A Guide To The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limits

If you are considering claiming medical negligence compensation, you might be asking questions like, ‘How far back can you claim NHS negligence,’ or ‘What is the time limit for a medical negligence claim?’ This guide explains the hospital negligence claim time limit for a claim against both public and private hospitals. It will examine the time limits for bringing a medical negligence claim within the statutory limitation period. 

We note the legislation that set out the limitation periods for court proceedings to be initiated for clinical negligence claims. Also, you will learn how certain scenarios can mean a change to the normal medical negligence claim deadline.

We show what a payout could address, whether your compensation is for the effects of medication errors, negligent medical advice or a misdiagnosis. 

Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit

Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit Guide

You can find out even more by contacting us for free, including how our panel of medical negligence solicitors offer professional guidance under No Win No Fee terms. Our advisors have plenty of information about medical negligence claims to help you make informed decisions. For an obligation-free case assessment or to start a claim today, just:

Select A Section

  1. The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit Explained
  2. When Could The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit Be Extended?
  3. How Long Can A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
  4. Examples Of Hospital Negligence Claim Payouts
  5. Make A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claim
  6. Read More About The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit

The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit Explained

If you want to make a hospital negligence compensation claim, we suggest seeking legal guidance as soon as possible because of the limitation period for starting a medical negligence claim.

The Limitation Act 1980 sets a clear three-year deadline for starting medical negligence claims. Typically, missing this deadline means the case is time-barred, and you cannot pursue a claim. Although you are given a 3-year window, there are many advantages to starting a claim sooner rather than later. However, some exceptions can alter medical negligence time limits, which we will cover shortly.

The starting point for the three-year hospital negligence claims time limit could be the date the negligence occurred. 

However, if you only learn of a link between negligent care and your pain later on, the three years could start from this time. This is known as the date of knowledge. For example, a negligent medical misdiagnosis and its impact may not be apparent straight away. 

There are benefits of starting a medical negligence claim early. For example, the evidence needed may be easier to collect, witnesses could recall events more clearly, and you will have a longer period before the limitation period expires.

When Could The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit Be Extended?

As we touched on before, some situations may allow you to start a medical negligence claim after the point where it would normally be time-barred. For instance, you may be wondering if you could make a medical negligence claim after five years. 

If you have any further questions about the hospital negligence claim time limit, or how to bring a medical negligence claim you can speak to an advisor for free today.

Vulnerable Persons

Medical negligence can leave someone incapacitated mentally or emotionally, as well as physically, or they can experience medical negligence as a vulnerable person. The time limit for medical negligence is paused indefinitely for someone whose mental state leaves them unable to make the sort of decisions they would have to make to pursue a medical negligence claim. 

The impaired person, known in the process as a protected party, could have a claim made on their behalf. A trusted third party, known as a litigation friend, can be appointed to the case by the court and make decisions on the protected party’s behalf. This means a medical negligence claim could be made after five or ten years. 

However, the affected person may regain full mental capacity and not require a litigation friend. They would have three years from their recovery date to start a medical negligence claim if one is yet to be brought.


Someone who was under 18 when the incident occurred also has a suspended time limit. They will have from their 18th to their 21st birthday to submit a claim.

However, a claim can be brought earlier than this by a court-appointed litigation friend. The litigation friend can make a claim for the minor up until their 18th birthday.

Please get in touch if you have any medical negligence time limit questions or want to seek legal advice about starting a claim.

How Long Can A Medical Negligence Claim Take?

How long can a medical negligence claim take? There is a time limit for starting a medical negligence claim, but there is no set deadline for it to end. This means that a claim’s length cannot be accurately predicted.

For example, if a hospital agrees with the points you make in your claim and offers to negotiate a settlement, the outcome will be quicker than if an agreement cannot be reached and the case goes to court.

The time it takes could also be affected by the severity of your injuries. This is because there may be a delay to allow you to recover and learn how badly you were affected. How Long Does A Hospital Negligence Claim Take

How Long Does A Hospital Negligence Claim Take

A solicitor can help to ensure a case has no needless delays, either on your side or the hospital’s.

Please feel free to contact us for answers to frequently asked questions about how a medical negligence solicitor can help your claim.

