Dry Needling Gone Wrong – Claim Compensation For Negligence

By Stephen Lambert. Last Updated 4th June 2024. On this page, we look at what dry needling is and how you may be able to make a compensation claim if the procedure has gone wrong, causing you injury.

We will cover why you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim, and how a clinical negligence solicitor can help you in a similar fashion to a personal injury solicitor helping you claim for an accident or injury.

Every claim is based on its unique set of circumstances. Therefore, it is impossible to cover every potential question you might have in a single guide. We have covered all of the basics, but if you are left with additional questions our team can assist you.

You can contact them on 0800 652 3087.

Choose a Bookmark:

  1. What Is Dry Needling And What Should I Expect During Treatment?
  2. Can I Claim If My Dry Needling Procedure Has Gone Wrong?
  3. What Injuries Can Dry Needling Cause?
  4. Is There A Time Limit To Claim Compensation For Dry Needling Gone Wrong?
  5. How Much Compensation Could I Receive For Dry Needling Negligence?
  6. Can I Work With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Medical Negligence?
  7. Supporting References

What Is Dry Needling And What Should I Expect During Treatment?


A patient receiving dry needling treatment

Before we go further, we need to explain what dry needling treatment is, how it is applied and what the general effects are. 

Dry needling is quite a new treatment, that is similar to acupuncture in many ways. The procedure should be safe, although slightly uncomfortable. It is used to treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions that have proven to respond well to the treatment in the past. A thin wire or needle of monofilament is pushed through the skin to treat the muscles below, specifically targeting the trigger points that can affect both muscle movement and pain.

A trigger point is a band of muscle fibre that, if triggered, can begin restricting movement and cause pain. Treating such a trigger point with dry needling can help to improve blood flow and reduce pain.

Dry needling is seldom used on its own, but as a single therapy within a broader therapy plan. Many places in the body can be treated using dry needling including the neck, hip, back, shoulder and heel. Dry needling should be safe. But mistakes can be made, of course, and this could end in the patient being able to seek compensation for the medical negligence that caused them harm. If you feel that this would apply to you, please get in touch with our expert team to discuss a possible claim.

Can I Claim If My Dry Needling Procedure Has Gone Wrong?

If you undergo a dry needling procedure from a medical professional, then that professional will owe you a duty of care. As part of their duty of care, medical professionals need to deliver the correct standard of care to their patients and avoid causing them any unnecessary harm. If the proper standard of care is not provided during a dry needling procedure, then this could lead a patient to suffer from various potential injuries.

If you’ve been harmed by dry needling gone wrong, then you could be eligible to start a compensation claim if you can prove:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty.
  • You suffered unnecessary harm as a result of this breach.

Contact our advisors for free today if you would like to learn more about the steps to making a dry needling negligence claim.

What Injuries Can Dry Needling Cause?

Let’s take a look at some of the potential injuries that negligent dry needling could inflict.

Dry Needling-Induced Pneumothorax

According to the British Lung Foundation, a collapsed lung, also known as pneumothorax, can be caused when air gets into the cavity between the rib cage and the lung, which compresses the lung, causing it to collapse.

Therefore, if a therapist makes a mistake, a dry needling-induced pneumothorax could be the result. The therapist is expected to ensure that they look for the signs of pneumothorax from dry needling at all times while a patent is undergoing therapy. If they do not, and the condition becomes bad enough to collapse a lung, the patient could be in a position to make a claim. 

We can offer you some good advice on how to do this if you talk with an expert advisor.

Other Harmful Side Effects Of Dry Needling

We have already covered what a collapsed lung is—how a hole in the pleural cavity can let air in and result in lung collapse. However, there are other harmful effects. For example, a punctured lung. This would occur if the therapist pushed the monofilament fibre too far into the chest. 

It is worth noting that a collapsed lung is not a very common side effect of this kind of treatment. However, this does not mean that dry needling cannot cause a collapsed lung. It is just that it is unlikely.

Overall though, there are very few serious side effects or risks to this therapy, which is one reason why a doctor may wish to try it as a treatment for a patient before moving on to look at surgical or medicinal solutions to a problem.

Mild Side Effects

What are the side effects of dry needling? Although in general, dry needling is a therapy with very few risks attached, this does not mean it is entirely safe at all times. There are a number of possible minor side effects, such as:

  • Being sore and suffering pain after dry needling.
  • Bleeding from the place the treatment was administered.
  • Becoming faint during the treatment.
  • Being fatigued after the treatment.
  • Suffering bruising of the area treated.

Most of these are quite minor in nature. And of course, there are always symptoms that could be seen as being outliers that are only manifested in very few patients. Any patient who is harmed by a medical professional unnecessarily could be in a position to make a compensation claim. You can speak to our team to find out whether you might have a valid case or not.

Serious Side Effects

Dry needling can result in some quite severe effects, apart from a collapsed or punctured lung, such as:

  • Chronic pain.
  • Sweating profusely.
  • Nausea and sickness.
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance.
  • Irritated skin.
  • A seizure.
  • Speech being slurred.

If you were to suffer serious side effects like this due to some form of medical negligence, we can advise you on how you could be able to seek compensation. Talk with an expert claim advisor to get started with this.

