How To Make A Hospital Negligence Claim

By Megan Swan. Last Updated 10th October 2023. In this guide, we aim to cover how to make a claim for medical negligence. If you have suffered unnecessary harm while in hospital due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care, you may be able to make a hospital negligence claim.

hosputal negligence claims

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care all medical professionals owe their patients, and the criteria that must be met to be able to make a claim for hospital negligence compensation. Additionally, we will share information regarding the time limit you have to start your claim and the steps that you should take if you have been harmed while in hospital. Furthermore, we will share some of the benefits of making a claim with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.

To discuss your medical negligence claim, you can contact our advisory team today. They are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached by:

Select a Section

  1. What Duty Of Care Are Patients Owed And When Could You Claim? 
  2. Hospital Negligence Claims Time Limits
  3. How Could Hospital Negligence Occur?
  4. What Steps Should You Take If You Suffered Negligence In A Hospital?
  5. Hospital Negligence Compensation Settlements
  6. Hospital Negligence Claims – No Win No Fee Solicitors
  7. Helpful Links Relating To Hospital Negligence Compensation

What Duty Of Care Are Patients Owed And When Could You Claim?

Before we discuss how to make a claim for medical negligence, it’s important to note what duty of care is owed to patients. All medical professionals, including hospital doctors, nurses and surgeons, should provide a level of care that is reasonably expected of any competent healthcare professional.

In order to make a valid hospital negligence claim, you must determine the following:

  • Was a duty of care that was owed to you breached?
  • Did you suffer harm as a result of this breach of duty of care?
  • Was this harm unnecessary or could it have been avoided?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to the above questions, you may be eligible to claim hospital negligence compensation. However, you will need to gather evidence that can demonstrate any unnecessary harm you suffered was a result of medical negligence. Furthermore, you must take action within the time limit.

Speak to our advisors at any time for free guidance on making a claim for hospital negligence. You could also be connected with our expert No Win No Fee solicitors.

Hospital Negligence Claims Time Limits

If you meet the eligibility criteria to make a hospital negligence claim, you must also ensure that you file your case within the correct time limit. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will generally have three years to start your claim from the date you were harmed, or the date you first connected the harm with medical negligence. This is known as the date of knowledge.

There are certain exceptions that apply to this limitation period. These are:

  • For those who lack the mental capacity to make their own claim. In these cases, there is an indefinite suspension applied to the time limit. The time limit would only reinstate if the person were to regain this mental capacity, and would run from the recovery date.
  • For those under the age of 18. A temporary pause is applied to the time limit until their 18th birthday. From this date, they will have three years to start their claim.

In both instances where the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend could make a claim for hospital negligence compensation on their behalf.

To learn more about how to make a claim for medical negligence, or to check the eligibility of your case, you can contact a member of our team.

How Could Hospital Negligence Occur?

There are various ways that hospital negligence could occur. Some examples may include:

  • Medication errors – For example, if a nurse gives you the wrong medication, or the incorrect dosage while you are staying at hospital.
  • Medical misdiagnosis – If a doctor misinterprets your scans, or blood test results, this could cause you to be misdiagnosed. This could result in you receiving the wrong treatment or no treatment at all and you may suffer further harm.
  • Hospital-acquired infections – These could occur, for example, if medical instruments were not properly sanitised before being used for your operation. They could also occur if hospital staff fail to regularly change any dressings you have on.
  • Retained foreign objects – This is when a medical instrument, such as a scalpel or sponge, is left inside of your body after surgery. This could cause you to suffer an infection and require another operation.
  • A doctor or nurse may fail to follow correct procedures in a way that leads to a patient falling out of their bed.

However, you must remember, in order to have a valid hospital negligence claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered unnecessary or avoidable harm due to a medical professional breaching the duty of care they owed you.

To check the validity of your case and receive free advice, you can contact our advisory team.

What Steps Should You Take If You Suffered Negligence In A Hospital?

