A Guide To Making A Claim For Patient Abuse In Hospital

In this guide on how to make a claim for patient abuse in hospital, we cover the different avenues available to those wanting to seek criminal injury compensation for abuse by a hospital staff member, visitor or fellow patient. 

Firstly, if the perpetrator has been identified and they have the funds to pay compensation, the claim can be made directly against them. Alternatively, if the hospital in which a patient was receiving care fails to uphold the duty of care they owe with regard to their safety, and abuse takes place, the victim of a violent crime may be able to sue the hospital as a vicariously liable third party.

If neither of these routes to compensation are viable, a government agency called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) gives victims a way of seeking compensation for the effects of violent crime. We explore these avenues in further detail throughout our guide.

Additionally, we outline types of hospital abuse and discuss forms of evidence you could collect to prove your case. The guide then looks at forms of compensation that could be awarded depending which avenue you take to pursue your claim.

Finally, learn how your case could be supported by an expert criminal injury claim solicitor from our panel on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you experienced abuse in a hospital and want to talk about your options, please get in touch. Our service is free and an advisor can assess your chances of being able to claim compensation. Learn more today through a confidential conversation with an advisor by either:

  • Calling 0161 696 9685.
  • Going to our site to contact us through our online query form.
  • Using the live support feature below.

An empty hospital bed in a corridor.

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Who Could Make A Claim For Patient Abuse In Hospital?

If you have suffered sexual, physical or emotional abuse in a hospital, you could potentially make a criminal injury claim. As mentioned, there are several avenues you could take to do so including against the hospital themselves, or through the CICA.

Below, we look at these different routes to understand how you could seek a criminal injury payout. Read on to find out more.

When Is A Hospital Vicariously Liable For Physical Or Sexual Abuse?

Hospitals have a duty of care to keep the patients in their care safe. If there was a failure to do so, and the patient went on to suffer abuse, they could be vicariously liable for the incident. 

For example, if a doctor is hired despite a history of sexual assault complaints because the hospital did not perform a background check, and the doctor goes on to abuse a patient during their rounds, the victim could make an abuse claim against the hospital.

Alternatively, a hospital abuse claim could be made if management ignored complaints from patients or staff members of improper conduct by an employee who went on to commit a violent crime.

Patient-on-patient violence is also a risk in some healthcare settings. If the hospital was aware that an individual in their care could be a danger to other patients and did not take any steps to keep them separated or closely observed, they could be liable if the patient committed a violent crime against another patient staying in the hospital.

Claims made against a hospital for abuse generally need to start within three years. However, exceptions can apply in some cases.

Please get in touch to learn whether you’re eligible to seek criminal injury compensation and how long you have to start your claim.

When Could I Claim For Sexual Or Physical Abuse In Hospital Through The CICA?

As mentioned previously, the CICA helps victims of violent crimes in Great Britain claim compensation. They administer the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 which contains a fixed tariff used to calculate injury payments.

A claim for patient abuse in hospital could be made through the CICA if the eligibility criteria are met. This means showing:

  • You suffered injuries in a crime of violence. The Scheme’s definition of a crime of violence includes, for example, a physical attack and sexual assault. 
  • The incident was reported to the police. This is normally expected to have been done as soon as reasonably practicable unless exceptional circumstances prevented you from doing so.
  • The abuse happened in England, Scotland, Wales, or another relevant place. 

You must also be within the time limit to claim. It’s advised to claim through the CICA as soon as is reasonably practicable. If you were an adult at the time of the incident, generally, you have two years to submit your claim. However, the time limit could be extended in exceptional circumstances. 

Additionally, the time limit differs for claimants under 18 years of age. In these instances, a child would have until their 20th birthday if the incident was reported to the police before they turned 18. Alternatively, they will have two years from when the incident was first reported to the police if it was reported on or after their 18th birthday.

You can find out more about time limits and eligibility criteria for CICA medical abuse claims by calling and talking to an advisor today.

What Is Considered Patient Abuse In A Hospital Setting?

There are many incidents that would be considered patient abuse, such as physical assault, sexual abuse or psychological abuse, such as threats causing reasonable fear of immediate violence. 

Examples of abuse and neglect of vulnerable people could include:

  • Sexual abuse: For example, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, and rape.
  • Physical abuse: This can include misuse of medicines, being denied food or water, or being physically injured.
  • Psychological abuse: For example, severe distress caused by threats to commit a violent crime, verbal abuse, and stopping you from seeing people.

If you have experienced sexual abuse or physical abuse in a hospital, you can call our advisors today to seek advice and learn if you have a valid criminal injuries compensation claim.

Proving A Claim For Patient Abuse In Hospital

When making a claim for patient abuse in hospital, you’ll need to gather different forms of evidence. The evidence you’ll be expected to provide can depend on where you direct your claim.

