By Jo Stratton. Last Updated 4th July 2023. Medical negligence claims can be made when a medical practitioner breaches their duty of care towards you which causes you harm.
When you or a member of your family suffers harm because of medical negligence, the outcome can be devastating. If you are the sole income provider, it can lead to financial problems. When a loved one suffers because a medical professional made a mistake, or they breached their ‘duty of care’, the outcome can be far-reaching.
In the following sections, you will find information and advice on what constitutes medical negligence. We cover things like proving a breach in ‘duty of care’ that medical practitioners owe their patients.
We have included a table that offers an idea on medical negligence compensation payouts based on the Judicial College Guidelines.
For more information and to find out if you have good cause to file a medical negligence claim, please continue reading our guide. If you have any questions a member of our team is here to take your call. You can speak to a friendly adviser by calling 0800 652 3087 our lines are open 24/7.
Select A Section
- What Is A Medical Negligence Claim?
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation?
- Advice On What Steps To Take When Making A Claim
- How To Make Complaints About Substandard Medical Care
- Who Could You Take Legal Action Against?
- Medical Negligence Claim Time Limits
- Compensation Payouts In Medical Negligence Claims
- Medical Negligence Claims And No Win No Fee Agreements
- Make A Medical Negligence Claim Today
- Where To Find Further Advice
If you or a member of your family suffered harm because of medical negligence, you may be able to sue for compensation. There are many reasons why a medical practitioner can be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Some examples being:
- A necessary surgery or treatment is delayed
- A condition is misdiagnosed
- Serious symptoms are missed
- A surgical procedure goes wrong
These are just some of the reasons why medical negligence claims can be made by patients, but there are plenty more. That said, when you make a medical negligence claim, you must be able to show that you were caused harm, or that a pre-existing condition was made worse. In short, it is important to prove that a medical practitioner breached their ‘duty of care’ towards you or a family member.
To clarify, to make a successful medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove 2 things. Firstly, that the standard of care provided fell below that of a reasonably competent medical practitioner who provides the same care in a specific area of medicine (negligence). Secondly, you suffered mental or physical harm as a consequence of a medical practitioner’s negligence (causation)
For further information on what constitutes medical negligence, please call a member of our team today. One of our expert advisers will provide free advice and review whether you have grounds to sue for medical negligence compensation.
To make a successful medical negligence claim against a practitioner or party responsible for the harm you are caused, you must prove 2 things as detailed below:
- Firstly, the standard of care a medical practitioner provided fell below that of a reasonably competent medical practitioner who works in the same area of medicine -negligence
- Secondly, you were caused to suffer harm, mental or physical due to the negligence of the medical practitioner – causation
You would be eligible to make a medical negligence claim providing you can prove both of the above apply to your case. If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please contact a member of our team today.
When you believe you or a family member suffered due to medical negligence, you should contact a qualified lawyer to find out if you have good reason to sue. That said, you should take the following steps as soon as you can:
- File a formal complaint with the responsible party detailing what happened to you and why you believe the care/treatment provided is substandard
- Gather as much evidence as you can which includes a medical report of the harm suffered. You may also have to provide your medical records to a solicitor who represents you. Should your case goes to court, the medical report provided by an independent specialist will be used as evidence
To find out how we can be of assistance in making a successful medical negligence claim, please contact an adviser today. We will review your case free of charge and let you know if you have good cause to seek medical negligence compensation.
Healthcare professionals should obtain your informed consent when you undergo any treatment they recommend for you. However, there is an exception which is if you are unconscious at the time of treatment and urgent care is needed to save your life.
Furthermore, you are entitled to receive a standard of care that is deemed ‘reasonable’ whether you are treated by the NHS or in the private sector. Occasionally, mistakes are made which can lead to medical negligence claims being made.
When you are dissatisfied with the care or treatment you receive, or you think it was substandard, the medical practitioner who treated you must let you know when things have gone wrong. You have the right to make a formal complaint to the party responsible.
When you make a complaint to the NHS, you have the option to:
- File a complaint to the healthcare provider who treated you if they provided an NHS service. Examples are a hospital, GP surgery, or a dental surgery
- Lodge a formal complaint to the commissioner which is the body that pays for the services or care you received
When your complaint involves primary care services which include those provided by GPs, opticians, dentists, or pharmacists, you should contact NHS England.
To complain about the hospital care you received, or mental health services as well as community services and out-of-hours services, you should contact the relevant local clinical commissioning group.
If you want to make a complaint against a public health organisation, you should contact the relevant local authority.
It is worth noting that you can file a complaint in writing, by contacting someone directly who works in the organisation, or by sending an email. You must also make sure that you file a complaint within 12 months of an incident, or within 12 months of the date of awareness. The deadline (time limit) may be extended providing it is still feasible to investigate a complaint.
To learn more about making a complaint about substandard care or treatment, please get in touch with an adviser today.
