If you have suffered harm due to delayed treatment, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Delays in treatment can worsen your condition and symptoms, and cause substantial harm. In this article, you can learn more about why delays in treatment happen, potential compensation amounts, and the benefits of a No Win No Fee agreement.
All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care as set out by the General Medical Council (GMC). This means that their actions towards you must meet a minimum standard of care. If this standard is not met, and you experience a delay in treatment as a result, which causes you ill health that you would not have otherwise suffered you may have grounds to make a claim.
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- What Is A Delayed Treatment Claim?
- What Is The Most Common Cause Of Delayed Treatment?
- When Are Treatment Delays Justified?
- How Serious Could Delays To Treatment Be?
- Delayed Treatment Compensation Claims
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There are multiple ways a delayed treatment due to negligence could cause harm. For example, a delay in treatment could cause your symptoms to worsen, or your condition could become more severe. However, not all instances of treatment delay will form the basis of a successful claim. To make a successful delayed treatment claim, you must be able to prove that:
- You suffered harm due to a delay in treatment
- This delay was caused by negligence
According to the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a medical negligence claim is generally three years from the date of knowledge, diagnosis, or the date the harm is connected with negligence. However, there are some exceptions. For example:
- Children under the age of 18: You can claim on behalf of a child under the age of 18 as their litigation friend at any time before their 18th birthday. Otherwise, the time limit is frozen until they turn 18, and lasts until they turn 21.
- Cases of incapacity: If your illness or injuries mean you are incapacitated and cannot claim for yourself, the time limit is frozen until you regain the appropriate capacity. Someone else can claim on your behalf during this time as your litigation friend.
Our advisors can offer your free legal advice and guidance for starting your claim. Contact us today.
Not all delays in treatment are due to negligence. For example, if your treatment is delayed because you did not cooperate fully with your GP then a claim is unlikely. For some examples of how negligence can cause delays in your treatment, see the examples below.
- Lost patient notes: If a doctor or GP loses your notes, this could extend the time it takes for you to get the treatment you need, which could cause further harm.
- Misdiagnosis: If your symptoms are misdiagnosed due to negligence, this could lead to you experiencing a delay in treatment, or the wrong treatment altogether.
- Ignoring patient concerns: If you describe your symptoms and concerns adequately but a medical professional dismisses you unreasonably, this could delay your treatment even further.
To learn more about what counts as medical negligence, get in touch with our team of advisors today.
There are some circumstances outside of negligence in which delays are unavoidable. For example, many people have experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some of these cases, the delay is not caused by practitioner negligence.
You must be able to provide proof that the harm you experienced was caused by negligence. If you choose to hire legal counsel, they can help you gather evidence to strengthen your claim. Some examples of evidence you could gather include:
- Medical records: Records that detail the treatment you received or should have received can help strengthen your case.
- Symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of any symptoms you may develop or that may worsen due to suspected negligence can be helpful.
- Witness statements: Taking the contact information of anyone who might have witnessed the negligence ensures their statement can be taken later.
- Medical Treatment: Lists of any treatment you needed because of negligence.
To find out more about how to strengthen your claim, contact our advisors today.
How Has Covid-19 Impacted Delays In Treatment?
There are not yet any statistics showing how COVID-19 has impacted delays in treatment. However, NHS Resolution can provide statistics surrounding medical negligence claims. For example, in the year 2020/21, the NHS paid out £2,209 million in clinical negligence claim costs. Alongside this, the NHS settled 15,674 clinical and non-clinical claims in 2020/21, an increase of 124 from the year before.
Delays in treatment can result in a number of complications. If your treatment was delayed as a result of negligence, you could potentially experience:
- Worsening of symptoms: If you have to wait for treatment, your symptoms could get worse over time. If this happens, keeping a diary of how the delay affects you may help support your claim.
- Exacerbation of existing conditions: Some conditions can get worse over time. If your treatment is delayed, this could have an impact on any existing conditions you might have.
- Treatment problems: Some conditions can only be cured or efficiently treated if they are diagnosed early. If your treatment or diagnosis is delayed due to negligence, this could mean that when you do receive your treatment, it is not as effective as it could have been.
To find out if you could be eligible to make a hospital negligence compensation claim, contact our advisors today.
If your claim succeeds, you will receive general damages. This covers the pain and suffering caused by the harm you experienced. General damages are awarded on a case-by-case basis with help from a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG provides a list of injuries and illnesses with corresponding guideline compensation brackets. You can find some examples of these compensation brackets in the table below:
Injury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Less Severe Brain Damage £14,380 to £40,410 Cases of good recovery, with the ability to return to work and engage in a normal social life.
Established Grand Mal Epilepsy £95,710 to £140,870 Established grand mal epileptic seizures.
Moderate PTSD £7,680 to £21,730 Cases where large recovery is made, and any continuing effects are not grossly disabling.
Total Blindness In the region of £252,180 Total loss of sight in both eyes.
Total Loss of Hearing in One Ear £29,380 to £42,730 Consideration given to symptoms such as headaches, tinnitus and dizziness.
Fracture of Ribs Up to £3,710 Rib fractures causing pain and disability over a period of weeks.
Bronchitis (e) £19,510 to £29,380 Bronchitis and wheezing without serious symptoms, and with no serious or permanent effect on social or working life.
Female Infertility (a) £107,810 to £158,970 Inferility by way of disease or injury, with scarring, anxiety, depression, and pain.
Bowel Injuries (b) Up to £140,870 Total loss of function with dependence on colostomy.
Bladder Injuries (b) Up to £132,040 Complete loss of natural function and control.
You might also be eligible to claim special damages. This part of your claim covers any financial losses you might have incurred due to your injuries. For example, if your delay in treatment resulted in the development of brain damage, you may not be able to work. In this case, you could potentially claim back this loss of future earnings under special damages.
You must be able to provide proof of these financial losses in order to claim special damages. As such, it can be helpful to retain any relevant bills, receipts, or invoices you might receive.
For a free and more detailed estimation of what your medical negligence claim could be worth, speak to one of our advisors today.
The knowledge and guidance of a No Win No Fee solicitor can help the process feel simpler.
When you enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, you do not have to pay any ongoing or upfront fees to your solicitor. If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a previously-agreed upon percentage of your compensation as their success fee. This percentage is capped by law to help ensure that you get the majority of your award. However, if your claim fails, you will not have to pay anything to your solicitor.
If you think a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you make your medical negligence claim, get in touch with our advisors today. They can offer free legal advice and guidance surrounding your claim and put you in touch with our panel of expert No Win No Fee solicitors. Contact us now by:
Delayed Treatment Resources
For more articles on medical negligence, try:
- Could I Claim for Misdiagnosis of Cancer?
- How to Report Medical Negligence
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim for MRSA
Or, to find more helpful resources: