Advice On Medical Negligence Compensation Claims

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care you are owed by medical professionals and the eligibility criteria your case must meet in order to have a valid medical negligence claim. Additionally, we will also discuss how you could support your particular case with evidence, including providing examples.

This guide also discusses how compensation is calculated in medical negligence claims and how long you have to begin your claim. You’ll also find some examples of incidents that could potentially lead to a medical negligence claim.

We conclude this guide by looking at how a medical negligence solicitor from our panel could help you with claiming compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.

You can also contact our advisors to discuss your particular medical negligence case today. They can offer you free advice, answer your questions and potentially connect you with one of the solicitors on our panel.

Speak with our team today by:

A wooden gavel lies on top of a paper file that says 'Medical Negligence'.

Select A Section

  1. When Am I Eligible To Claim For Medical Negligence?
  2. How Long Do You Have To Claim For Clinical Negligence?
  3. Examples Of Clinical Negligence You Could Claim For
  4. How Do I Prove My Medical Negligence Claim?
  5. Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts
  6. Can I Claim For Medical Negligence On A No Win No Fee Basis?

When Am I Eligible To Claim For Medical Negligence?

All medical professionals have a legal responsibility to provide their patients with the minimum standard of care. This includes doctors, nurses and pharmacists. It also extends to various medical environments such as hospitals, pharmacies and walk-in centres. This is known as their duty of care. To uphold this duty of care a healthcare professional could assess any current medication you are currently taking before prescribing you new medication and take any symptoms you list to them seriously.

If a healthcare professional were to fail to adhere to this duty of care, this could cause you to suffer harm that may have otherwise been avoided.

To be eligible to make a medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove:

  1. A duty of care was owed to you by a healthcare professional.
  2. This duty was breached.
  3. This breach caused you to suffer avoidable or unnecessary harm.

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

However, there may be certain cases where you suffer harm, but a healthcare professional did not breach their duty of care. In these instances, you might not be able to claim compensation.

To discuss your particular case, you can contact our advisors. They can assess your eligibility to claim and may even connect you with one of the medical negligence lawyers or solicitors on our panel.

How Long Do You Have To Claim For Clinical Negligence?

Typically, medical negligence claims need to begin within 3 years, as stated under the Limitation Act 1980. This runs from the date the medical negligence took place or the date you first became reasonably aware that the harm you suffered was connected to medical negligence. The latter is otherwise known as the date of knowledge.

Exceptions can also be made to this time limit for the following claimants:

  • Those who lack the mental capacity to start their own legal proceedings – In these cases, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. It would only be reinstated if the claimant were to regain this capacity. In this instance, the time limit would then run from this date of recovery.
  • Child claimants – Those under the age of 18 are not permitted to pursue their own claim. They can do so only once they turn 18, and then they would have 3 years from their 18th birthday to start the process.

In both scenarios above, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on behalf of the claimant while the time limit is suspended. This is a legal adult with the claimant’s best interests in mind. It can often be someone such as a family member or legal professional.

To find out more about time limits surrounding the process of medical negligence claims, speak with our advisors today.

A doctor holding some medical forms.

Examples Of Clinical Negligence You Could Claim For

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

  • Diagnostic errors – There are a few different ways in which a medical professional could make a misdiagnosis. For example, they could diagnose you with the wrong condition. Alternatively, they could miss the diagnosis altogether due to missing clear symptoms, which could result in you receiving delayed treatment. Instances such as these could be especially serious if something like a cancer misdiagnosis were to occur, leading the cancer to spread and become untreatable.
  • Surgical negligence – For example, you could suffer an infection if a medical professional did not properly sanitise the operating equipment before your procedure. This could also include never-events, such as a retained-foreign object. This is when a piece of surgical equipment is accidentally left inside of you due to medical malpractice.
  • Medication errors – For example, a pharmacist may mislabel your medication, resulting in you receiving the wrong medication. Taking the incorrect prescription could cause you to suffer harm, and your initial condition may worsen. It could also include cases where you are prescribed medication that contains something you are allergic to despite this allergy being listed on your medical records. This could cause you to suffer an allergic reaction, and in some cases could be fatal.

There are, of course, other examples of medical negligence you may be able to claim for. To see whether you could make a claim for your particular case, you can contact our advisors.

How Do I Prove My Medical Negligence Claim?

Having evidence that supports your case could help you when making a medical negligence claim. This will need to show the harm you suffered and how a medical professional was liable for this harm.

