A Guide To Doctor Negligence Claims

This guide on doctor negligence claims explains when you could seek compensation for the effects of a doctor failing to provide the correct standard of care.

Firstly, we look at the medical negligence claims eligibility criteria as well as what clinical negligence is. Later, we provide examples of clinical negligence by a doctor and the professional standards that doctors, as medical professionals, must meet.

If these standards aren’t met, and you experience avoidable harm as a result, this could have different impacts, including physical, psychological, and financial. We look at how medical negligence compensation aims to address these different impacts and what each payout could comprise following a successful claim.

We also cover the benefits of working with one of the expert medical negligence solicitors from our panel and the No Win No Fee terms under which they could offer their services. 

For more information on making a clinical negligence claim for negligent treatment by a doctor, you can get in touch with our team. They can offer free legal advice and answer your questions 24/7. To reach out, you can:

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Learn About Claims For Doctor Negligence

Select A Section

  1. Eligibility Criteria For Doctor Negligence Claims
  2. What Is Medical Negligence By A Doctor?
  3. Professional Standards For Doctors
  4. Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims
  5. How Can Medical Negligence Solicitors Help With Doctor Negligence Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. Discover More About Doctor Negligence Claims

Eligibility Criteria For Doctor Negligence Claims

As medical professionals, doctors owe a duty of care to their patients. This means that they must provide the correct standard of care to the patients they agree to treat.

Doctor negligence claims, as with all medical negligence claims, must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A medical professional, such as a doctor, owed you a duty of care.
  • They did not provide the correct standard of care, therefore breaching the duty of care they owed.
  • This breach led to you suffering avoidable harm.

Our experienced medical negligence solicitors can help ensure you have a strong body of evidence to show your case meets the relevant criteria, if instructed. Additionally, they can help ensure you start your claim within the relevant time limits.

Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

When making a medical negligence claim, you must ensure you start legal proceedings within the time limit set out by The Limitation Act 1980.

This states that a compensation claim for medical negligence must start within three years. This can either start from the date you experienced medical negligence, or the date you learned the avoidable harm you suffered was caused by a medical professional failing to meet their duty of care.

However, there are exceptions, such as for those under the age of 18, and those who lack the mental capacity to start the claim themselves. 

Our advisors can answer any questions you might have about the time limit for medical negligence claims and the exceptions that can apply. Please call the number above if you want to find out how long you have to start a medical negligence compensation claim.

What Is Medical Negligence By A Doctor?

Medical negligence can be defined as a medical professional deviating from professional standards and causing a patient harm that was otherwise avoidable.

The examples below show how a doctor could fail to provide you with care below the correct standard, such as through providing the incorrect treatment, wrong medication, a delayed diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis, and the effects this could have on you.

  • A doctor fails to listen to the patient’s symptoms. They assume the patient has bronchitis when they actually have lung cancer. This lung cancer misdiagnosis means the patient does not get the care they need and the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, such as the brain.
  • A GP mixes up your test results with another patients. This means you receive a delayed kidney failure diagnosis and the affected kidney has to be removed.
  • A patient goes to hospital with a suspected fractured pelvis which the doctor fails to diagnose because they did not order an X-ray. The patient goes home without treatment. This leads to the missed fracture worsening.
  • The doctor prescribes medicine the patient cannot have because they are allergic, after failing to check their medical records. Due to this prescription error, the patient suffers from toxicosis and anaphylaxis which leads to brain damage .

The above examples of medical negligence cases may not necessarily mean a claim can be made. Doctor negligence claims may be valid if a doctor provides negligent medical treatment leading to avoidable harm.

To discuss your specific case and find out whether you’re eligible to make a compensation claim for clinical negligence, call the number above and learn everything you need to know through a free initial consultation with an advisor.

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Can You Make a Medical Negligence Claim Against A Private Healthcare Service?

Medical professionals working in a private healthcare service, such as private hospitals, still owe their patient a duty of care.

A medical negligence claim could be made against any healthcare professional if the eligibility criteria we outlined previously are met. This includes doctors working in the private sector.

Please call if you want to learn more about how our specialist medical negligence solicitors can help you seek medical negligence compensation.

