We have prepared this FAQ guide on medical negligence claims to explore when you could be eligible to claim compensation after receiving medical care that fell below the expected standard, which resulted in you experiencing harm.
You will find guidance on the duty of care owed by medical professionals to treat their patients to the correct standard and how failures to meet this can result in patients experiencing avoidable harm.
We have also provided some examples of how medical negligence can occur, as well as information on how compensation is calculated in this type of claim.
Towards the end of this guide, you will see a brief explanation of the No Win No Fee agreement our panel of solicitors can offer and what benefits you can experience when starting your potential claim with them.
Our advisors can answer your questions and offer a cost-free assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim. To speak to a member of our team, you can use any of the following contact details:
- You can speak to advisors via phone on 0161 696 9685.
- Complete the “Contact Us” form here.
- Click the live chat button at the bottom of the screen for a quick reply to any questions.
Select A Section
- Can I Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
- Can I Claim For Medical Negligence After 3 Years?
- What Do You Need To Prove Medical Negligence?
- What Is The Average Payout For Medical Negligence Claims?
- No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims
- Learn More About Different Types Of Medical Negligence Claims
All medical professionals owe a duty of care to provide their patients with the correct standard of care. This duty applies to both public and private healthcare. Failing to provide patients with the correct standard of care during their treatment can result in those patients experiencing avoidable harm.
“Avoidable harm,” refers to harm that would not have occurred had you been given the correct standard of care during your treatment. We will examine this further detail below.
The eligibility criteria for medical negligence claims have been provided here:
- You were owed a duty of care by a medical professional.
- That medical professional breached the duty owed to you by failing to provide you with the correct standard of care.
- This failure caused you to experience avoidable harm.
What Medical Negligence Could I Claim For?
Below we have provided some possible examples of medical negligence:
- Despite showing clear symptoms of cancer, you were not referred for any further testing, this allowed your condition to worsen, and you required more invasive treatment.
- An administrative error at a hospital led to your file being mixed up with another patient’s. You subsequently received the wrong medication, resulting in a severe anaphylactic reaction.
- Surgeons began surgery on your left leg instead of your right one. This not only caused a delay in your treatment but left you with unsightly scarring and reduced mobility.
To enquire about whether your specific circumstances meet the threshold for starting a medical negligence claim, contact our advisors today.
Medical negligence claims are generally subject to a limitation period of 3 years, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980. In some circumstances, exceptions to this can be applicable.
- Your claim time limit may start from the date of knowledge – this is when you first connect any breach of duty to the harm you suffered.
- Those under the age of 18 – minors cannot make their own claim. A court can appoint a litigation friend to claim on their behalf, or they can wait till they are 18 and make their own claim as an adult. They will have 3 years from this date.
- Those who lack the mental capacity – for those who do not have the mental capacity to pursue their own claim again, a court-appointed litigation friend can do so on their behalf. If capacity is regained and a litigation friend has made no claim, then their 3-year time limit will begin.
To learn more about the time limit and if you are eligible for an extension, speak to our team using the contact information provided above.
Supporting evidence is key to the success of your medical negligence claim. Not only can evidence be used to show the failings of the medical professional, but also the extent of the avoidable harm caused and the impact this had on you.
Some examples of evidence that could be used in support of medical negligence claims are:
- Medical documents, such as copies of scans, prescriptions and the results of tests. You can also provide copies of documents relating to subsequent treatments to highlight the avoidable harm caused and how it was treated.
- Anyone who attended appointments with you could provide a witness statement. Make sure you have their contact details so their statement can be taken during the claims process.
How Is The Bolam Test Used In Medical Negligence Claims?
The Bolam Test is where relevantly trained medical professionals examine the care you receive. This panel of experts will assess whether or not that care met the correct standard. The Bolam Test is not applicable in every medical negligence claim, but if the test is used, it can be strong evidence in a claim.
Speak to a member of our team for a free assessment of your eligibility to claim. If your claim is valid, you could get support from a medical negligence specialist from our panel of solicitors in collecting evidence to support your claim.
