation. They will arrange for a local medical examination to take place so that your injury or illness, and its effects, can be thoroughly assessed in order to present as evidence of your claim. Your lawyer and their team will fill out all the paperwork for you and keep you updated as your claim progresses. This will leave you able to concentrate your energy on your own recovery.
As previously mentioned, wrongful diagnosis and delayed diagnosis are two types of grounds for clinical negligence claims and they are two of the most common. Another common type of medical negligence claim is that for surgical errors. Many people go under the knife every day and unfortunately for some, there are disastrous consequences of this.
Unfortunately, another common type of medical negligence claim is that for a mishandled pregnancy or birth. Pregnancy and labour are incredibly dangerous times for a woman and there can be complications that arise during the 9 months of pregnancy and during labour.
If you received poor advice or substandard care during your pregnancy, labour or birth which resulted in injury or illness to yourself or your baby, then you can claim compensation with the help of qualified medical negligence compensation solicitors.
Other common grounds for medical negligence claims include prescription or medication mistakes, dental clinical negligence claims and claims against care received during hospital stays or against the standard of care received in a care home setting.
What is a wrongful diagnosis?
When you go to see your GP or your ailment is serious enough to warrant a visit to A&E or a specialist at a hospital, you expect them to be able to tell you what it is that is wrong with you. Therefore, you are likely to trust in the diagnosis which your doctor gives you and furthermore, agree to the treatment which they suggest.
Wrongful diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, occurs when the doctor gets it wrong. This may be a simple mistake with a difficult case or a matter of gross negligence on behalf of the medical professional who hasn’t taken into account all the symptoms or has misdiagnosed completely.
There are many consequences of a case of wrongful diagnosis, all of which can have devastating effects on the patient. You may have experienced a worsening of your condition due to a delay in receiving the correct treatment for your ailment.
You may also have suffered adverse side effects from medication or treatment you have been prescribed incorrectly or needlessly. Wrongful diagnosis can cause physical and psychological problems which take years to overcome. Hence why victims make medical negligence compensation claims.
What is a delayed diagnosis?
We are often advised to see a doctor as soon as we think something is wrong in order to have any injury or illness diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. With serious illnesses and conditions such as cancer or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, early intervention can make a huge difference to a person’s quality of life. Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer can literally be the difference between life and death.
In the case of “delayed diagnosis”, your medical professional may have failed to diagnose your condition at all or put off giving you an official diagnosis and treatment plan until your condition had worsened. Delayed diagnosis compensation cases can also be raised when tests and samples, such as blood or biopsy tests, are mishandled by laboratory techs resulting in missing results or tests needing to be repeated; causing a delay in your final diagnosis.
If you feel that there was an opportunity for your condition or injury to be diagnosed earlier, and you have suffered as a result of this, then you may be entitled to claim compensation as a result. Solicitors for medical negligence will be able to advise you on the steps to take to get your claim started.
Alternatively, if you find yourself asking “if I claim for medical negligence, how much will I get and what can I claim for?” then you’ll find our next section of use to you.
In order to claim for medical negligence compensation, you will need evidence that can support your case. Evidence that could support your claim may include the following:
- Your medical records. This can state what harm you have suffered and what treatments you’ve received.
- Correspondence with the medical institution you were treated at regarding the treatment you received.
- The contact details of any witnesses to the treatment you received that could provide a statement.
- If you are looking to claim for financial losses or expenses under special damages, you could also gather evidence of this. Examples may include receipts and payslips.
If a medical negligence solicitor is supporting your claim, then they could help you gather evidence for your case.
For more advice on medical negligence claims and how to prepare for one, contact our advisors either online or on the phone today.
There are time limits with any compensation claim for personal injuries, but the clinical negligence claims time limit is a little more flexible than most. As with all other compensation time limits, there are three years from the incident to begin your claim for medical negligence compensation.
However, this time limit is considered to start from the day that you became or were aware or were informed that you had been subject to injury or developed an illness that was down to medical negligence.
Exceptions to this 3-year time limit
This means that, according to medical negligence UK law, you may have been misdiagnosed on a specific day, but your 3-year time limit for a claim does not start until the day you are made aware that you were originally misdiagnosed, for example. If you are claiming for a loved one who no longer has the capacity to claim for themselves, or they have passed away, then the three-year time limit still stands.
