A Guide On How To Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?

Our guide answers the question: “How do I prove medical negligence in the UK?” We explain why it is important to provide evidence that supports your medical negligence case.

Medical negligence is when a medical professional deviates from professional standards, and this leads to a patient suffering harm that was otherwise avoidable. All medical professionals and healthcare providers owe a duty of care to their patients and must ensure that the care they provide is of the correct standard. It is when this duty of care is breached and a patient suffers unnecessary harm that medical negligence has occurred. In this guide, we show you how to prove this. 

Evidence is key in proving how medical negligence has affected you. So we provide examples of useful evidence that you could gather that will not only show how you suffered physically and mentally but also the financial hardship that occurred as a result.

This guide will go as far as to illustrate how medical negligence compensation is calculated for a successful claim, ensuring that all the impacts of the negligent treatment are compensated for. 

You do not have to go through the claims process alone. Our guide concludes by explaining how an expert medical negligence lawyer from our panel could help you obtain sufficient evidence and much more on a No Win No Fee basis.

To find out if you have sufficient evidence to prove medical negligence has occurred or to learn whether one of our panel’s solicitors could take your case, all you need to do is select one of these options:

  • Call 0161 696 9685.
  • Go online to contact us and request a call.
  • Use our live support feature, which you can find on this page.

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Select A Section

  1. How Do I Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?
  2. Proving A Medical Professional Breached Their Duty Of Care
  3. Proving How You Were Impacted By The Breach
  4. What Compensation Could You Claim For Medical Negligence?
  5. How Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help You Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?
  6. Discover More About Medical Negligence Claims

How Do I Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?

You undergo medical care in order to get better, so it can be a shock if the condition gets worse or another issue arises that makes your condition worse. If you learn that negligent medical treatment played a part, you might be considering how to seek compensation for how you’ve been affected.

To claim compensation, you will need to make a medical negligence claim. As we mentioned above, proving that medical negligence occurred means having evidence that proves:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • They failed to uphold professional standards and breached their duty of care.
  • This breach of duty led to you suffering avoidable harm.

In the next two sections of this guide, you can learn how to prove medical negligence in the UK by showing how a breach of duty occurred and how this breach affected you. Our advisors can also help, so please do not hesitate to call today.

Proving A Medical Professional Breached Their Duty Of Care

Medical professionals, which includes doctors, nurses, surgeons, specialists and pharmacists, must uphold a professional standard of skill and care. A failure to keep to their duty of care could lead to a medical error, which in turn may cause a patient to suffer harm that could have been avoided if professional and competent treatment was provided.

A healthcare provider or medical professional such as a doctor could breach this duty in various ways, for example, a patient visits their GP with clear symptoms of a serious disease such as cancer. The GP fails to recognise these symptoms and, therefore, does not refer the patient for further testing or to see a specialist. The GP has breached their duty as their lack of competency has meant the patient does not get the care they need.

Here we look at ways you could show a breach of duty of care: 

  • Notes about who treated you and which hospital or medical practice you were in at the time.
  • The contact details of any witnesses. Witness statements might be collected during the case, but you do not need to take statements in advance.
  • Medical records that show the actions taken by the healthcare professional(s) involved.

You will need to submit the claim within the legal time limit. Learn more about medical negligence claim eligibility and time limits by calling us today.

Proving How You Were Impacted By The Breach

If you suffered medical negligence, you may have been affected in different ways. Proving not just what happened, but what came of it, provides a complete picture of the negligent care and can affect what compensation you are awarded. With that in mind, you should collect:

  • Medical evidence. In order to prove how the breach has affected your health, you will need to provide medical evidence of any new conditions or how it made an existing condition worse. To do this, you can request a copy of your health records from your GP or healthcare provider. These can be used to show the effect the medical negligence has had on your physical as well as your mental health and what treatment you needed as a result. 
  • Diary entries which also capture your symptoms and treatment.
  • Proof of any out of pocket expenses or other financial losses that have occurred due to the medical negligence. This could include payslips, bank statements or receipts showing your travel expenses.

We examine medical negligence compensation, and why this evidence could affect your potential payout, in the next section.

