How To Make A Complaint And Claim Compensation

This helpful guide will help you understand how to make a complaint about a service, organisation or business. There are several scenarios that could result in you wanting to make a complaint, including after an incident or accident at work, a personal data breach or an incident of medical negligence. When making a complaint, there may be a different procedure you need to follow depending on who the complaint is made to. Additionally, there are several different bodies you can complain to depending on the nature of your complaint. We will explore these further in our guide, as well as offer guidance on how our team of advisors could assist you with your complaint.

lots of different hands putting in paper with unhappy faces into a box labelled complaints

Furthermore, we will discuss when you could potentially claim compensation for the harm or damage you have suffered, and the eligibility criteria that need to be met. 

Finally, you can learn about the legal representation our solicitors can provide under a No Win No Fee agreement, and the different services they can offer to assist you in seeking compensation.

Our dedicated advisors can answer any questions you might have regarding your complaint, or your potential claim, should you wish to find out more. To get in touch, you can:

Jump To A Section

  1. How To Make A Complaint And Claim Compensation
  2. Can You Take Legal Action Following A Complaint?
  3. What Incidents Or Injuries Could Be Caused?
  4. How Much Compensation Could You Claim Following Your Complaint?
  5. Check If You Can Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
  6. Further Guidance On How To Make A Complaint And Claim Compensation

How To Make A Complaint And Claim Compensation

You have the right to raise a concern about an organisation, however, the way in which you do so as well as where you direct your complaint could differ. The first point of contact you could consider is the organisation themselves. Each organisation has a different complaints procedure, so you should check the steps you need to take before submitting your concerns.

Depending on the issue, different bodies will be more appropriate to complain to. This section reviews how to make a complaint about medical negligence, workplace safety and data protection issues.

How To Complain About Negligent Medical Care

After receiving a substandard level of medical care, or noticing an issue that poses a safety risk to others, you could raise your complaint with one of the following bodies:

  • The General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC are a UK regulator of doctors. If you raise a concern with them, they may choose to investigate.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC regulate midwives and nurses in the UK, as well as nursing associates in England. They can investigate concerns brought to them, and may take action when necessary.
  • NHS Resolution. This arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care focus on resolving concerns and disputes in a fair manner.
  • Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC is an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. You can contact them about concerns you have about a care service. However, it’s important to note that they cannot make a complaint to a specific organisation on your behalf.

You should ensure that the body you complain to is relevant for dealing with your specific issue.

How To Complain About Workplace Safety Concerns

You can inform the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of unsafe practices in your workplace. The HSE, as Britain’s workplace health and safety regulator, could assess the risk and investigate if deemed necessary. However, you should ensure HSE are the correct enforcing authority to report your issue to, as it may be the case that you need to raise your concern with a local authority or other authority instead.

How To Complain About Data Breaches

You can report a data breach or make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO.) The ICO is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. They can investigate complaints, and may take enforcement action when necessary. 

How We Could Help You Complain And Claim Compensation

You may feel like you need support in making your complaint. If so, our dedicated advisors can not guide you through how to make a complaint, and answer any questions you might have.

Additionally, they can also perform a free assessment which tells you if you have valid grounds to claim compensation. You can get in touch for free, using the number at the top of the page.

Can You Take Legal Action Following A Complaint?

As well as wondering how to make a complaint, you may also wonder whether you could seek compensation. There are certain eligibility criteria that need to be met in order for a claim to be made. However, the criteria will differ depending on the nature of the claim. For example:

  • A personal injury claim for a workplace accident requires you to show that an employer breached their duty of care and that an accident resulting from this breach caused you physical and/or mental harm.
  • To make a medical negligence claim, you must prove that a medical professional caused avoidable harm by failing to meet the correct standard of care.
  • For a personal data breach claim, you must show your personal data was compromised in a breach because an organisation did not follow data protection legislation. What’s more, this must have caused you to experience financial loss and/or psychological damage.

For a more detailed discussion about the criteria relevant to your claim, please call our team of advisors.

How Long Could You Have To Take Legal Action?

