This guide will examine what compensation you could be awarded after a successful negligent eye treatment claim. If you have recently been treated by an ophthalmologist at a hospital and suffered injuries to your eye that could have been avoided you may be thinking of making a medical negligence claim.
This guide will not only look at how compensation is calculated for this type of claim, but it will also discuss in detail the eligibility criteria that need to be met to have a valid medical negligence claim.
Evidence is an important part of making a negligent eye treatment claim for compensation so we have provided you with a section that looks at the type of evidence you could gather to support your claim as well as this we also have a section on example scenarios of how your eyes could be damaged avoidably in a medical setting.
To conclude this guide we have chosen to talk about the benefits of instructing a solicitor that offers their services via a No Win No Fee arrangement.
Get in touch with our advisors today if you have any questions. They can offer you free guidance and may even be able to connect you with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel if your claim is valid. Read on for more information.
Select A Section
- What Could You Claim For Negligent Eye Treatment?
- When Could You Make An Ophthalmology Negligence Claim?
- What Could Cause Negligent Eye Treatment?
- Evidence Supporting Claims For Medical Negligence
- How Medical Negligence Assist Could Help You
- Further Guidance On Claims For Negligent Eye Treatment
Compensation for negligent eye treatment is calculated in a bespoke manner. This means that the value of a claim will differ on a case-by-case basis. Various factors are taken into account when the legal professionals associated with your case are arriving at a suitable amount.
The head of claim for your pain and suffering is called general damages. Negligent eye treatment could cause various levels of pain and suffering, and this is considered when a figure is being settled on. For instance, the total loss of an eye would tend to be worth more in general damages than if there is just temporary blindness in one eye.
When a medical negligence claim such as this is being valued, legal professionals make use of various resources to assist them in their calculations. One of these resources is a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Last updated in 2022, the JCG consists of guidance figures based on court cases that have been successful in the past.
It’s important to use them only as a rough guide. The value of your own claim will depend on your own circumstances.
|Injuries Affecting Sight
|(b) Complete blindness.
|The claimant has completely lost their eye sight.
|In the region of £268,720
|(c) Loss of sight in one eye, with the remaining eye suffering from reduced vision - (i)
|There will be a risk of a serious nature of further deterioration in the eye that remains.
|£95,990 to £179,770
|(c) Loss of sight in one eye, with the remaining eye suffering from reduced vision - (ii)
|Reduced vision in the remaining eye and/or double vision.
|£63,950 to £105,990
|(d) Total Loss of One Eye
|The award will take into consideration age, psychiatric consequences and cosmetic effect.
|£54,830 to £65,710
|(e) Total Loss Of Sight In One Eye
|This award takes account of some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia.
|£49,270 to £54,830
|(f) Loss Of Sight In One Eye
|Incomplete but serious loss of vision in one eye. Without significant risk of loss or reduction of vision in the remaining eye.
|£23,680 to £39,340
|(g) Minor But Permanent
|One or both eyes, where there is some double vision, which may not be constant, and permanent sensitivity to bright light but not require glasses.
|£9,110 to £20,980
You could also be reimbursed for the financial impact of being harmed due to negligent eye treatment and ensuing eye injuries. These costs and losses fall under a head of claim called special damages. For instance, you could be reimbursed for costs and losses caused by:
- Loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses.
- Prescription glasses.
- Eye tests.
- Travel costs.
- Adaptations to your home.
This area of your claim also needs to be supported by evidence. Keep hold of payslips and receipts, as these can prove very helpful.
Ophthalmologists are doctors who treat eye conditions, they can diagnose, treat and prevent disorders connected with the eyes and eyesight. As medical professionals, they owe a duty of care to all patients they are treating. They must provide patients with the correct standard whether they work in public or private healthcare. If a medical professional were to breach the duty of care they have to patients, this could cause injury that was avoidable.
When making a claim for clinical negligence, you need to be aware of the eligibility criteria. There are 3 main ones, which we’ve listed below:
- Duty of care – Every medical professional owes each of their patients this duty. If you’ve been treated by a medical professional, then they owe you a duty of care. This means that they are required to provide you with a level of care that meets a certain standard.
