By Daniel Sisko. Last updated 20th November 2023. Are you considering making a claim for medical negligence? If so, you may be wondering what you need to know about medical negligence before moving ahead with a claim.
In the guide below, we cover common questions that could relate to this type of claim, such as, ‘What is classed as medical negligence?’, ‘ Whom could I claim compensation from?’ and ‘How much compensation could I claim?’. We’ll also explain some important things you should know when claiming for medical negligence.
Here at Accident Claims UK, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping claimants who have suffered negligent care from medical professionals claim the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. Included in the guide below is information about how we could help you, and how you could get an eligibility check on your claim free of charge.
If you would like to begin a claim, or you’d like clarification on any of the information provided below, you can reach our expert advisors on 0800 073 8801.
Read on for the 10 things about medical negligence claims you need to know.
10. What Is Classed As Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is substandard care given to you by a doctor, GP, dentist or another medical professional. All of these professionals are required to provide safe, effective care, but sometimes they may make a mistake that could have been avoidable. This could be classed as medical or clinical negligence if harm is suffered as a result.
9. What Is A Medical Negligence Claim?
A medical negligence claim is an action taken by someone who was injured due to medical negligence to claim compensation for the pain and suffering of their injuries and the financial harm they’ve suffered as a result.
Some types of medical negligence claims could include:
Surgical negligence – If, for example, a surgeon has operated on the wrong part of your body, made an error with an incision or has left surgical tools inside you, this could cause you to suffer avoidable harm. You may need more surgery to correct the error, or you may be left with avoidable scarring or further health problems.
Childbirth negligence – If you are a victim of childbirth negligence, you or your baby may have suffered avoidable harm. One example of this could be if you were not monitored correctly while in labour and signs of distress were not acted upon swiftly enough to avoid harm to mother or baby.
Misdiagnosis/Late Diagnosis/Missed diagnosis – If you have been harmed because your illness was negligently misdiagnosed, suffered a delayed or missed diagnosis, and you could prove that the medical professionals caring for you should have diagnosed you correctly, this could lead to a claim for compensation.
Dental negligence – If you have suffered negligence from your dentist that has led to you suffering harm, this could also lead to a claim. Examples could include a dentist missing the signs of oral cancer, or extracting the wrong tooth.
If you feel that negligent treatment by any medical professional has led to you suffering harm that could have been avoidable, please do not hesitate to call us and ask ‘do I have a claim for medical negligence?’. We’ll be happy to look into this for you.
Medical negligence cases could be complicated, especially if there are existing medical conditions involved, which is why having an expert medical negligence solicitor to help you with such a claim could be beneficial.
8. Do Medical Negligence Claims Have Time Limits?
When looking at what to know about medical negligence claims, you might be surprised to learn that there is a limit to how long you could have to make your claim. Just like personal injury claims, if you leave it too long before taking action, you could find out your claim would be time-barred, meaning that you would be unable to pursue a liable party for compensation.
As with the personal injury claims time limit, the medical negligence limitation period is usually three years from the date it is known that you have suffered harm due to negligence by a medical professional. However, this may mean three years from the date the negligence occurred, if you found out right away that you’d suffered avoidable harm, or it might be three years from the date it is known that you have suffered harm.
7. Are There Time Limit Exceptions For Medical Negligence Claims?
There could also be some exceptions to this three-year limitation period. These may relate to a parent claiming on behalf of a child. A parent would usually have up until the child’s 18th birthday to make a claim on their behalf. If the parent had not made a claim for an injured child, the child could claim themselves once they reach adulthood. They could have until their 21st birthday to do so.
Some other exceptions might exist where an injured party is considered not to have had the mental or physical capacity to claim within the usual limitation period. While these are rare, it may be worth calling us to check whether an exception could be made in your case.
6. Do I Need Evidence To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
Gathering evidence to support your claim is an important part of the process. There are various forms of evidence that can be helpful. We have provided a few examples in the list below. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive and that other forms of evidence may be available to you.
- A written account – Write down everything that happens to you regarding any consultation you attend or treatment you receive. Make sure to include key information such as dates and times.
- Medical evidence – As well as looking into obtaining your medical records, you can present documentation such as prescription slips for medication that was incorrectly prescribed.
- Witness contact details – If there was a loved one with you during aspects of your care, they may be able to corroborate your story with a written statement. Pass on their contact details to your solicitor, who can then approach them for a statement like this.
- The Bolam Test – This is something that can be requested as part of the process of making a medical negligence claim. A panel of medical professionals is assembled, none of whom were involved with how you were harmed. They’re then asked to consider whether what you experienced was medical negligence. Their opinion can then be taken into account.