Professional Standards For Doctors

The General Medical Council provides a set of professional standards that doctors should follow. Working to an acceptable standard means, among other things:

  • Treating patients as individuals and respecting their dignity.
  • Maintaining a professional approach at all times.
  • Respecting the patient’s right to confidentiality.
  • Not discriminating against patients.
  • Explaining potential risks so patients can make informed decisions about their care.

Doctor negligence claims often involve a doctor failing to meet at least one of these standards, resulting in their patient suffering harm that was not necessary and could have been prevented by proper care.

For more information on seeking medical negligence compensation, please get in touch using the number at the top of the page.

Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims

Settlements following successful doctor negligence claims could feature up to two heads of loss.

The first is general damages which awards compensation for the physical and mental effects of medical negligence. When valuing this head of loss, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document made up of guideline compensation brackets for different types of harm. Those valuing this head of loss can also refer to medical evidence, such as your medical records, or an independent medical report. 

Compensation Table

The table below shows figures from the JCG with the exception of the top entry. Please remember that the table is only a guide as how much compensation for doctor negligence awarded can depend on the different circumstances of your specific case.

Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special Damages Serious Up to £500,000+ Compensation addressing the physical and psychological impacts of medical negligence as well as any associated financial losses, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, or domestic care costs.
Brain and Head Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010 The injured person has a very serious disability with substantial dependence on others and a need for constant professional care.
Moderate (i) £150,110 to £219,070 Moderate to severe deficit of intellect, a personality change, an effect on the senses and a substantial epilepsy risk. There is no employment prospect.
Kidney Serious and permanent damage or loss £169,400 to £210,400 Both kidneys are affected.
Loss of One Kidney £30,770 to £44,880 There is no damage to the other kidney.
Bowels Cases Involving Double Incontinence Up to £184,200 Complete loss of natural bowel function, as well as total loss of urinary function and control. There are also other medical complications.
Bladder Significant Up to £140,660 Function and control are completely lost.
Lung Serious £100,670 to £135,920 A person with a serious disability where the condition progressively worsens and leads to an early death.
Digestive System Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-Traumatic Injury (i) £38,430 to £52,500 Severe toxicosis that causes acute pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Hospital admission will have been required for some days or weeks.

Special Damages

You could also seek compensation for the financial impact of medical negligence under special damages, the second head of loss.

Keep receipts, payslips and any other document that shows any monetary expenses you experienced due to a doctor’s negligent treatment or medical care. These expenses could include:

  • A loss of earnings if you are unable to work.
  • Medical costs.
  • Domestic care fees.
  • Home adaptation costs.

To find out more about compensation for effects you suffered because medical negligence occurred, please call the number above. Our advisors could connect you to a medical negligence solicitor for expert support in pursuing compensation.

How Can Medical Negligence Solicitors Help With Doctor Negligence Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If your doctor’s care fell short of the correct standard and you suffered avoidable harm as a result, you may have valid grounds to begin a medical negligence claim and could do so with help from a solicitor.

Many people seek legal advice and professional support from our solicitors for doctor negligence claims because of the expert service they provide. Another reason to work with them is the No Win No Fee terms under which they could present your medical negligence case and work towards getting you the best possible outcome.

When you make a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim with one of our solicitors, they can offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement. This typically means you would not pay for their services upfront or throughout the claim process. Also, if the medical negligence case loses, there are no fees for their completed work required.

If you make a successful claim, your solicitor could take a success fee. This is taken as a small percentage of the clinical negligence compensation you are awarded. However,  The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 places a legal cap on the percentage, ensuring the majority of the settlement awarded is guaranteed.

To learn more about the ways we can help you with your clinical negligence case, just give our team a call. Our advisors are ready to take your call and discuss how to pursue a doctor negligence compensation claim.

Remember, you can get in touch for free. Choose any of these contact options and you’ll have your questions about clinical negligence claims answered by one of our hardworking advisors:

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Discover More About Doctor Negligence Claims

We have many guides exploring medical negligence claims:

You may also find these resources useful:

Thank you for reading our guide on doctor negligence claims. If you have any other questions about making a medical negligence claim, please call using the details provided above.