- Breach of duty – This occurs when the duty of care is not upheld. In other words, the care that a medical professional provides you with will not have met the standard that’s required of them.
- Harm caused – A breach of a medical professional’s duty of care is not enough to claim. It must have caused you to experience harm. Although, the harm can be physical, psychological, or both.
The above criteria form the basis of what is known as medical negligence. It is also sometimes known as clinical negligence.
Medical Negligence Claim Time limits
It is also important that you be aware of how long you have to begin a clinical negligence claim. We know from the Limitation Act 1980 that the general time limit is 3 years from the date you experienced negligence. This is the timeframe in which you must begin the process of claiming. However, there are exceptions to this time limit.
For instance, the time limit functions slightly differently if the person who has experienced negligent eye treatment is:
- Only becomes aware of the negligence at a later date.
- Under 18.
- Lacking the mental capacity to claim for themselves.
Get in touch with our advisors today for more information.
There are various forms of eye treatment:
- Cornea transplant surgery.
- Cataract surgery.
- Glaucoma treatment.
- Strabismus treatment.
- Laser eye surgery.
There is more than one way a doctor or other medical professional could breach their duty of care. Below, we’ve provided some illustrative examples. However, the list is not exhaustive.
- Wrong eye surgery – You may have undergone an operation such as a cornea transplant. However, the surgeon may have operated on the wrong eye. This could result in you losing a healthy cornea, and still needing another operation to replace the cornea that originally required the procedure.
- Wrong patient surgery – You may be scheduled to receive cataract surgery, but instead receive a cornea transplant as the result of a mix-up with another patient.
- Negligent surgery – The surgeon slips while using a diamond scapel that results in the loss of vision, or perhaps the loss of an eye altogether.
- Delayed referral to a specialist – Your GP failed to recognise the need for you to have an urgent referral to an eye specialist. During this time, your sight or eye could deteriorate in a way that could have been otherwise avoided.
Claims for ophthalmic negligence need to be supported with evidence. If you have a good amount of evidence, this can be very useful. Although your own claim may present different or additional opportunities to gather evidence, we’ve included a few general examples in the list below.
- Your medical records – It’s your right to request access to these whenever you like. Treatment information will feature, along with other aspects of your health such as illnesses you’ve experienced or are experiencing.
- Test results – Scans and X-rays need to be interpreted correctly by a trained professional. If a condition is missed, then it could become worse. Having the original scan can mean it’s reassessed by other medical professionals to see if the illness could have been spotted earlier than it was.
- Bolam test – This is when a medical professional’s peers will offer their expert opinion on your case. They can weigh in on whether the doctor or surgeon breached their duty of care.
You will also be invited to attend an independent medical assessment as part of the claims process. Your solicitor will arrange this for you. It will be in your local area, so travel can be kept to a minimum. Get in touch today to find out more about proof of medical negligence.
If you’ve suffered medical negligence by an optician, doctor, or surgeon, then get in touch today to see if you can start a claim. All of our solicitors work under a form of No Win No Fee deal called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means you can access their services without paying any upfront fees.
If your claim succeeds, then your No Win No Fee solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. It’s taken in the form of a legally capped percentage.
Reach out today. Our advisors are available 24/7 to assist with your claim. They will have some questions for you about the negligent eye treatment you’ve received. Once you answer them, our advisors will be able to offer bespoke guidance and information.
If they think your claim could be valid, then they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to begin the medical negligence claims process. However, you are under no obligation to start a claim after speaking with our advisors. All initial advice is free, as is getting in touch.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for harm caused by negligent eye treatment. Follow the links below to learn more about these claims and related subjects.
More of our guides:
- How to report medical negligence – Find out by reading this guide.
- How to report a doctor’s negligence – A guide on this specific topic.
- Misdiagnosis compensation claims – Information on whether you could be owed compensation.
- Medical Negligence – Frequently asked questions.
Information from other sources:
- Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes – Information from Gov.UK
- Eye injuries – Helpful information from the NHS.
- Litigation friends – Find out about claiming on behalf of someone else.