Is There A Time Limit To Claim Compensation For Dry Needling Gone Wrong?

Just as there is a personal injury claims time limit that you would need to begin an accident or injury claim within, there is also one that applies to medical negligence claims. And this is:

  • For those aged 18 or over, you have just 3 years from the date of the incident to make a claim. 
  • In some cases, it could be possible to argue that the 3-year period did not begin to run until you gained knowledge of the harm suffered.
  • For people under the age of 18, they’re granted 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday, unless a litigation friend makes the claim on their behalf before that time.  

In some very rare cases, this time limit can differ. Please talk with one of our advisors to find out if this could be the case for you.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive For Dry Needling Negligence?

This table below is created to reflect the guidelines that are published by the Judicial College. There are two caveats here. Firstly, the figures are based on a personal injury claim and a medical negligence claim might attract a different level of damages. 

Secondly, we have only included a single type of injury (chest), to demonstrate how the compensation won will scale on the severity of the injury. Call our team to get a rough estimate of how much you might receive if you wish to make a claim for a specific injury.

Type of InjuryImportant InformationCompensation
Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special DamagesThose eligible to claim for multiple serious injuries, including any affecting the chest, could receive a payout that covers all injuries as well as any related special damages, such as loss of earnings.Up to £500,000+
Chest Injury (a)The most severe example of a chest injury, one that could end in the loss of a lung and other chest injuries. The heart might be damaged, and the victim would be in severe pain, with their life being at risk. Scarring would be very visible if the victim recovers.£122,850 to £183,190
Chest Injury (b)A traumatic chest injury that is not considered severe enough to be life-threatening. Either one of the lungs or both of them might have been damaged, as well as the heart. The victim’s life would be impaired in the future in some way.£80,240 to £122,850
Chest Injury (c)A critical lung injury that would have ongoing, potentially permanent symptoms that will negatively affect the life of the victim.£38,210 to £66,920
Chest Injury (d)A fairly minor wound, such as a needlestick or puncture wound. The lung would be damaged but eventually it would heal fully with no form of impairment.£15,370 to £21,920
Chest Injury (e)Injuries caused by the inhalation of smoke, toxic fumes or chemical atomisation. The victim would eventually recover most of their lung function, but there is likely going to be some loss of lung capacity.£6,500 to £15,370
Chest Injury (f)A single, or both lungs collapse. Recovery would be complete and would occur across the short-term.£2,680 to £6,500
Chest Injury (g)All minor chest injuries such as burns, grazes, lacerations, cutes, etc. All of these injuries would heal completely, leaving only trivial scarring.Up to £4,820

You might be able to use some kind of medical negligence claims calculator to get an initial estimate of the amount of compensation you could be able to claim. However, they can produce misleading results. For a more accurate indication of the level of compensation you might receive if your claim is a success, please speak to a member of our team today.

Claiming Damages for Medical Negligence

If you win your claim, the settlement you receive will be made up of potentially several different types of damages. General damages are awarded to the victim to make up for the physical harm they have suffered, with the amount driven by the pain and suffering the victim went through, the effect on their life quality, and the long-term impact of the injuries. General damages also account for:

  • General pain and suffering.
  • Traumatic medical treatment.
  • Long-term recuperation.
  • Psychological damage.
  • Permanent disabilities.

Special damages are awarded to the victim to make up for losses, including financial losses, that are non-physical in nature. Documentary proof must be supplied if claiming for money already spent. Special damages might cover:

  • Lowered earning potential.
  • Loss of wages/salary.
  • Medical fees.
  • Care costs.
  • Travel costs.

If you would like to find out the kind of damages that you could be able to claim based on your own circumstances, one of our advisors can help you. Give them a call on the number at the top or bottom of the page, explain your situation, and they will evaluate your claim for you.

Can I Work With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Medical Negligence?

It’s possible to find No Win No Fee solicitors for medical negligence claims. No Win No Fee is a financial arrangement that could see you hire a solicitor for your medical claim without having to initially pay them for their services.

Your solicitor will represent you and manage your claim, on the agreement that their payment comes from the compensation you are awarded in a successful claim.

If your claim is successful, they will take a success fee. This is an amount taken from your awarded compensation. It comes as a percentage and will have a legal cap in place.

If your claim does not succeed, you would not have to pay this fee, nor would you have to pay for your solicitors work during your claim.

If you are interested in working with such a solicitor please reach out to one of our advisers. They can explain how we have handled claims in the UK for medical negligence in the past, and potentially put you through to a solicitor today.

Whatever assistance you need, you can get it from our team. Get in touch by:

One of our team of expert advisors will talk through your situation with you and offer you some free advice on how best to proceed.

A medical negligence solicitor discusses a dry needling injury claim with a client

Supporting References

Thank you for reading our guide on medical negligence claims relating to dry needling gone wrong. Below you can find some more useful resources:

NHS Information About Dry Needling And Blood Infections

Chartered Society Of Physiotherapy Information About Dry Needling And Punctured Lungs

National Institute For Health And Care Excellence Result For Dry Needling

Below, you can find links to all of our medical negligence claims guides: