How To Make A Pressure Sore Claim | No Win No Fee

By Jo Stratton. Last updated 22nd September 2023. When we or a loved one need to go to hospital or care, the last thing we expect is for that care to make us worse. However, sometimes issues can arise with the care received. In this guide, we specifically look at how to make a pressure sore claim.

We explain the law and your options with regards to making a medical negligence claim and how working with a No Win No Fee solicitor can help.

However, if you’d rather speak with us directly to make a claim, you can do so by using the details below:

Pressure sore claim

How to make a pressure sore claim

Select A Section

What Is A Pressure Sore And When Can I Claim?

Pressure sores (also known as pressure ulcers) develop when a person is left immobile for a long period of time, usually in bed. It can also be possible to acquire them from sitting for too long a period without sufficient alteration in posture in a chair or wheelchair.

In addition to being very painful and unpleasant, the sores that can develop from the main areas of body weight pressure can be dangerous. If you suffer from pressure sores because of a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to claim.

The eligibility criteria for medical negligence claims is:

  1. A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  2. This duty of care was breached.
  3. You suffered avoidable harm as a consequence of the breach.

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. They must meet the correct standard of care when advising or treating their patients. Should they fail to meet this standard, and you suffer avoidable harm, you may be eligible to make a pressure sore claim for medical negligence compensation.

To learn more about medical negligence claims for pressure sores, read on. If you have questions or would like to check whether you can claim, you can contact our advisors.

Pressure Sore Grades

There are different severities of pressure sores, the details of which you can find below:

  • 1st Grade –  skin discolouration, similar to bruising
  • 2nd Grade – a degree of skin loss or damage involving the top layers of skin
  • 3rd Grade – necrosis (death) or severe damage to the skin patch, mainly limited to the skin layers themselves but risking serious infection (sepsis)
  • 4th Grade – death or the kind of damage to the skin patch and underlying structures that can threaten life through blood poisoning or sepsis.

Unstageable ulcers are those where the surface of the skin is obscured by ‘slough’ of the colours mentioned above, therefore actual precise diagnosis is elusive. Blood poisoning at this stage presents a very serious threat to the patient.

Obviously, detection and proper treatment of these issues is something that should happen long before a patient or resident is allowed to get into the extremes of ill health such as this.

What Is The Waterlow Scale?

The Waterlow Scale is a pressure-area risk assessment chart. The Hospital community, nursing and residential care home community use this guide to provide a simple determination of risk status and use it to document regular assessments of patients or residents in danger of bedsores. The scoring system allows health care providers to understand and predict those in a high-risk category and understand the individual issues as graded above.

The Waterlow guide can identify certain alleviating factors to prevent bedsores from getting worse. Simply and obvious adjustments such as a good quality mattress, an alternative armchair to sit in, a nutritious diet and careful observation by relatives or carers. If a person is discharged from Hospital with a recognised Waterlow score, this has to be continually monitored in light of their changed circumstances. This is a simple and practical way of clearly understanding the new requirements of the patient, resident or client.

Time Limits On Claims For Pressure Sore Negligence

In addition to meeting the established eligibility criteria, a medical negligence time limit would apply to your claim. The Limitation Act 1980 establishes a three-year time limit for medical negligence claims. Generally, per this legislation, you’d have three years in which to start your claim. While in some cases, this would begin on the date the medical negligence occurred, for others, it might be three years from the date of knowledge instead. The date of knowledge is the date you found out the unnecessary harm you suffered was due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

Some exceptions may apply to certain cases. For example, if someone lacked the mental capacity to make their own pressure sore claim, the limitation period would be paused indefinitely. 

During this period, a litigation friend, such as a relative or solicitor, could file a claim on their behalf. If the person regained their mental capacity, the three-year limitation would begin from the date of their recovery, as long as no claim had already been made for them.

Additionally, if the person is under the age of 18, the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. While it’s paused, a court-appointed litigation friend could make the claim on their behalf. Alternatively, the time limit will be reinstated from their 18th birthday, giving them until they turn 21 to make their own claim, provided a litigation friend hasn’t already made one for them.

To find out more about other exceptions to the time limit for medical negligence claims, you can contact our advisors.

Compensation Payouts In Pressure Sore Claims

Your medical negligence solicitor will first look at General Damages. These amounts are taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines which offers guide figures for compensation in medical negligence cases. These are not absolute recommendations. They simply provide your lawyer and the judge with a comparable amount to aim for an award if your case warrants it. Special damages aim to acknowledge:

  • Pain and suffering caused
  • Mental distress
  • Negative impacts on your health
  • Detrimental impacts on personal relationships

Your medical negligence solicitors can help arrange an independent medical assessment. During this, a physician can provide a report on the full extent of the injury you have suffered. Using these findings, a figure can be calculated that fully reflects all aspects of physical and psychological harm. Please refer to our chart:

NHS Trust Or Relevant Healthcare AuthorityNo. of claims recievedNo. of reported incidents Damages Paid
Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (The)2112£7,023,095

Special Damages

Also, with receipts, bills and statements that demonstrate financial impacts, you could calculate a figure to present against your defendant for financial loss. You could potentially receive these amounts back as well. Whether you or a loved one needed to pay money out for additional care, specialist treatment or other out-of-pocket expenses related to these new injuries, special damages can help you claim them back.

Make A No Win No Fee Pressure Sore Claim

A No Win No Fee solicitor could improve your chances of receiving medical negligence compensation. They’ll offer the typical benefits of hiring a solicitor, such as gathering evidence on your behalf and providing you with expert advice.

However, as they’ll offer you a type of No Win No Fee arrangement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, you usually won’t have to pay a fee upfront or whilst your medical compensation claim is ongoing. Additionally, if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay your medical negligence solicitor for their services.

On the contrary, if your pressure sore claim does succeed, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. Don’t fret about being overcharged for this fee as it is capped by law under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Continue reading to find out more about how to contact us and connect with an expert solicitor who works on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement.

Helpful Resources On Medical Negligence Claims

In conclusion, thank you for reading this guide on pressure sore negligence claims. If there are any aspects of this guide that you require further guidance on, please get in touch with our team for help.

If you need any more help or guidance with making a pressure sore claim, please get in touch.