- Independent medical assessment – You’ll be invited to attend this as part of the process of your claim. A medical professional, unaffiliated with your previous care, will examine you to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. The report can then be used as evidence.
Speak with us today if you’d like more information on how you can support your claim with evidence.
5. What Is A No Win No Fee Claim?
If you’re eligible to claim compensation for medical negligence, you might not want to navigate the process alone. One of our solicitors could assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim. They could also negotiate with the liable party for an appropriate settlement.
One of our solicitors may offer to take on your case under a form of No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under an agreement such as this, they would typically not require any payment upfront or throughout the process of your claim.
Instead, they would deduct a small, legally capped success fee from your eventual payout. If your claim did not result in compensation, you would usually not have to pay them for their work.
If you would like to check your eligibility to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, why not get in touch with an advisor? Alternatively, read on to find out how much compensation for medical negligence you could claim.
4. Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts
Following a successful medical negligence claim in the UK, your compensation settlement could include general and special damages. General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured due to being harmed by medical negligence.
Below, we have provided some examples of the medical negligence payouts you could receive in general damages following a successful claim. These figures have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that many legal professionals will use to help them value claims, as it provides compensation brackets for various injuries.
Please only use this table as a guide. How much compensation you receive could be affected by the factors of your claim and may differ from the amounts listed below.
|Multiple serious injuries and illnesses
|You can claim for more than one injury or illness if they have each been caused by medical negligence. The amount that’s calculated can then be combined with a special damages payment before it’s awarded to you.
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Female Reproductive System
|Sexual dysfunction. The higher end of this bracket is applicable to cases with significant medical complications, such as the failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy.
|£114,900 to £170,280
|Established Petit Mal (b)
|Various factors will affect how much is awarded, such as the prognosis and whether attacks can be controlled with medication.
|£54,830 to £131,370
|Emphysema and similar (c)
|A disease such as emphysema that impairs breathing and worsens the lungs function, causing frequent coughing.
|£54,830 to £70,030
|Moderate (c) (iii)
|The person’s memory and concentration has been affected with their ability to work to reduce. There will also be slight risk of epilepsy.
|£43,060 to £90,720
|Loss (H) (c)
|One kidney has been lost with the other suffering no damage.
|£30,770 to £44,880
|Interference of function (J) (d)
|The person will have made an almost complete recovery but there will be some long-term interference with the bladder’s natural function.
|£23,410 to £31,310
|Loss (K) (a)
|The spleen has been lost with a continuing risk of developing an internal infection due to the immune system being damaged.
|£20,800 to £26,290
|Continuing pain/limitation (L) (a)
|Where the injured party’s work life and ability to perform physical activities has been impacted despite them undergoing corrective surgery.
|£14,900 to £24,170
3. What Are Special Damages In Medical Negligence Claims?
Special damages compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to being harmed by medical negligence. This could include:
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- Loss of earnings, both past and future.
You will likely need to provide evidence of these financial losses in order to claim them back, such as bank statements or invoices.
Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about claiming compensation for a medical negligence claim. Our team is available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice and help you with your potential claim.
2. How You Can Get In Touch For Legal Help
Do you have any other questions about making a medical negligence claim, or would you like us to provide you with a medical negligence solicitor to fight for the maximum compensation possible for your claim? Perhaps you’re not sure whether you could be entitled to claim and would like a free, no-obligation assessment.
Whatever you need, we’re here to help. Our expert advisors can be reached by phone at any time on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, you could email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form, which can be found here. Or, if you’d like to use our live chat feature, you can do so by typing in the pop-up box below. However you choose to contact us, you’ll find we’re ready and able to help you – so why not get in touch today?
1. Learning More About Medical Negligence Claims
Below, you can find more information on medical negligence.
Were You Misdiagnosed? – Misdiagnosis claims are covered in detail within this guide.
Care Home Negligence Claims – If you or someone you love has experienced care home negligence, our guide to claiming against a care home could be of interest.
GP Negligence – You can read more about making a claim against a GP for negligence in our detailed guide.
NHS Resolution – This site provides information about NHS compensation schemes and also includes statistics relating to medical negligence claims against the NHS.
National Health Service Act – Here, you can see the National Health Service Act 2006 in its entirety.
How To Make A Complaint To The NHS – Here, you can find information about the NHS complaints procedure.
£40,000 Medical Negligence Compensation Payout For Hip Replacement Injury Claim – Hop Replacement Case Study
Thanks for reading this guide about 10 things you should know when claiming for medical negligence. If you require support with beginning your claim, please feel free to call our team.