In the cases where a child has been affected by medical negligence, then the three-year time limit does not begin to be counted until that child has turned 18. So, you have until the child’s 21st birthday to begin the claim process.
As the nature of medical negligence claims are very complex, the time limits which apply to your case may be individual and specific. However, it is always best to begin your claim process as quickly as possible by finding a medical negligence solicitor near me in order to be certain that you don’t fall outside of your time limit.
Simply, yes you can sue for NHS medical negligence. You can bring a medical negligence compensation claim against an individual such as a specific doctor, surgeon, nurse, dentist or other healthcare professionals, or you can sue an institution such as an NHS hospital, NHS trust, GP practice or private hospital.
Claims against the NHS usually involve sub-standard care received during a hospital stay or treatment from an NHS hospital or care facility. As with all medical negligence claims, the standard three-year time limit still applies. As these kinds of cases can be very complex, it is always best to contact NHS medical negligence solicitors to help you with your clinical negligence claims.
Losing a family member or loved one is always difficult, no matter the circumstances. However, knowing that your loved one’s death could have been prevented if they had received the correct medical care can make the entire grieving process exceptionally difficult.
Though a claim for a fatal injury cannot bring a loved one back, it could help relieve financial pressure in the wake of your loss. Searching for medical negligence solicitors near me can help to put you in touch with a specialist lawyer who will help guide you through your claim sensitively so that you can focus on your grieving process while they take care of the claim for you.
As previously mentioned, when it comes to a medical negligence compensation claim, you can sue an individual who was at fault, or you can sue an institution that has provided below par care. Private medical practices are supposed to uphold the same standard of care as NHS institutions and so if they fall below that standard, they can still be found legally liable for any injury, illness or worsening of conditions that those actions cause. And that could open the door for medical negligence claims.
Private practices often have extensive insurance policies which will cover them in the event of them facing a medical negligence lawsuit, so you may find the process of claiming against a private practice slightly easier as they will often be willing to agree on a compensation amount before the clinical negligence claims reach court.
Every medical negligence compensation claim is individual and unique. Due to this and the fact that medical negligence claims are complex and complicated, means that there is no standard amount you are likely to receive for a medical negligence claim.
Medical negligence payouts are usually relative to the severity of the illness or injury sustained as a result of the negligence. For example, if you have encountered paralysis as a consequence of negligent medical care then the amounts of compensation you could be awarded could be on the higher end.
Psychological trauma is also covered in medical negligence claims; sufferers of PTSD triggered by medical negligence could receive a significant amount depending on the severity of the condition and the impact it has on their life. With this in mind, the table below offers an illustration.
|Quadriplegic Paralysis||From £264,650 to £379,100|
|Paraplegic Paralysis||From £205,580 to £266,740|
|Head Injury leading to moderately severe damage to the brain||From £140,870 to £205,580||Quality of life hugely affected|
|Head Injury leading to moderate damage to the brain||From £85,150 to £140,870||Leading to modest/moderate intellectual deficit.|
|Head Injury leading to moderate damage to the brain||From £40,410 to £85,150||Where the ability to work is reduced.|
|Head Injury/ies leading to Minor damage to the brain||From £14,380 to £40,410||Memory loss and concentration affected.|
|Head Injury (minor)||Up to £11,980||Only small amount of brain damage or none at all.|
|Severe Psychiatric Problems||From £51,460 to £108,620|
|Moderately severe Psychiatric Problems||From £17,900 to £51,460|
|Moderate Psychiatric Problems||From £5,500 to £17,900|
|Minor severe Psychiatric Problems||Up to £5,500|
Claims following injury caused by clinical negligence can also include claims for other costs and damages incurred as a result of sub-standard care, delayed or misdiagnosis.
This can include the cost of prescriptions, the cost of medical care to correct mistakes and also lost earnings incurred from having to take time off work for appointments, treatment and from not being able to work due to a worsening condition or incurred injury.
For a more accurate compensation estimate, why not get in touch?
And if you’d like to make a medical negligence claim, we can help with that too.