Evidence When Making A Hospital Abuse Claim Against A Vicariously Liable Party

You need to show that the hospital is vicariously liable. To prove this, you could gather evidence such as:

  • Video footage of the incident. This could be from CCTV if it occurred in an area of the hospital covered by cameras, or from a personal device.
  • Witness contact details.
  • Copies of medical records, showing the injuries you suffered and what medical treatment was needed.
  • Evidence of any financial expenses caused by the injuries.

Proof Required For A CICA Medical Abuse Claim

When claiming through the CICA, they will require you to provide certain types of evidence. For example:

  • A crime reference number to show you reported the incident to the police.
  • Proof that you meet the residency and nationality requirements.
  • Medical evidence to show you suffered an injury that the Scheme can compensate for.
  • Proof of any financial losses.

You do not need to prove that the perpetrator is guilty of the crime or give case evidence. The CICA will liaise with the police to gather information on their investigation, and will make a decision based on the balance of probabilities. This means the person accused does not have to be charged or found guilty for you to seek compensation.

Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more about providing proof for criminal injury compensation claims and how a solicitor from our panel could help.

A notebook with the word 'evidence' over the top.

How Much Compensation For Hospital Abuse Claims?

If a hospital is found to be vicariously liable and you successfully claim against them, your compensation settlement could potentially include both general and special damages.

General damages award compensation to cover physical pain and emotional suffering caused by injuries. Special damages award compensation to account for financial expenses caused by the injuries, such as a loss of earnings, travel expenses or medical bills.

Those responsible for calculating general damages might refer to guideline compensation brackets in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and medical evidence.

Compensation Table

Apart from the top entry, the figures in this list come from the JCG. Please note that it should only act as a guide.

Multiple Serious Injuries And Special DamagesVery SeriousUp to £500,000+Compensation to account for multiple serious injuries in addition to a payout for lost earnings and other financial expenses.
Sexual and/or Physical AbuseSevere£45,000 to £120,000The injured person suffers serious abuse and/or severe, prolonged psychological injury.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£59,860 to £100,670Cases have permanent effects which mean the injured person cannot function at anything near their pre-trauma level. All aspects of life are badly impacted.
ArmInjuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement£39,170 to £59,860One or both forearms are seriously fractured. Residual disability will be permanent and significant.
Skeletal InjuriesFractures of Jaws (i)£30,490 to £45,540Multiple very serious fractures. Prolonged treatment and permanent consequences, such as severe pain, follow.

What Criminal Injury Compensation Can I Get From the CICA?

A successful claim for patient abuse in hospital made through the CICA could see you receive a CICA payout comprising an injury payment and payment for financial losses.

You can receive compensation for up to 3 injuries. Injury payments are calculated according to the fixed tariff provided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 (the 2012 Scheme). If you claim for two or more injuries, the multiple injuries formula will apply meaning you receive 100% of the tariff amount for the most serious injury, 30% for the second or equally serious injury, and 15% for the third or equally serious injury.

Furthermore, you could receive a payment for special expenses which refer to certain costs incurred as a result of your injury, such as property or equipment which you relied on as a physical aid that was damaged or lost. You could also receive a payment for lost earnings if you’re unable to work because of the criminal injury. However, certain criteria need to be met in order to qualify for either of these payments.

CICA Tariff Table

This table features figures from the 2012 Scheme, with the exception of the top entry, to help you understand what your compensation claim could be worth. The tariff amounts are fixed. 

Multiple Serious Injuries and Financial LossesSevereUp to £500,000A CICA payout comprising a payment for special expenses, loss of earnings, and multiple injuries.
EyeLoss of Sight£110,000Sight is lost in both eyes.
HandLoss or Equivalent Loss of Function£55,000One dominant hand.
Sexual Offence (Victim Is Any Age)Sexual Assault£27,000Severe and permanently disabling mental illness is confirmed by psychiatric prognosis.
Mental InjuryPermanent Mental Injury£27,000The condition is confirmed as seriously disabling through a diagnosis or prognosis by a relevantly trained professional.

Please get in touch with our dedicated team if you want to find out more about how much criminal injuries compensation the CICA can award to those claiming for abuse in hospitals.

No Win No Fee Claims For Abuse Of A Patient In Hospital

Our panel’s expert solicitors can help eligible claimants pursue a claim for patient abuse in hospital, whether they are against hospitals or made through the CICA.

Each solicitor works under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee deal. The agreement means no costs for their work:

  • Upfront.
  • During the course of the claim.
  • If a claim fails.

If your case wins, the solicitor takes a success fee as a percentage of your compensation. The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 sets in place a legal cap to the percentage meaning you will receive the majority of your settlement.

Contact Us

When you speak to one of our advisors, if they find you have a valid claim, you could be connected to a solicitor from our panel. However, there is also no obligation to start a claim with us. An advisor can simply answer other questions about criminal injury compensation claims you have for free.

To get in touch, you can:

A solicitor working on a claim for patient abuse in hospital.

More Resources For Criminal Injury Claims 

Here are some further guides from us:

These resources could also help you:

Thank you for reading our guide to making a claim for patient abuse in hospital. Please call or get in touch online to discuss your potential case or ask questions.