If you’ve undergone an unnecessary surgical procedure, this guide looks at whether you could make a medical negligence claim.
When we refer to “unnecessary surgery”, we are talking about an operation that you have undergone due to a mistake or error on behalf of a medical professional or because you were not given alternative options. Unnecessary surgery is also not the same thing as surgery gone wrong, despite there being some crossover.
This article outlines the eligibility criteria for filing a claim after unnecessary surgery. We’ve also included information on the potential consequences of unnecessary surgery and recommended actions to take after the incident if wanting to pursue medical negligence compensation.
You’ll also find information on how compensation for unnecessary surgery is calculated, as well as the benefits of making a claim with the help of our No Win No Fee solicitors.
Get in touch with our advisors if you have any questions regarding surgical negligence claims. You can find our contact information just below. Read on for more information.
Select A Section
- Unnecessary Surgery Medical Negligence Claims Explained
- Injuries Caused By Unnecessary Surgery
- Evidence Needed To Claim For Unnecessary Surgery?
- Compensation Settlements For Unnecessary Surgery Claims
- How To Get Help From A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Find Out More About Medical Negligence Claims
When making a medical negligence claim, your case’s validity depends on a number of factors. One of the biggest considerations is whether you were owed a duty of care at the time the medical negligence took place. If you underwent an operation, then the surgeon owed you a duty of care as you were their patient.
Every medical professional must provide a level of care that meets the standard required of them. If they fail to uphold this duty of care, it’s said to have been breached. A breach of a medical professional’s duty of care is also an important consideration when making a claim.
Undergoing an unnecessary surgical procedure can be an example of medical negligence. To find out if you could make a claim on these grounds, call our advisors for free information.
Time Limits To Make A Claim
Medical negligence claims for unnecessary surgical procedures need to have begun within 3 years. This can be from the date of the surgery or when you realised that the surgery was not necessary. This is the limitation period you have to start your claim. Although this time limit is stated in The Limitation Act 1980, the same Act also includes exceptions to this timeframe.
Get in touch today if you want to know if you’re eligible to make a claim following unnecessary surgery.
We’ve included some examples in this section of ways you could be harmed due to unnecessary surgery, apart from the fact you have had surgery you don’t need. The list below contains some examples, although it is not exhaustive:
- Removal of internal organs – You may have had a kidney removed due to a misdiagnosis, for example.
- Infection/illness – You could pick up an infection as a result of the avoidable surgery.
- Unnecessary amputation – Your patient files are mixed up, meaning you undergo the wrong operation, and a limb is amputated.
- Pain and discomfort – The process of recovering from surgery can cause physical pain and psychological harm. It could all have been avoided if the unnecessary surgery had been prevented.
- Internal bleeding – There could be complications with an operation you undergo. While this is not necessarily avoidable with a procedure that you needed, the harm wouldn’t have been inflicted upon you if the unnecessary surgery had been prevented.
- Death – Some surgeries carry with them the risk of being fatal.
Our advisors are always available to answer any questions you may have regarding a claim for unnecessary surgery. Get in touch at any time of the day or night.
If you want to make a medical negligence claim for unnecessary surgery, then you’ll need to support any claim with evidence. With clinical negligence claims such as these, medical evidence can be very useful. For example, your medical records. You could also present your hospital discharge letter.
You’ll also need to undergo an independent medical assessment as part of the claims process. The results of this can be presented as evidence.
There may also be a Bolam Test requested. This is when a panel of medical professionals is assembled to give their opinion on whether the care you received was of the correct standard. Not every breach of a duty of care is necessarily medical negligence.
It can also be helpful to seek legal advice when making a claim for unnecessary surgery.
If you make a successful medical negligence claim for unnecessary surgery, you will be awarded a settlement that will compensate you for your pain and suffering, under general damages and financial losses, under special damages. The amount changes on a case-by-case basis because each claimant’s circumstances are accounted for.
There are various resources, such as medical evidence, that are used when a general damages payment is being valued. Another resource is a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG was lasted updated in 2022. It contains figures based on cases that had success in court.
Figures Taken From The JCG
The table below contains figures from the latest edition of the JCG. The value of your own general damages payment will depend on the extent of your own pain and suffering. The brackets shown are only for guidance.
|Harm Caused To:
|Head and Brain
|(a) There will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment, little or no language function, double incontinence.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Established Petit Mal
|(b) The award within these brackets will be affected by whether attacks are successfully controlled by medication,
|£54,830 to £131,370
|Amputation of Arms
|Loss of One Arm (i)
|(b) When the arm is amputated at the shoulder.
|Not less than £137,160
|(a) Both kidneys will have been lost, or they will have sustained permanent and serious damage.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Loss of One Kidney
|(c) Although one kidney is not damaged, the other is lost.
|£30,770 to £44,880
|(a) In the worst instances, the claimant will have had a lung removed. The heart may also have sustained serious damage, causing pain and suffering as well as scarring of a significant nature.
|£100,670 to £150,110
|(c) Disability brought on by damage to the chest/lung(s).
|£31,310 to £54,830
|(a) An amputation is performed, where one leg is lost above the knee.
|£104,830 to £137,470
|(a) Internal infection is an ongoing risk due to the loss of the organ.
|£20,800 to £26,290
An Overview Of Special Damages
Special damages is the name of a second head of claim that some cases can include. If you’re eligible to receive a special damages payment, then this means you could be reimbursed for the financial impact of the harm you’ve experienced. However, you will need evidence, such as receipts and other documentation, to prove they have taken place.
Here are a few examples of what could be included in a special damages payment:
- Loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- Prosthetic limbs.
- Adaptations to your property.
- Care at home.
For a full valuation of your medical negligence compensation claim in the wake of unnecessary surgery, get in touch with our advisors today.
Claiming for unnecessary surgical procedures can seem like a daunting task at first. This is why we advise you to seek the help of a professional. All of our solicitors operate under a form of No Win No Fee arrangement. The one they offer their clients is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
A CFA allows you full access to your solicitor’s legal services without the need to pay anything upfront. Instead, your solicitor is paid only if your claim succeeds. They take a legally capped percentage of your compensation, known as a success fee. The success fee is not taken from you if your claim fails.
It’s free to contact our advisors. They can provide you with guidance regarding surgical and hospital negligence claims free of charge and connect you with one of our No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors if your claim is valid.
You can speak with us at any time of the day or night, and we will answer your questions about unnecessary surgery claims.
The links below will take you to additional reading material that you may also find helpful.
More from us:
- Cosmetic surgery claims for medical negligence – Our guide on this subject.
- Hip replacement medical negligence – Find out if you could claim.
- Plastic surgery negligence claims – Read about claiming for negligence during this form of elective surgery.
Information from other sources:
- Litigation friends – It can be possible to appoint someone to claim on behalf of someone unable to do so themselves.
- Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes – Government information.
- Amputation – Information from the NHS.
Thank you for reading our guide on claims for unnecessary surgery.