By Brett Williams. Last updated 8th August 2021. Have you been injured due to being given negligent first aid treatment? Did you know there could be a chance that you could claim first aid negligence compensation for avoidable harm you’ve suffered from this? No matter what accident or illness has befallen you if you have required first aid but the treatment that has been given to you has caused you an avoidable injury, you could find out more information about making a claim in this guide to first aid negligence claims.
In the sections that follow, you can read about the duty of care that a first aider has towards you, the best practices to follow, and how negligence in first aid could lead to compensation claims. If you have further questions or would like to start your own claim, we could help. You can contact the Accident Claims UK team on 0800 073 8801.
Select A Section
- A Guide To First Aid Negligence Compensation Claims
- What Is Negligent First Aid?
- When Should First Aid Be Used?
- What Duty Of Care Do First Aiders Have?
- Best Practices For First Aid
- Consent And The Application Of First Aid
- First Aid Causing Injury To The Person Being Treated
- Negligence In Workplace First Aid
- Calculating Compensation For Negligent First Aid – Updated August 2021
- Additional Damages For Costs Or Losses
- No Win No Fee Claims For First Aid Negligence
- How Our Team Could Help You
- Begin A First Aid Negligence Claim
- First Aid Claims Resources
If you’ve been injured due to negligent first aid treatment, you might not realise that you may be able to make a claim for compensation. In this guide, you will find information relating to situations that could lead you to be eligible to claim first aid negligence compensation. Below, we provide useful information regarding first aid at work regulations and the Good Samaritan law, so you could get a better idea of whether you would be able to make a claim for compensation for the avoidable harm you’ve suffered due to first aid treatment. You can also find some insight regarding compensation payouts for injuries you may have suffered due to the negligent treatment you’ve received as well as guidance on finding a lawyer to help you make your claim.
Negligence can be a breach of the duty of care that one person has towards another. In terms of first aid duty of care, it relates to a first aider performing first aid to a standard of reasonable care. To work out what was deemed reasonable, the conduct would be measured against a reasonable person of similar standing in a similar situation. This would mean measuring a first aider against someone else with similar experience and training. Therefore, first aiders would not be judged against what a paramedic or doctor would have done in the same situation. However, a nominated first aider in a workplace could be judged as having a heightened duty of care towards those they practice first aid on.
A breach of reasonable level of care that causes loss or injury to someone could be considered negligence. This could occur via an act or an omission. Negligence is not considered the same as carelessness, as someone could be taking as much care as they can but their competence may still fall below what would be expected of them.
First aid should only be used to give treatment to someone who is injured or ill in order to keep the person safe and cause them no further harm. A first aiders treatment of a person should comply with the following rules:
- Only perform first aid if you are able and willing to
- Only treat in the way you have been trained
- Only act in the best interests of the person who needs treatment
You should also ensure you have obtained consent where possible to treat the person.
NHS inform have provided some guidance on what to do if you are in an emergency situation and unsure of what to do.
If you are unwilling to perform treatment yourself you should not leave someone in danger. Instead, you could:
- Tell someone else about the situation – this could mean calling 999 if it is an emergency situation
- Make the surrounding area safe for others and for the casualty
- Comfort the casualty
- Find out what has happened
- Monitor the casualty
First Aiders, if they are qualified have a duty of care, they are responsible for performing first aid on those who require assistance within their care. This could be a coach towards a player for their team, a gym instructor to their client or a workplace first aider to their colleague, for example.
In terms of bystanders, there is no obligation for them to perform any kind of first aid on a casualty, so long as they did not cause the incident that led to the person falling ill or becoming injured. Should they choose to voluntarily perform first aid treatment on a casualty, they would assume a duty of care towards that person. This, essentially, means that they accept the responsibility for the care of the casualty. However, there is no obligation for a bystander to provide treatment to someone if they do not feel comfortable to do so.
Good Samaritan Law
The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 offers some factors that courts could consider when assessing breach of duty or negligence of someone acting as a good Samaritan. These include considerations relating to:
- Social action – did the breach/negligence occur when a person was acting for the benefit of another member of society.
- Responsibility – did the person demonstrate a responsible approach towards the safety or protection of others.
- Heroism – did the breach/negligence occur when the person was performing an act of heroism to help someone in danger.
Negligent First Aid Practice
To claim negligent first aid treatment compensation you would have to prove that you had suffered harm due to a failure of the first aider to exercise the ethical or appropriate care that should be exercised in specific circumstances. An example could be if CPR was performed on a casualty that was clearly still breathing.
When it comes to best practices for first aid, a first aider should ensure that their training is updated and that it is relevant to their situation. They could also regularly refresh their knowledge by way of refresher training and utilising video resources, for example. In terms of resuscitation, for example, they could follow the guidelines of authorities such as the Resuscitation Council (UK).
A first aider should also log any details of an incident where they have needed to use first aid by way of an incident report form. This could be particularly important if they had a duty of care towards the casualty.
