A Guide To Making A Paediatric Medical Negligence Compensation Claim

When you take your child for medical treatment, you naturally expect the medical professionals looking after them to act correctly and give the right care. A failure to provide correct treatment that causes unnecessary pain and suffering can affect children and their families significantly. In this paediatric medical negligence guide, we explain when it is possible to make a compensation claim for a child.

A minor under the age of 18 cannot claim for themselves. However, the courts can appoint a trusted adult as a litigation friend to act on the child’s behalf. Our guide explains this in more detail and covers important steps you can take to give a compensation claim the best possible chance of success.

We also give an overview of what sort of compensation could be awarded if a claim is successful. Expert legal representation can be priceless, so read on to learn how our medical negligence solicitors could help with your child’s compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

You can contact us for free guidance and a no-obligation assessment of the potential claim. Any of these routes will lead to a conversation with a helpful advisor:

  • Call 0800 073 8801 for round-the-clock support.
  • Go online to contact us and ask for a call back.
  • Use the live support tab that appears on this page.

A doctor and a parent standing over a child lying on a hospital bed.

Select A Section

  1. Can You Claim For Paediatric Medical Negligence?
  2. What Types Of Paediatric Medical Negligence Could You Claim For?
  3. How Much Could A Paediatric Medical Negligence Claim Be Worth?
  4. How To Claim For Medical Negligence Affecting A Child
  5. Get Help From A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitor
  6. More Resources On Medical Negligence Claims

Can You Claim For Paediatric Medical Negligence?

When you put your child’s health and wellbeing in the hands of a medical professional, they owe the child a duty of care.

Paediatricians and other healthcare professionals who treat children are required to maintain the professional standards expected of them. Medical or clinical negligence is defined as someone deviating from those standards and causing avoidable harm.

It is possible to claim for paediatric medical negligence on behalf of a child if:

  • A medical professional owed a duty of care.
  • The care the child received fell short of the correct standard, leading to a breach of duty.
  • This breach caused the child to suffer avoidable harm.

Together, these three factors form the basis of paediatric negligence.

However, it is important to note that there may be certain instances where your child suffered harm but a healthcare professional did not breach their duty of care. In this particular instance, a compensation claim might not be able to be made.

Paediatric Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits

Generally, there is a three-year time limit for starting a medical negligence claim. This is outlined under the Limitation Act 1980, and either runs from the date the medical negligence took place or the date you first became reasonably aware of the negligence. This is sometimes referred to as the date of knowledge.

However, as we have previously mentioned, those under the age of 18 cannot make their own claim until the date of their 18th birthday. Prior to this, a parent, guardian or solicitor, for example, could apply to become a litigation friend and claim on the child’s behalf. As a litigation friend, you are expected to act in the claimant’s best interests.

If a child reaches their 18th birthday without a claim having been made, their case becomes subject to the three-year time limit. As such, they would have until they turn 21 to start their case.

Other exceptions apply to those who lack the mental capability to handle their own court proceedings. To learn more about this exception or for a free eligibility assessment of your case, if your child was harmed by a medical professional, you can contact our advisors.

What Types Of Paediatric Medical Negligence Could You Claim For?

Paediatric negligence could occur in many different ways. If you can identify that negligent medical treatment led to harm that could have been otherwise avoided, you could pursue a claim on behalf of your child against the health service provider responsible.

Here are some examples of potential paediatric medical negligence that could take place:

  • A midwife uses unnecessary force when delivering a baby. This causes a fractured bone and Erb’s Palsy, a birth injury that seriously affects arm and shoulder function.
  • Because of a lack of attention paid to symptoms, a GP misdiagnoses meningitis as a mild ear infection. The condition worsens, and the child sustains a brain injury.
  • The doctor mixes up two patients’ records and gives the wrong medication to a child. This wrong medication contained an ingredient that your child was allergic to, as stated in their medical records, and they suffered an allergic reaction.

These are only a few examples. If your child has been affected by negligent medical mistakes, call us to get a free claim assessment today.

A woman giving birth with a doctor and midwife standing around them.

How Much Could A Paediatric Medical Negligence Claim Be Worth?

Payouts for successful medical negligence claims can consist of up to two heads of loss:

  • General damages. This accounts for the physical and mental suffering the child has experienced due to the medical negligence.
  • Special damages, which aim to cover financial losses. Read on for more details on this head of loss.

The compensation calculated for general damages can depend on different factors. Those figuring out the final compensation sum might look at compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for guidance. This document lists various compensation guidelines for a range of injuries and illnesses.

Guideline Payout Table

This table comprises guideline brackets from the JCG, except for the top line. Use the table only as a guide.