Similarly to the criteria, the time limit for taking legal action can differ depending on the type of claim being made. For example:

  • The standard time limit for starting workplace accident claim is three years from the date of the accident.
  • For medical negligence claims the time limit is three years from the date of medical negligence, or the date you connected harm with a medical professional breaching their duty of care.
  • A personal data breach claim generally needs to start within six years, or one year if the claim is against a public body.

There can be exceptions to the general rule for all of these claim types. Please speak to our advisors online or over the phone to find out more.

What Incidents Or Injuries Could Be Caused?

Below, you can find examples of how workplace accidents, medical negligence or data breaches could occur.

  • An employer does not provide the necessary personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat, when working on a construction site. As a result, an employee is hit on a head by a falling object and experiences concussion.
  • An X-ray is carried out incorrectly resulting in a patient having their ankle fracture misdiagnosed as a sprain. As a result, they experience delayed treatment for the fracture, causing them avoidable harm. 
  • A mortgage provider leaves customer card details on an unprotected server, leaving them susceptible to a cyber attack. As a result, a hacker steals the card information resulting in several customer’s experiencing a financial loss.

Our advisors can guide you on how to make a complaint following a similar incident affecting your personal data, or causing a safety issue at work or in a medical setting. They can also assess your chances of making a compensation claim. Please call the above number if you would like to chat.

How Much Compensation Could You Claim Following Your Complaint?

In successful personal injury and medical negligence cases, you could be awarded a payout that includes up to two heads of loss. These are:

  • General damages: This head compensates for the pain and suffering experienced due to any physical or psychological injury or harm you have been caused.
  • Special damages: This head compensates for the financial losses that have resulted from the harm caused to you. For example, you could be reimbursed for any loss of earnings that you have incurred from having to take time off work permanently or temporarily due to the harm you experienced. Payslips can help prove this loss.

The below table uses figures from the Judicial College Guidelines to show guideline compensation brackets for assorted physical and psychological injuries.

All settlements are determined based on each case’s unique circumstances. Therefore, this table only acts as a guide.

Compensation Table

Brain And Head Very Severe £282,010 to £403,990 The person requires nursing care full-time.
Kidneys Loss Or Permanent Damage £169,400 to £210,400 Both kidneys are affected.
Back Severe (i) £91,090 to £160,980 Involves damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots with serious consequences, such as severe pain and disability.
Arm Loss of One Arm (i) Not less than £137,160 The arm is amputated at the shoulder.
Leg Severe (i) £96,250 to £135,920 The most serious leg injuries, short of amputation, such as an extensive degloving of the leg causing a gross shortening.
Psychiatric Damage Generally Severe £54,830 to £115,730 The affected person will have clear issues with, among other things, their relationship with others. There is a poor prognosis.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £59,860 to £100,670 Effects are permanent and the injured person is prevented from functioning at pre-trauma levels.
Ankle Moderate £13,740 to £26,590 Less serious disabilities, including difficulty walking on uneven ground. These are caused by fractures, for example.

Data Breach Compensation

For successful personal data breach claims, compensation can be awarded for two different types of damage. Firstly, you can receive compensation for material damage, which is the monetary loss you suffered due to the personal data breach. For example, if money was stolen out of your account due a breach of your debit card details, you could be reimbursed for this loss as part of your overall settlement.

Secondly, you could be awarded compensation for the non-material damage caused by the personal data breach. This is the mental harm you experienced, such as anxiety, stress, distress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To learn more about how compensation may be calculated for different types of claims, please contact an advisor. They can also provide more information on how to make a complaint about an organisation.

Check If You Can Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you have a valid claim, and wish to seek legal representation, you could potentially be referred to one of our solicitors. They could provide support on your case under No Win No Fee terms with a Conditional Fee Agreement.

The benefit of this arrangement is that you would not pay solicitor fees:

  • Upfront;
  • During the case;
  • If the case fails.

Should the case win, your solicitor will collect a success fee from the compensation awarded. This is a percentage which is legally capped by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Contact our advisors for further guidance. Not only can they assist you in understanding how to make a complaint, they can assess whether you could be eligible to make a claim, and may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors to help you. You can get in touch by:

Further Guidance On How To Make A Complaint And Claim Compensation

For more guides from us:

These links relate to making complaints:

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make a complaint and claim compensation. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor on the number above.

Guide by EM

Edited by MMI