Compensation for successful medical negligence claims can be made up of two different heads of claim, general and special damages. The physical and psychological impacts of the avoidable harm caused are awarded under general damages.
Solicitors can use the figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assist in the calculation of the value of the harm you have experienced. The JCG is a document published by the Judicial College that lists various different types of harm, with guideline award brackets for each. You can see some of these brackets in the table below.
Please be advised that this table has been included to act as guidance only.
|Type of Harm||Severity||Guideline Amount||Notes|
|Kidney||Serious and Permanent Damage (a)||£169,400 to £210,400||Loss of, or serious and permanent damage to both kidneys|
|Epilepsy||Established Grand Mal||£102,000 to £150,110||Awards for epilepsy depend on whether the attacks are successfully controlled by medication, the effect on work and social life and the prognosis.|
|Bowels||Loss of Function (b)||Up to £150,110||A complete loss of natural bowel function resulting in a dependence on colostomy. The award in this bracket will depend on age.|
|Female Reproductive System||Permanent Sexual Dysfunction (b)||£43,010 to £102,100||The top of this bracket will be applicable in cases with significant medical complications such as multiple surgeries or an ectopic pregnancy.|
|Male Reproductive System||Permanent Sexual Dysfunction (c)||£43,010 to £88,750||Permanent significant sexual dysfunction or impotence in a person with children or who would never have had them.|
|Digestive system||Damage from Traumatic Injury (i)||£43,010 to £61,910||Severe damage to the digestive system causing continuing pain and discomfort.|
|Neck Injuries||Severe (a)(iii)||£45,470 to £55,990||Injuries such as dislocations, soft tissue injuries, ruptured tendons or fractures that result in permanent disability.|
|Loss of hearing||Total Loss of Hearing In One Ear (c)||£31,310 to £45,540||Awards at the upper end of this bracket will account for associated problems such as tinnitus, headaches and dizziness.|
|Back Injuries||Moderate (b)(i)||£27,760 to £38,780||This bracket will apply in cases such as a lumbar compression fracture resulting in residual disabilities such as osteoarthritis and continuing discomfort.|
|Spleen||Loss of Spleen (a)||£20,800 to £26,290||Loss of the spleen with a continuing risk of disorders or infection stemming from the immune system being compromised.|
Could I Claim Special Damages?
The second of the two heads of claim is called special damages. Special damages awards for the costs incurred due to the avoidable harm you experienced. For example, you could claim back your lost earnings due to time taken off work to recover. You could also claim for any out-of-pocket medical bills such as the prescriptions you need or physiotherapy.
Claiming compensation under special damages will require you to submit supporting evidence. Make sure you keep copies of your payslips, your receipts and other documents that show the losses you incurred.
Our experienced team of advisors can provide a more detailed estimate of the value of your potential claim. Speak to them today via the contact details given below.
As a first step for your potential medical negligence claim, you could get your claim’s validity assessed by our team of advisors. Once it has been decided your claim is valid, our advisors could connect you with a medical negligence claims expert from our panel of solicitors.
Our panel can offer their services under a type of No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement. You are not required to pay a solicitor upfront to begin work on your case. There are also no fees during the claims process for that work. You would likewise not pay following a failed claim.
You will receive medical negligence compensation following a successful claim. The solicitor will take a legally capped percentage from this compensation. This means that claimants will therefore keep most of their compensation.
To get started with a free assessment of your eligibility to claim, speak to our advisors today via:
See more of our medical negligence claim guides here:
- Learn about how much a payout following a cancer misdiagnosis could be worth.
- Find when you could be eligible to claim stroke misdiagnosis compensation.
- See what your claim could be worth with our guide on care home medication prescription errors.
External resources you may find helpful
- The NHS has prepared extensive resources on cancer which you can see here.
- Read the review on the incidence of diagnostic error in medicine from the British Medical Journal.
- You can find more information on the regulation of doctors in the UK from the General Medical Council here.
Thank you for reading our medical negligence claim FAQ guide. For further information on the medical negligence claims process or a free assessment of your eligibility to claim, speak to our advisors today. You can reach our dedicated team via the contact information given above.