UK law could mean that physical touch without consent could be interpreted as assault. While it is unlikely that first aid would lead to a conviction, if a first aider used any form of force against a casualty to give treatment, this could potentially lead to criminal charges.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 presumes that a person possesses the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves unless this can be proven otherwise. This means that if a casualty were to refuse treatment from a first aider, their decision must be respected. The injured or ill person should not be pressured or coerced into getting treatment. Questions a first aider might consider could include:
- Can the person treat themselves?
- Do I need to be involved in treatment?
- Will the person accept first aid from someone else
- Does the person know how serious the condition/injury is?
In terms of working out whether a person has the capacity to make a decision for themselves on the refusal or consent for treatment, the criteria in Section 3(1) of the Mental Capacity Act should be applied. The person needs to be able to understand, weight and retain the relevant information for long enough to decide on whether to consent/refuse treatment and communicate their decision.
Consent And Unconscious Victims
If a person is not conscious and does not have the physical ability to consent, or if they initially refused treatment then became unconscious, then a first aider is allowed to treat the person only with the purpose of saving their life. Non life-threatening treatments would not be permitted. The Act mentioned previously suggests that first aiders providing life-saving treatments to unconscious parties should not be held liable for their actions to the unconscious person as long as:
- Before treating, the First Aider ensures they have taken reasonable care to find out if the casualty lacks capacity.
- While treating, the First Aider believes that there is a lack of capacity in the casualty
- The First Aider believes it will be in the best interests of the casualty for them to be treated.
If a person administers first aid to another, they would only be liable for damages if the patient incurs injury or has an injury exacerbated directly due to negligent treatment of the first aider. If they administer first aid in a negligent manner and it can be proved that injury has arisen due to this, then a case could be brought against them, no matter whether they are a non-professional volunteer, a member of the public or a healthcare professional. One example of first aid causing injury could include giving chest compressions when the patient was not in cardiac arrest, causing damage to the chest or organs beneath.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide appropriate and adequate first aid provision so that workers can be given help right away if they fall ill or are injured at work. This applies to the provision of first-aid equipment and facilities for providing first aid. The minimum that an employer must provide on any working site is:
- Information regarding first aid arrangements. This could be in the form of a First Aid policy
- A first aid kit, suitably stocked
- An appointed first aid person
Your employer should undertake a first aid needs assessment to ascertain what should be in the first aid kit and whether a trained first aider is needed. If the assessment concludes that a trained first aider is not required, someone should be appointed to take charge of arrangements relating to first aid. The first aid at work regulations require this as a minimum.
If an employer fails to undertake their responsibility towards their employees by not having undertaken a first aid assessment, or failing to provide a first aid kit, they could be held liable for injuries that result from such negligence. If you are unsure as to whether you could claim negligent first aid compensation from your employer, please do not hesitate to contact our team so we can provide a free assessment of your case.
If you are thinking of claiming first aid negligence compensation, you might wish to know how much compensation you could be likely to receive. If you’ve been searching for a medical negligence or personal injury claims calculator to help you work this out, we should mention that these tools would not give you an accurate sum. The reason for this is that all claims are assessed on their own unique facts, and even if cases seem very similar, the payout amounts could vary as compensation is calculated on a case by case basis. As part of any medical negligence or personal injury claim, an independent medical assessment would be required. Claimants would see a doctor who, as well as reviewing their medical notes, would examine them and write a report detailing their medical condition and prognosis. This would be used to value the claim.
We understand that this might be frustrating to learn if you want to know how much compensation your case could achieve. However, we have put a table together for you so that you could get some insight into how much your injuries could be valued at. The figures in this table have been taken from a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines. It is a publication, updated annually, that could be used by solicitors to estimate the appropriate compensation for specific injuries. We have shown injuries that we believe could relate to first aid negligence claims. If you cannot find your injury in the table, please call us so we can give you the relevant information over the phone.
|Injury||Notes||Guideline Compensation Amount|
|Chest Injuries - Damage to the heart||Resulting in function impairment, and permanent damage that could cause physical disability and a reduction in the life expectancy of the injured party.||£94,470 to £140,870|
|Chest Injuries||Damage to the injured party’s lungs and chest causing continuing disability of some sort.||£29,380 to £51,460|
|Chest injuries||Leading to one or both of the lungs to collapse. Full recovery would be made.||£2,060 to £5,000|
|Brain damage – moderate||Intellect would be moderately to severely affected with effects on speech, sight and senses. Ability to work would be eliminated and there would be a significant chance of epilepsy.||£140,870 to £205,580|
|Brain damage - moderate||Intellect would be modestly to moderately affected. Ability to work would be reduced greatly if not eliminated and there would be a chance of epilepsy.||£85,150 to £140,870|
|Loss of sight||Serious levels of vision loss in one eye. The remaining eye would suffer levels of vision loss. Constant double vision/blurred vision and light sensitivity that requires the injured party to wear dark glasses.||£60,010 to £99,440|
|Minor eye injuries||Resulting from the eye being struck, exposure to fumes/liquids. The injured party would suffer pain and some vision temporary disturbance.||£3,710 to £8,200|
As well as the compensation you could receive for your loss of amenity, pain and suffering caused by negligent first aid treatment, you could also claim for monetary costs and losses you’ve incurred due to your injuries. These are known as special damages and could include:
Travel costs – If you have to travel to see your lawyer, or to medical appointments relating to your injuries, these costs could be covered as special damages.