If you feel that you have good reason to file a hospital negligence claim, there are certain steps you must take to strengthen your case against an NHS hospital of a private health care facility. Gathering as much evidence as possible is crucial in any type of personal injury claim which includes hospital negligence claims. The steps you must take are detailed below:

  • Gather evidence: Hard evidence of clinical negligence of the part of a hospital is essential. This includes photos, witness accounts and medical records/reports on your state of health
  • Independent medical opinion: Having an independent medical opinion on the state of your health, would support your hospital negligence claim
  • Financial losses: You must keep all receipts of expenditure incurred as a direct result of the damages you sustained as a result of negligence on the part of a hospital

Providing enough evidence/information on the circumstances surrounding your case goes a long way when it comes to increasing the amount a court may award you for your pain and suffering. If you have any further questions on how to go about assessing your case, we recommend you discuss things with one of our No Win No Fee lawyers today.

Hospital Negligence Compensation Settlements

Hospital negligence payouts in successful claims are unique to each case. All claims are assessed on their own specific facts and circumstances. 

Generally, if your hospital negligence claim was successful, you would receive general damages. This head of claim compensates you for the avoidable pain and suffering you encountered due to clinical negligence. 

Legal professionals could refer to a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) when valuing this head of claim. Below, we have used figures to illustrate some of the compensation brackets for different injuries and severities of injuries. We have used the 16th edition of the JCG to compile the table. However, this should still only be used as a guide.

Harm Notes Compensation Guidelines
Moderately Severe Brain Damage The person will suffer with a serious disability and will require constant professional care. Disabilities may be physical or cognitive. £219,070 to £282,010
Reproductive System: Female Infertility due to disease or injury causing sexual dysfunction and severe depression. £114,900 to £170,280
Bladder A complete loss of control and function. Up to £140,660
Lung Disease Lung cancer, typically in an older person, causing impairment of function and severe pain. £70,030 to £97,330
Bowels Passive incontinence and faecal urgency persisting after surgery and causing distress and embarrassment. In the region of £79,920
Asthma Permanent and severe disabling asthma, causing regular prolonged coughing, disturbed sleep and severe impact of physical activity. £43,060 to £65,740
Digestive System (b) (i) Severe toxicosis causing vomiting, diarrhoea and serious acute pain. Hospital admission will be required for a few weeks or days. £38,430 to £52,500
Kidney Loss of one kidney with no damage suffered to the other. £30,770 to £44,880
Spleen Loss of spleen with continuing risk of internal infection due to the immune system being damaged. £20,800 to £26,290
Reproductive System: Male Cases of an orchidectomy with some psychological consequences but no loss of sexual function or impotence. £20,070 to £22,580

In some cases, you may be awarded special damages, another head of claim. This compensates you for out-of-pocket expenses caused by medical negligence. Special damages could include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Care costs
  • Medical expenses

You can speak to our advisors about the evidence you will need to claim special damages. Furthermore, an advisor could give you a personalised estimate of your compensation for a hospital negligence claim. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page.

Hospital Negligence Claims – No Win No Fee Solicitors

When you make a claim for compensation after hospital negligence, you may want to work with a solicitor but are dissuaded because of the potential costs involved with hiring a solicitor upfront. Working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis could be more beneficial for you if this is the case.

This arrangement typically means you won’t need to pay your solicitor upfront to help you with your hospital negligence claim.

Generally, should your claim fail, you won’t be asked to pay their fees. A success fee may be deducted from your compensation if your claim succeeds, however, the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 caps the fee they charge.

Contact our advisors to check your eligibility to claim compensation. They can also help you with any questions regarding hospital negligence claims, such as, ‘I suffered from medical negligence – how long to claim compensation do I have?’.

We here to help you through the process of lodging a personal injury claim. You can contact us by calling us on 0800 073 8801. Or you can reach us online with our contact form or through our 24/7 live chat.

Helpful Links Relating To Hospital Negligence Compensation

Below, you can find more guides on claiming hospital negligence compensation.

  • RCN – The following link takes you to the Royal College of Nursing website where you will find a lot of useful information regarding the duty of care.
  • NHS – The following link takes you to the NHS website where you will find useful information on claims statistics.
  • Dental Negligence Claim – take a look at our guide to learn more about dental negligence claims.
  • GP Negligence Claim – why not take a look at our guide if you have been affected by negligence and wish to make a claim.
  • Laser Hair Removal Burn Claim – if a laser hair treatment has left you injured, please click the link to see whether we could help you take legal action.
  • Tummy Tuck Gone Wrong Claims Guide – find out how to claim after a botched tummy tuck caused by negligence.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on how to make a hospital negligence claim. Hopefully, you have learned a lot about claiming for hospital negligence compensation.