If a solicitor from our panel were to take your case, they could arrange an examination from an independent medical expert which will be required as part of the process. Additionally, your case may be subject to the Bolam Test, where independent medical experts assess the care you received and judge if it was given to an acceptable standard.

For further information on how our panel’s experienced medical negligence solicitors could help you, simply call the number at the top of this page.

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What Compensation Could You Claim For Medical Negligence?

Claimants who can prove medical negligence in the UK and win their case could receive a compensation settlement featuring up to two heads of loss: general and special damages.

Special damages compensation covers financial loss due to medical negligence. For example, you might claim compensation for:

  • Unavoidable costs associated with medical care needed for the avoidable harm you suffered. 
  • Travel costs, such as bus journeys to and from medical appointments.
  • Home care fees if you need a carer at home. 
  • A loss of earnings if you cannot work while recovering.

Special damages compensation can only cover the financial losses that occurred due to the harm you suffered that was avoidable. It will not cover any financial losses that occurred from the original illness.

General damages account for physical injury or psychological harm caused directly by substandard care.

The people tasked with figuring out how much general damages compensation you get could refer to the medical evidence you provide. They can also get guidance from a set of guideline compensation figures in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document we have used to create the table you see below.

General Damages Table

All entries, apart from the first line, can be found in the JCG. However, every medical negligence compensation claim is different, so this is only a general guide.

Multiple Severe Illnesses Or Injuries Plus Monetary LossesVery SeriousUp to £1,000,000+Compensation addressing numerous forms of physical or mental harm. It also accounts for financial losses, including a loss of earnings, medical costs or travel fees.
Brain DamageVery Severe£344,150 to £493,000In the upper part of the bracket, there is little to no evidence of a meaningful response to the injured person's environment.
Moderately Severe£267,340 to £344,150The affected person is very seriously disabled and relies on others for full-time care.
ParalysisParaplegia£267,340 to £346,890The lower half of the body is paralysed. Factors including the extent of physical pain affect the level of award.
KidneyBoth Kidneys£206,730 to £256,780Two kidneys are lost or seriously and permanently damaged.
BladderDouble IncontinenceUp to £224,790Double incontinence refers to a total loss of natural bowel function, plus the complete removal of urinary control and function.
BowelsTotal Loss Of FunctionUp to £183,190A complete loss of natural function. There may an age-dependent reliance on colostomy.
LegAmputation (iii)£127,930 to £167,760An amputation of one leg above the knee.
WristComplete Loss of Function£58,710 to £73,050Injuries that lead to a complete loss of wrist function.
ChestDamage To Chest£38,210 to £66,290Chest or lung damage that causes some continuing disability.

How Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help You Prove Medical Negligence In The UK?

Our panel’s solicitors have vast combined experience of medical negligence claims and can help you with many things including, but not limited to:

  • Making sure a claim is submitted within the legal time limit.
  • Presenting your legal case and using evidence to prove causation.
  • Utilising proof of negligent care’s effect on you to secure the best possible settlement.

They offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which guarantees no upfront or running solicitor fees. Additionally, as a CFA is a form of No Win No Fee deal, your solicitor would not ask for payment covering their work if they cannot help you make a successful claim.

If your solicitor helps you prove medical negligence and your case wins, they would receive a success fee. Rather than you paying out of pocket, they would take a small percentage of the compensation awarded to you. That percentage is guaranteed to be a small cut of the payout, as The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 sets out a legal cap on success fees.

Get in touch today if you’d like to learn more about how our panel’s medical negligence experts help people claim compensation successfully. Our helpful advisors also assess potential medical negligence cases, so they can check out your chances of claiming. Furthermore, they can connect you to a solicitor from our panel if you have a valid claim.

You can reach us all day, every day, via any of these channels:

  • Phoning our free helpline on 0161 696 9685.
  • Using our ‘Contact us’ online form.
  • Chatting with an advisor through the live support option below.

A solicitor talking to a client and answering the question: "How do you prove medical negligence in the UK"

Discover More About Medical Negligence Claims

These articles contain detailed guidance about different types of medical negligence claims:

Here are some further useful resources:

Hopefully we’ve answered the question: “How do you prove medical negligence in the UK?”

However, if you have any other questions, just call and we’ll be there to help.