When Can Doctor Negligence Claims Be Made?

This guide on doctor negligence claims will help you understand when you could be eligible to seek medical negligence compensation after receiving negligent care from a doctor. We also look at the time limits for starting legal proceedings and the exceptions that could potentially apply in some circumstances. 

Furthermore, we outline a doctor’s duty of care and provide examples of how this could be breached leading to avoidable harm. Also, you can see how to make a complaint after receiving poor care from a doctor.

We also offer details on what compensation can result from a successful claim and how settlements aim to address the different ways you have been impacted by medical negligence.

Finally, we discuss how our solicitors can help you with your medical negligence case and the No Win No Fee terms under which they can offer their services.

For more information on clinical negligence claims, please get in touch with us. We can offer a free consultation and assess your eligibility of being able to claim compensation. You can get in touch by:

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Learn About Doctor Negligence Claims

Select A Section

  1. How Can We Help With Doctor Negligence Claims?
  2. When Could Doctor Negligence Claims Be Made?
  3. Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims
  4. Examples Of Medical Negligence Cases By A Doctor
  5. How Do I Make A Formal Complaint About A Doctor?
  6. What Compensation Could You Receive For A Successful Medical Negligence Claim?
  7. How To Make No Win No Fee Doctor Negligence Claims

How Can We Help With Doctor Negligence Claims?

If you are looking to make a claim against a doctor  who provided negligent treatment, we could help. You can call us any time to ask any questions about doctor negligence claims or for a free consultation where we will assess the validity of your case and determine whether you’re eligible to seek medical negligence compensation.

If you have valid grounds to proceed, we could then connect you with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors who could help you through the different stages of the claims process. Some of the services they could offer include:

  • Help gather evidence to prove medical negligence and support your case.
  • Ensuring your case is put forward within the relevant time limit.
  • Sending important correspondence on your behalf.
  • Valuing your compensation claim.
  • Keeping you updated on the different stages of the claims process.

Additionally, you won’t need to worry about working with a solicitor local to you. Our GP negligence solicitors offer their services nationwide so you can benefit from their experience and knowledge of clinical negligence claims wherever you are in the country.

To find out more about how we could help, please call us using the contact details above.

When Could Doctor Negligence Claims Be Made?

Doctors, like all medical professionals, owe each of their patients a duty of care. This means they must provide care that meets the correct standard. A failure by a medical professional or healthcare professional to do so leading to avoidable harm being suffered by a patient could constitute medical negligence.

In order to have valid grounds to bring forward a medical negligence claim, you must be able to show the following:

  • The doctor owed a duty of care to their patient.
  • They did not meet the correct standard of care, thereby breaching their duty.
  • This led to the patient suffering avoidable harm.

In order to prove you meet the eligibility criteria for doctor negligence claims, evidence can be gathered. This could include copies of your medical records, such as doctor reports, diagnosis letters, and test results.

Additionally, if you choose to instruct one of our experienced medical negligence solicitors, they can arrange for you to attend an independent medical assessment which may be required as part of the claims process. Following this appointment, a report will be produced detailing the full extent of the harm you suffered which can be used as evidence to strengthen your case.

For further guidance on the eligibility criteria for seeking medical negligence compensation, please contact an advisor on the number above.

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Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims

In addition to proving you meet the eligibility criteria mentioned above, you need to ensure your claim is submitted within the relevant time limits for medical negligence claims.

The Limitation Act 1980 applies a three-year time limit to medical negligence claims, meaning they must begin within three years of the date medical negligence occurred.

Medical negligence is not always immediately apparent. Therefore, the three-year time limit can also start from when you realised you suffered medical negligence.

Some exceptions can alter the limitation period, such as if the person affected is under 18 years old. In this instance, the time limit is paused as children cannot start a claim themselves. A litigation friend could be appointed by the courts to claim for them while the limitation period is paused. If that does not happen, the affected person has from their 18th birthday to their 21st to submit a claim.

Similarly, a litigation friend could help someone without the mental capacity to claim, as their limitation period is suspended indefinitely. Should the affected person get better without a litigation friend intervening, they have three years from the recovery date to claim.

If you want to check the time limit for doctor negligence claims after receiving negligent treatment, just give us a call and talk to an advisor.

Examples Of Medical Negligence Cases By A Doctor

Below, we have provided examples of how a doctor could potentially provide substandard care leading to avoidable harm:

  • A GP does not listen to all of their patient’s symptoms resulting in an ovarian cancer misdiagnosis that leads to the cancer spreading to other organs.
  • A doctor incorrectly assumes that a patient’s stroke was a seizure and does not order further tests. Their stroke misdiagnosis means the patient receives delayed treatment and suffers complications.
  • The patient receives a blood test referral. A doctor does not pay attention during the test and misses the vein, causing serious nerve damage in the arm by hitting one of the arm’s nerves directly.
  • After receiving their diagnosis, the patient is prescribed medicine by their doctor. The medication contains an ingredient that the patient’s medical records show they are allergic to. Because of the prescription error, the patient has a bad drug allergic reaction and suffers the effects of toxicosis as well as anaphylaxis. 