Medical expenses – If you have to pay for medical costs such as physiotherapy, counselling or prescriptions because of your injuries, you could claim for these as special damages too.
Loss of income – If your injuries have meant you’ve had to take time off work, you might not have received your usual pay. Loss of income could be included within your claim. In addition to this, if you were not able to return to work due to your injuries, future loss of income could also be added in your claim.
Care costs – If an injury meant you could not look after yourself and you needed someone to care for you at home, you could include costs of care within your claim.
In order for you to claim special damages, you must be able to evidence them. Keeping receipts, bank statements, bills and payslips safe would be advisable, so you can provide these to your lawyer as proof of the financial harm you’ve suffered. If you cannot provide evidence, it would be very difficult for your lawyer to include such costs and losses within your claim.
If you are struggling financially due to severe injuries that have meant you’ve not been able to work, it might be worth talking to your lawyer to see if they could request an interim payout to help cover rent or mortgage payments, for example. While this may not be possible in all cases, it may be an option for you and could help you get through a difficult period.
If you want to make a claim for first aid negligence compensation with the help of a solicitor, but are worried that you may have to pay them large amounts upfront for their services, you may be glad to know that there is a way to get help from a clinical negligence lawyer without paying anything upfront. With No Win No Fee claims, you would not have to pay anything to your solicitor until they had successfully negotiated a compensation settlement for you. If you chose to claim on this basis, you would be given an agreement to sign, known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, or CFA. This document would promise your solicitor a small, legally capped success fee if they were successful in gaining you a compensation payout. If your solicitor was not able to get any negligent first aid compensation for you, you wouldn’t be expected to cover their costs or pay the success fee at all. This method could give you the confidence to pursue your claim without having to worry about the financial side of it.
We could answer any questions you have about making claims under this type of arrangement or help to connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you with your first aid negligence compensation claim. Simply call our team to find out more.
We know that there are many ways you could seek assistance with first aid negligence claims, but by choosing to work with us on your claim, we believe you could benefit from a high-quality service that truly puts your interests first. Our experienced advisors will be able to offer answers to any questions you might have about making a claim, without charge, and without putting you under any obligation to use our services. In addition, we could also assess your case for free to see if you could have a valid claim. If we believe you could have a valid claim for negligent first aid treatment, we could provide you with a medical negligence/personal injury lawyer, that could help you with your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
We have helped many claimants successfully claim compensation and would be happy to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
How a solicitor could help you claim first aid negligence compensation
Any type of compensation claim requires evidence to support it. You will have to demonstrate how you have suffered because of negligent first aid and who was responsible. You will also need to show that the defendant had not followed their first aid training when administering medical treatment.
As you can imagine, this can be quite a tricky thing to achieve. For that reason, you may wish to use a specialist solicitor who’ll represent you using a No Win No Fee agreement. Using their experience and legal training, they could improve your chances of being fairly compensated. They could also make the whole process a lot easier.
Should your claim be accepted, you’ll be appointed a solicitor who will:
- Review your case to see if you have a reasonable chance of success.
- Gather any evidence to support your allegations.
- Arrange for a local medical review of your injuries.
- Prepare a concise and professional claim and send it to the defendant.
- Handle all communication with the defendant’s insurer so that you’re not bogged down with requests.
- Keep in touch with you and update you on any progress.
- Be on hand to answer any questions you might have.
Overall, your solicitor’s main aim will be to try and secure the maximum level of compensation possible in your case. To find out more about claiming first aid negligence compensation with us, why not call today?
Would you like to learn more about claiming first aid negligence compensation, or would you like to know whether your situation would make claiming compensation a valid option? Maybe you’re ready to begin a claim but don’t know how to get started? Whatever you need, we’re ready to help you. You can reach our friendly, knowledgeable advisors in a number of ways to get the support and advice you are looking for. We have live chat service here on the site, or you could fill out the contact form to have one of our advisors get in touch with you. Alternatively, you could call the team on 0800 073 8801, or email email@example.com. With free, no-obligation advice just a call or click away, why not get in touch today to find out more about claiming the first aid negligence compensation you deserve.
NHS First Aid – Here, you can see an overview of first aid from the NHS.
HSE First Aid At Work – You can read more about first aid at work in this publication from the HSE.
First Aid Needs Assessment – Here, the HSE gives guidance as to what employers should consider when making a needs assessment for first aid provision.
Accident At Work Claims – In this guide, you can read more about accidents in the workplace and the health and safety measures that employers should take to protect their employees.
Medical Negligence Claims – Here, you can read all about medical negligence and how to prove that it caused avoidable harm.
Car Accident Compensation – Here, you can read our guide on car accident compensation if this is the type of accident that caused the injuries you needed first aid for.
You have completed our guide on first aid negligence compensation claims. Please feel free to get in touch if you’d free advice on your options.
Article by JJ
Edited by MM.