You can take legal action against a healthcare provider responsible for the harm you were caused through medical negligence. This could be any of the following:
- A doctor or GP – in some cases a GP would be liable and in other cases the defendant could be the NHS Trust
- Registered healthcare providers
- Medical professionals who work in the private healthcare sector. You can usually make medical negligence claims for substandard care and treatment provided in a private healthcare facility
- Dentists when you believe they were negligent and this caused you to suffer
To find out whether you have good reason to seek medical negligence compensation, and who could be liable for the harm you were caused, please get in touch today.
The statutory time limit to making medical negligence claims is not the same as that of personal injury claims. You have:
- 3 years from the ‘date of awareness’ to seek compensation
The date of awareness is when you first know about the harm caused through medical negligence. You may not be aware of the harm you were caused straight away. Moreover, the harm you were caused through a misdiagnosis may only be known years later. It is worth noting that the deadline for suing the NHS for medical negligence is the same.
That said, exceptions to the 3-year rule exist as detailed below:
- If a minor (a child under the age of 18) is harmed through medical negligence, a claim can be made when they turn 18 years old. As such, medical negligence claims can be made right up to their 21st birthday
- There is no time limit when a claimant lacks the ‘mental capacity’ to make a medical negligence claim, or they suffer brain damage, or a mental illness, the claimant is a ‘protected party‘
- Families have 3 years from the date of death of a loved on to make medical negligence claims. If the person dies before a settlement is reached, the family has 3 years to seek compensation from the date of their loved one’s death
If you are worried you may have missed the deadline to making a claim, please get in touch with a member of our team today.
If you successfully claim compensation for medical negligence, your payout will include general damages.
This head of claim compensates you for the unnecessary harm you experienced. When valuing general damages for medical negligence claims, legal professionals could look at the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for help. This publication that lists guideline payout amounts for different forms of harm.
Below, you will see some figures from the most recent edition of the JCG, published in April 2022. These figures are only meant as a guide. How much compensation you could receive may be affected by the specific factors of your claim.
|Type of Injury
|Guideline Compensation Bracket
|The award would be valued depending on the degree of pain, independence, depression, life expectancy and age and impact on sexual function.
|£219,070 to £284,260
|Permanent and serious damage to or loss of both kidneys.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Reproductive System: Female
|Failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy, leading to infertility in a younger person.
|£114,900 to £170,280
|Reproductive System: Male
|Total loss of sexual function, sterility and total impotence in a young person.
|£114,900 to £148,320
|Complete loss of control and function of the bladder.
|Up to £140,660
|A disease such as emphysema that worsens the lung's function and impairs breathing.
|£54,830 to £70,030
|Less severe - a good recovery would have taken place but there may be persisting problems with memory and concentration.
|£15,320 to £43,060
|Other than petit and grand mal. Award would depend on the consequences of the attacks on the person's life.
|£10,640 to £26,290
|Permanent injuries but where there is a return to natural control and function eventually.
|£12,590 to £24,480
|Collapsed lung but with full recovery and no complications
|£2,190 to £5,320
Furthermore, you may also be eligible to receive special damages as part of your compensation settlement. This head of claim compensates you for the financial expenses you’ve experienced due to the medical negligence.
Examples of the losses you could be compensated for under special damages include:
- Medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- Care costs.
- Loss of earnings.
Collecting evidence regarding these losses could help support your claim for special damages. Invoices, receipts and a copy of your bank statements could all be used as evidence.
To learn what compensation you could receive if your claim is successful, you can contact our advisors at any time. They could give you a personalised estimate for your claim.
A member of our team will thoroughly review whether you have good reason to sue for medical negligence compensation. Once this is done, you could make a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim. In short, you won’t have to worry about paying upfront for much-needed legal representation.
When a No Win No Fee lawyer agrees to take on your claim, they will send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign and return. Once the personal injury solicitor receives the signed agreement, they can begin work on your case without asking for any fees.
You pay for the legal services a No Win No Fee lawyer provides when you win medical negligence compensation. The amount, the ‘success fee’ is an agreed percentage set out in the CFA. It is legally capped and deducted from the compensation payout you receive.
Should you lose your claim for compensation, you will not pay the success fee to the solicitor, and no other court costs either. In short, having a No Win No Fee solicitor act on your behalf takes the worry of financial risks off the table.
To find out if you could make a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim for compensation, please get in touch today.
If you have any further questions about making medical negligence claims, and to find out if you have good reason to seek compensation, please call an adviser today. You can discuss your case with a member of our team by:
- Calling 0800 652 3087
- Filling out our Contact Form by clicking here
- Writing to us at Medical Negligence Assist.co.uk
- Chatting to an adviser on our Live Chat
Lines are open 24/7 days and an adviser will offer free advice on how to go forward with a medical negligence claim after thoroughly reviewing your case.
Below, you can find out more about how to claim compensation for medical negligence.