If you were given negligent medical treatment resulting in receiving the wrong medication, the incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, delayed diagnosis, or wrong diagnosis, for example, by a doctor due to them providing substandard care and this led to you experiencing avoidable harm, you might be eligible to start a clinical negligence claim. 

Call us using the number listed above and we can answer any questions you have about doctor negligence claims, including when you could seek medical negligence compensation for negligent medical treatment.

How Do I Make A Formal Complaint About A Doctor?

You could make a complaint about a negligent doctor via a few different avenues. Firstly, you could direct the complaint against the service provider where you received negligent treatment. Alternatively, you could submit a complaint to the following organisations: 

  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This ombudsman was set up by Parliament to make final decisions on complaints that have been made to the NHS in England and UK government departments that haven’t been resolved.
  • NHS Resolution is an arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care. They help to fairly resolve concerns and disputes on behalf of the NHS.
  • The General Medical Council is an independent regulator of doctors in the UK. You can direct your concerns to them about a doctor’s behaviour and they may choose to investigate to determine whether patient safety is at risk. 

It’s important to note, that you may not necessarily be able to make a medical or clinical negligence claim even if you have made a complaint about your doctor. To have valid grounds to seek compensation after receiving negligent care from a doctor, you must prove they breached their duty of care and caused you avoidable harm.

Learn more by giving us a call or speaking to us about your experience online. An advisor can explain how to report a doctor’s negligence as well as how to claim compensation.

What Compensation Could You Receive For A Successful Medical Negligence Claim?

Compensation following successful medical negligence claims can contain up to two heads of loss.

Firstly, general damages aim to address the physical and mental impacts of medical negligence.

Those responsible for calculating your payout could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document consisting of guideline compensation brackets for various injuries. They could also use the report from your independent medical assessment alongside the JCG. 

Compensation Table

The table below uses figures from the JCG, except for the first entry. Please note that this table is only a guide and settlements awarded in successful doctor negligence claims will vary depending on the specific factors of each case. 

Multiple Serious Injuries and Illness Plus Special DamagesVery SeriousUp to £500,000+A payout that reflects the physical and mental impacts of medical negligence, plus loss of earnings, medical bills, and other expenses covered by the special damages head of claim.
Brain and HeadModerately Severe£219,070 to £282,010There is a substantial dependence on others, and a need for constant professional or other care, due to the injured person being very seriously disabled.
KidneySerious and Permanent Damage or Loss£169,400 to £210,400Cases where both the kidneys are affected.
BladderDouble IncontinenceUp to £184,200The total loss of natural bowel function accompanied by a complete loss of urinary function and control. There are also further medical complications.
BowelsTotal Loss of Natural FunctionUp to £150,110Loss of function is coupled with a need for colostomy, dependent on age.
Digestive SystemIllness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic Injury (i)£38,430 to £52,500Cases of severe toxicosis. The affected person suffers serious acute pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. Hospital admission is needed for days or weeks.
SpleenLoss of Spleen£20,800 to £26,290The risk of internal infection and disorders continues because of immune system damage.
ArmLess Severe £19,200 to £39,170Injury causes significant disabilities. However, recovery takes place or is expected to a substantial degree.

Special Damages

You could also receive special damages as part of your doctor negligence claim settlement. This second head of loss accounts for your financial losses resulting from medical negligence.

For example, you could reclaim expenses like:

  • Medical expenses, such as prescriptions.
  • Travel costs.
  • Domestic care bills.
  • A loss of earnings if you cannot go back to work.

Keep hold of any receipts, payslips, or any documents you can use as proof of your outgoings.

Please call us if you want to learn more about how medical negligence claim compensation is calculated and what you could potentially receive for a successful case.

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How To Make No Win No Fee Doctor Negligence Claims

Our panel of specialist medical negligence solicitors uses their combined decades of experience to help people seek compensation for doctor negligence. If you have eligible grounds to claim, you could be connected to a medical negligence solicitor off our panel and offered a Conditional Fee Agreement.

This is a particular kind of No Win No Fee contract where your solicitor will not charge you upfront for their work. And while they keep you updated throughout the process, you will not pay for any running costs they incur. Losing the claim would mean no fee for the solicitor’s services either.

They would be entitled to a success fee if you win your claim and receive a payout. This means a small percentage of your compensation would go to them. However, because of The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the percentage they can take is capped ensuring you receive the majority of your settlement.

Contact Us

You can talk to us at any time to seek legal advice for free if you have questions about medical negligence or claiming for negligent care by a doctor. Also, if you have a valid case, you could be connected to one of our panel’s expert No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors.

Talking to us is completely free, so why not find out how to claim today via the contact details below:

  • Call 0800 652 3087.
  • Use our web form to discuss a potential claim online and ask for a call.
  • Send a message on live chat in the pop-up tab so we can help.

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How To Find Out More About Claiming For Medical Negligence

Here are some further medical negligence claims guides:

These resources may also help you:

Thank you for reading our guide to doctor negligence claims. To discuss your own prospective claim, just call the number listed above.