Multiple Serious Forms of Harm Plus Financial Losses And CostsSevereUp to £1,000,000+More than one case of serious form of harm. Additionally, costs or expenses such as medical fees, care costs or payments for physical aids.
BrainVery Severe£344,150 to £493,000The bracket includes cases of quadriplegic cerebral palsy with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.
Less Severe£18,700 to £52,550Despite issues with factors like concentration and memory, the affected person makes a good recovery and can return to a normal social life.
BowelsDouble IncontinenceUp to £224,790Double incontinence refers to a complete loss of bowel function, plus the total absence of urinary function and control.
BladderLoss of FunctionUp to £171,680A complete loss of both function and control.
Long-Term Interference With Function£28,570 to £38,210Although there is almost a complete recovery, natural function experiences fairly long-term interference.
KidneySignificant Risk Of Future InfectionUp to £78,080There is additionally a risk of totally losing natural kidney function in the future.
ArmInjuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement£47,810 to £73,050Serious fractures affecting one or both forearms. The fractures leave a significant and permanent residual disability.
Digestive SystemIllness/Damage Resulting From Non-Traumatic Injury (i)£46,900 to £64,070Severe toxicosis causing complications including acute pain and fever and significantly impacting enjoyment of life.
ShoulderSevere£23,430 to £58,610Injuries resulting in significant disability and involving brachial plexus damage.

Compensation For Financial Loss

Ultimately, if a child has experienced medical negligence, it could have long-term consequences for their family’s finances. If you have documents proving losses or out-of-pocket expenses, such as bank statements or invoices, you could request compensation for the likes of:

  • Current and ongoing treatment bills.
  • Rehabilitation costs.
  • Travel expenses.
  • A loss of earnings if you needed to take time off of work to care for your child.

In some cases, especially with birth injuries or paediatric negligence affecting a very young child, the true extent of the damage done may take some time to become clear. It might be possible to pursue interim payments to cover running costs before an outcome is decided.

Call the number above to find out more and learn how a paediatric medical negligence solicitor can help work out your financial losses when making a medical negligence claim on behalf of your child.

White plastic figures stood on top of piles of coins.

How To Claim For Medical Negligence Affecting A Child

There are certain steps you could take to help a paediatric medical negligence claim have the best chance of success, including:

  • Gathering information on the healthcare provider and medical professionals involved in the alleged negligent treatment.
  • Keeping hold of any evidence of inappropriate medical treatment. For example, you could help a claim for a medication error by presenting the medication or the labelled packaging it came in.
  • Approaching potential witnesses of your child’s medical treatment and asking for their contact details.
  • Requesting a copy of the child’s medical records. A parent or guardian can seek proxy access to a child’s medical reports.
  • Tracking symptoms, treatment and financial losses.
  • Appointing a solicitor to help you pursue a clinical negligence claim. A solicitor can also help with the evidence-gathering process, including arranging for an assessment from an independent medical expert.

Call us if you’d like to discuss child medical negligence claims. Additionally, we could potentially put you in contact with one of our solicitors who could help guide you through the claiming process.

Get Help From A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitor

Seeking professional support with a clinical negligence claim can be a great relief, especially when you want to focus on helping your child recover. Our solicitors can provide you with expert guidance and regular updates throughout the claims process while pushing for a fair settlement amount on your and your child’s behalf.

Our solicitors can support clinical negligence claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement. With this No Win No Fee arrangement in place, some of the benefits include:

  • No initial or running costs to pay for your solicitor’s work.
  • Zero solicitor service fees to pay if the claim fails.
  • A success fee will be taken from you if the claim succeeds. It will be taken from the compensation awarded, but the law legally limits the percentage that can be taken as this fee.

A paediatric medical negligence solicitor sitting behind a desk.

Speak To Us About Your Case

Whether you just want some information about paediatric negligence claims or want to see if there are fair grounds to make a compensation claim on a child’s behalf, our advisors can help. They offer relevant guidance and an initial assessment of the claim at no charge. 

Furthermore, if there is a valid case, you could be put through to one of our specialist No Win No Fee solicitors right away.

We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us any time by either:

  • Phoning us on 0800 073 8801
  • Using our web form to contact us with details.
  • Chatting with an advisor through the pop-up live chat box.

More Resources On Medical Negligence Claims

Here are some further guides:

  • Our cerebral palsy birth injury guide explains when you can make a claim for cerebral palsy caused by negligent care.
  • Learn about delayed diagnosis claims through our delayed diagnosis medical negligence guide.
  • We review compensation claims against a doctor for substandard care.

These resources can also help:

Call today to get a free consultation and learn if you can start a paediatric medical negligence compensation claim for a child.