Examples of evidence that could help you prove medical negligence occurred include:

  • Medical evidence – This could include your medical records, any test results, and diagnosis letters stating any harm you have suffered and treatment you have received.
  • Witness contact details – If there was anyone present who witnessed your treatment or the medical malpractice taking place, a statement could be taken from them at a later date by a legal professional.
  • Financial evidence – If you have suffered any harm due to the medical negligence, you will need to provide evidence of them. For example, payslips could help prove a loss of earnings, and an invoice from a carer could help prove any care costs.
  • The Bolam Test This is where a panel of medical professionals assess the standard of care you received and whether it was appropriate. A solicitor could help organise this if you decide to work with one.

For guidance on additional evidence that could be used to support medical negligence cases or to see whether you could work with one of the solicitors on our panel, contact a member of our advisory team today.

A blurry photo of a hospital ward.

Examples Of Medical Negligence Payouts

Clinical negligence compensation is assessed and valued on a case-by-case basis. However, if you make a successful medical negligence claim you will receive compensation for the avoidable harm you suffered when a healthcare professional breached their duty of care. This will be awarded to you under general damages.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may be used alongside any medical evidence by those valuing your claim. This particular document contains compensation guidelines for various forms of harm. The table below lists some of these guidelines, aside from the first entry.

The amounts shown below should only be used as a rough guide.

Compensation Guidelines

Harm CausedSeverityNotesBracket of Compensation
Multiple forms of serious harm plus special damagesSevereCompensation for multiple forms of serious harm and their special damages such as lost earnings, medical bills and care costs.Up to £1,000,000+
Paralysis(a) TetraplegiaThose who experience physical pain and their ability to communicate and their senses have been affected will be applicable for the higher end of this bracket.£324,600 to £403,990
Paralysis(b) ParaplegiaVarious factors will be taken into consideration such as life expectancy, age, and presence of pain.£219,070 to £284,260
Brain damage(a) Very severeCases where the person requires full-time nursing care due to suffering with double incontinence and showing little response that is meaningful to their environment.£282,010 to £403,990
Kidney(a) Serious damage or loss ofBoth kidneys will be affected.£169,400 to £210,400
Female reproductive systemInfertilityCaused by disease or injury, with severe depression and sexual dysfunction. Cases with medical complication, such as an ectopic pregnancy being failed to be diagnosed will apply to the higher end of this bracket.£114,900 to £170,280
Bladder(b) Loss of functionBoth the function and control of the bladder will be lost.Up to £140,660
Lung disease(b) Lung cancerCausing impairment of lung function and to their quality of life, as well as severe pain. Typically applies to older people.£70,030 to £97,330
Male reproductive systemUncomplicated sterlilityThere will be no importance or aggravating features and generally applies to young people without children.£56,080 to £71,350

Special Damages

Some claimants can also be eligible to receive compensation for the financial costs they experienced due to the medical negligence. This would be awarded under special damages. As aforementioned, you’ll need evidence to support this area of your claim.

Some examples of the financial losses you could be compensated for include:

  • Loss of earnings – The harm you’ve experienced may mean you require time off work to recover. This could impact your income.
  • Medical expenses – Such as paying for prescriptions, for example.
  • Travel costs – You may need to use taxis and public transport to travel to medical appointments. These costs could be compensated under special damages.
  • Care at home – You may require additional care when you return home. This can be on a temporary or long-term basis.

For a free valuation of your potential clinical negligence claim, you can contact a member of our advisory team.

Can I Claim For Medical Negligence On A No Win No Fee Basis?

One of the expert medical negligence solicitors on our panel may be able to help you with your case if you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition to helping you gather evidence and ensuring your claim is filed within the time limit, they may also offer their services to you under a Conditional Fee Agreement.

This type of No Win No Fee contract enables you full access to their legal services without paying them anything upfront. You also will not be required to pay for their work while the claim is progressing or if the claim fails.

Instead, your solicitor takes a success fee from your compensation if you are successfully awarded it. The law implements a legal limit for the percentage that can be taken as this success fee.

A wooden gavel next to a stethoscope.

Contact Us

To see whether a specialist medical negligence solicitor from our panel could help you with your claim, you can contact our advisors. Our friendly team can also help answer your questions about the claiming process and offer you free advice for your case.

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Thank you for reading our guide on medical negligence claims. Contact our advisors with any questions you may still have.