Hospital Negligence Claims Explained

Health care workers  who work in hospitals today dedicate much of their life to their work; with longer hours and cuts in pay most workers in the health industry are pushed to their max. However, this does not stop their dedication and hard work on a daily basis. Much of the work done by health care workers goes unnoticed but without such keen and caring people the health service would not be what it is today. That said, things in this field do not always go to plan and mistakes do happen that alter people’s lives for the worst all.

What is Clinical & Medical Negligence?

Clinical negligence seems to be the term that is replacing medical negligence but represents the same meaning. Medical negligence is the act or omission of a health care worker which can be a nurse, dentist, doctor etc who have provided a service or treatment that has been below the expectation of the patient that has in turn caused an injury.

Types of Hospital Negligence;

–          Amputation error – in some cases of hospital negligence patients have had the wrong limb amputated. This may be due to medical files that have been written up wrongly or x-rays read incorrectly which in turn can leave a patient still needing the correct limb needing amputation.

–          Brain Injuries – such injuries can be obtained a number of ways the most likely being through errors with anaesthetic. It is vital for medical staffs to take a full history of the patients and their family to rule out any inherited problems with anaesthetic. If the information is not asked for and the patient has an adverse reaction  leading to brain damage that could have been prevented if there was a family history of anaesthetic problems, then the hospital is liable for negligence.

–          Cardiology treatment and diagnosis errors – on some occasions health worker have missed common signs that have showed problems with a patient’s heart. It has not been examined further only for the patient further down the line to suffer a heart attack then a diagnosis error has occurred.

–          Deep vein thrombosis delays in treatment – the signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can be dismissed which evidently leads to a delay in providing appropriate treatment at the right time. Delays in prescribing anticoagulants can therefore result in life threatening circumstances.

–          Hernia Negligence Injuries – very often surgeries to correct hernia’s can mean that other internal organs suffer. When having corrective hernia surgery there is a chance that other organs could be punctured leading to further treatment and maybe more surgery needed.

–          Neurological Injuries – hospital negligence can lead to neurological injuries that can leave patients with problems with their brain and nervous system as well as the spinal cord. Such problems can be a result of doctors and medical staff failing to diagnose a brain haemorrhage as scans were either delayed or not used at all.

–          Pressure sores – such injuries can be obtained when patients are neglected and not washed and moved correctly while at hospital. Pressure soars can be painful and if not carefully cared for become infected which in turn can have its own problems.

–          Retained surgical instruments – as hard as it is to believe during surgery patients have been known to have surgical instruments left inside them and sewn up. Such surgical negligence has been brought to attention once the patient is scanned due to the pain suffered and the instrument has been flagged up.

–          Spinal injury – such injuries can arise when spinal surgery is taking place to stabilise a fracture during surgery or in treating congenital disorders such a slipped discs. Injuries to the spine can also happen due to low blood pressure during surgery and in delayed diagnosis in the event of Cauda Equina Syndrome.

–          Surgical Errors, problems can take place while a patient is having surgery especially if the surgery is done on the wrong part of the body. This is often referred to as wrong site surgery. A person may need surgery on a particular organ but a completely different organ is operated on which was in fine order. This can lead to more surgery being needed and problems arising from the organ that was operated on by mistake.

–          Transportation mistakes –  this can arise when an ambulance is delayed at arriving at the emergency location. This can lead to varies errors, the main being the patient being delayed treatment that is urgently needed.


Compensation Calculated For The Above Hospital Negligence Injuries

Injuries Sustained in Hospital Negligence   Estimated Compensation Calculated
Amputation Error –          Both leg amputation-          One leg amputation-          Both arm amputation-          One arm amputation  £150,000 to £180,000*£60,000 to £90,000*£165,000 to £200,000*£80,000 to £100,000*
Brain Injuries (depending on severity) £8,500 to total exceeding £200,000* 
Cardiology Errors £50,000 to £70, 000* 
Deep Vein Thrombosis Delay in Treatment  £30,000* 
Negligence with Hernia Surgery £150,000* 
Neurological Injuries (depending on severity) £8,500 to total exceeding £200,000*  
Pressure Sores £30,000* 
Retained Surgical Instruments £3,000 upwards* 
Spinal Injury £1,000 to excess £300,000* 
Surgical Errors   £10.000 to £190,000+*

*The examples provided are for illustrative purposes only, and may differ from compensation offered in your case.


Frequently Asked Questions For Hospital Negligence Claims


How Do I Make a Claim Against The Hospital?

Hospital ClaimsMaking a claim for hospital negligence may first start off by making a complaint to the hospital involved to give them chance to answer your claim. Once a letter of complaint has been put forward and the hospital notified, the important question is whether to have a hospital negligence law firm handle your case. By appointing a law firm you can take the weight off you and they can evaluate the case and give answers to many of the question needed answering.

Why Appoint a Hospital Negligence Claims Law Firm?

One of the most important steps in pursuing a claim for medical negligence is deciding on an appropriate law firm. Deciding to appoint a solicitor is important in order for any case to reach its full potential as medical negligence cases can be quite lengthy and extremely complicated. To an untrained eye much of a medical negligence case can be a wrapped up in medical and law jargon that only a legal professional is trained to understand.

Choosing the right medical negligence law firm is vital to the case in order for it to progress and get the right result. Researching several firms and knowing their success rate will help in deciding the firm to go with. Whatever solicitor is chosen they must be an ultimate professional in the field of medical negligence so that they know the law that reflects hospital negligence.

The solicitors will then handle the case on your behalf, gaining medical records, medical expert reports and any witnesses that may be available. The solicitors will be the intermediary that will put the case forward either to the court or the law firm representing the hospital.

How Do I Fund a Claim for Hospital Negligence?

Most hospital negligence cases are funded through a conditional fee which usually means ‘No Win No Fee’. This means that if the case is lost the patient has no financial risk as they do not have to pay any money out either to the opposing side or to pay their own legal fees. If the case is won the law has now changed which means the client pays a percentage of the legal fees.

How Long Do I Have to Make Hospital Negligence Claim?

Most hospital negligence cases have a three year limit, meaning that any negligence must be brought before the court within three years of it taking place. There are certain circumstances in which the three years limit is extended these include;

–          A child who has been a victim of negligence has three years after they turn eighteen to bring forward a claim

–           A person suffering a mental illness has three years after they have recovered to bring a claim forward

–          If the person does not recover from the mental illness then they have a life time to bring a claim forward


Other information on Hospital Negligence

How much could my medical negligence claim be worth?

Medical negligence compensation calculator

NHS Compensation Claims