Examples Of Hospital Negligence Claim Payouts

Very often, we are asked the average medical negligence claim payout. However, all claims are valued on a case-by-case basis taking into account the individual’s circumstances. Claimants who win medical negligence claims receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress that result from negligent hospital care.

This is known as general damages and can cover a range of complaints, from orthopaedic injuries to hospital-acquired infections.

Those in charge of calculating general damages might use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for support as it contains guideline compensation brackets for numerous injuries.

Compensation Table

We have also utilised the JCG for this illustrative compensation bracket table. The top entry cannot be found in the JCG. Please remember that this is only intended as a guide.

Multiple Serious Injuries And Special DamagesVery SeriousUp to £1,000,000+A combination of multiple very serious injuries and expenses resulting from medical negligence including care costs, prescription charges and a loss of earnings.
ParalysisTetraplegia£324,600 to £403,990Paralysis of the upper and lower body. At the top end of the bracket will be cases where physical pain is present or where there is a significant effect on senses or ability to communicate. Also referred to as quadriplegia.
Brain and HeadVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990There is little evidence of meaningful responses to environment, if any. The affected person needs full-time nursing care.
Moderately Severe£219,070 to £282,010The affected person experiences very serious disability. These disabilities may be physical or cognitive. Their intellect and personality are impaired.
KidneyLoss of Both Kidneys£169,400 to £210,400Two kidneys are lost or at least seriously and permanently damaged.
BowelsCases Involving Double IncontinenceUp to £184,200Natural bowel function is lost, as are urinary function and control. There are other medical complications.
BladderComplete Loss of FunctionUp to £140,660An absolute loss of function and control.
Severe Leg Injuries(ii) Very Serious£54,830 to £87,890Injuries that cause permanent mobility issues and a need for crutches or mobility aids for the remainder of the impacted person's life.
Digestive SystemIllness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury (i)£38,430 to £52,500Hospital admission is required for some days, or weeks, as the affected person experiences the effects of severe toxicosis.
WristInjury Resulting in Significant Permanent Disability£24,500 to £39,170The injury causes disability but some useful movement remains.

Learn More About Other Ways You Could Be Compensated

General damages form one head of a payout in a compensation claim. It can be joined in certain cases by special damages. This second head of claim aims to compensate for financial loss caused by medical negligence.

To seek special damages, you must keep any document that shows evidence of loss. This could include:

  • Payslips showing a loss of earnings from missing work.
  • Travel receipts.
  • Medical bills.
  • Invoices from home adaptation.

If you want to learn more about whether it is possible to claim medical negligence compensation, just call or send a live chat message. Our advisors can explain everything you need to know about compensation claims or the hospital negligence claim time limit.

Make A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claim

As long as you are still within the time limit, and meet the eligibility criteria, you could start a medical negligence claim with the help of one of the expert medical negligence solicitors from our panel. They take on medical negligence claims under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA.)

Being a form of No Win No Fee arrangement, a CFA ensures that if the case loses, the solicitor’s fees do not need to be paid by you. Additionally, there is no upfront or running payment for their work.

Hospital Negligence No Win No Fee Solicitors

Hospital Negligence No Win No Fee Solicitors

Winning the case guarantees the solicitor a success fee. The fee is a small percentage they take from your compensation, with a strict legal cap applied by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 to make sure you walk away with the majority of the settlement.

Talk To Our Team Today About The Time Limit For Medical Negligence Claims

For more information on making a claim for medical negligence within the limitation period, just give us a call or get in touch online. Our advisors can offer free and clear guidance to those who seek advice about medical negligence claims.

Furthermore, you can have your potential medical negligence claim evaluated. A trained medical negligence solicitor from our panel will be ready to help should you have a valid claim.

This service is available to you, and there is no pressure to bring a medical negligence claim. Get started today on your medical negligence claim through one of these routes:

Read More About The Hospital Negligence Claim Time Limit

Here are some more of our medical negligence claim guides:

For further guidance, check out these trusted resources:

Thank you for reading our guide. If you have any questions about the hospital negligence claim time limit or want to discuss compensation claims in more detail, please give us a call.