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Clinical And Medical Negligence Claims

By Daniel King. Last Updated 4th August 2021. Welcome to our page on medical negligence claims.

Every single day, thousands of people around the UK receive medical treatment of some kind or the other. Most of these treatments proceed faultlessly and with positive results. Occasionally, however, things can go wrong and can be classed as clinical or medical negligence. As a result, this could lead to a claim being made against any of a number of medical professionals due to said negligence.

Medical Negligence claims

Medical Negligence

Common mistakes for example can be that an incorrect diagnosis was made, there was a lack of judgement during a surgical procedure or incompetence while administering medication. Whatever the reason, whether it was a mistake, an accident or incompetence, if the treatment you received fell below the high standard of care you are entitled to, you may be within your rights to claim compensation for your injuries and suffering.

Clinical or medical negligence can often have devastating, life-changing consequences. In the most severe cases, a person may be left unable to earn an independent living or even care for themselves independently. This can affect not just the victim of the misdiagnosis or mistreatment but also their family members.

A medical negligence compensation claim does more than cover the cost of the immediate pain and suffering. It also helps pay for ongoing treatments and any necessary rehabilitation programmes or modifications that may be required in the home.

Depending on the circumstances, compensation may even be sought to cover the cost of extra care or support that will allow the claimant’s children to live their lives to the fullest.

If you have any questions, or want to get the balling rolling regarding the validity of your claim, get in touch today.

  • You can call us on 0800 073 8804
  • See if you have a claim online by completing our online form
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Select a section

  1. The Basis Of A Medical Negligence Claim
  2. Types Of Medical Injuries You Can Claim Compensation For
  3. Why Hiring A Medical Negligence Lawyer is So Important
  4. Calculating The Compensation Due To You For Clinical Or Medical Negligence</li
  5. Time Constraints For Making A Medical Negligence Claim
  6. Don’t let Money Matters Stop You

The Basis Of A Medical Negligence Claim

When filing a compensation claim for clinical or medical negligence you will have to prove two things – Fault & Causation.

  1. Liability or Fault – You have to prove that the healthcare professional was negligent and failed to carry out their duties in a responsible manner
  2. Causation or Avoidable harm – You have to prove that the doctor’s negligence or fault was what caused you to be in the position you are now in and that it was not due to the nature of the illness itself.

What makes medical negligence claims particularly complicated is that your reason for having gone to the doctor in the first place was because you were ill or injured. Illnesses and injuries can sometimes get worse for any number of reasons. The big question then is, did your condition deteriorate because of your illness or was it because of the wrongful treatment?

For your medical negligence claim to be successful, you have to convince the court that your illness or injury took a turn for the worse specifically because of the negligent care you received and it had nothing to do with the illness.

Types Of Medical Injuries You Can Claim Compensation For

Medical negligence covers a wide range of possibilities. It could be negligence in relation to diagnosis, medication, or type of surgical procedure. It could also include failure to do something that should have been done such as failing to warn you about the risks involved or not giving you the treatment you need.

If you are or a loved one has had any of the following happen to you, you may be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation:

  • An accident during a surgical procedure
  • Wrongful diagnosis resulting in wrongful treatment
  • Delay in diagnosis leading to delayed treatment
  • Brain damage or injury
  • Injury to the mum or newborn during labour or delivery
  • Damage to an unborn child
  • Dental negligence
  • Infection contracted during a hospital stay
  • Defective medical products
  • A cosmetic procedure that did not give the desired results

You can file a medical negligence claim against a hospital, private clinic, care home, drug company, pharmacy or chemist.

Why Hiring A Medical Negligence Solicitor is So Important

Just the fact that you know you have been the victim of medical negligence alone does not mean that you can receive compensation. You will have to bring a legal claim against the organisation or practitioner responsible. You will need evidence to prove your case, you will have to be able to prove that you were harmed by receiving care that was not of the standard that you were entitled to.

The average person will probably not have the time, the legal knowledge or the resources to put such a case together on their own, even if they know that they are in the right. That is why working with a lawyer is so important. A Lawyer is a professional who has the qualifications and experience to put a case together and represent you. They can make all the difference between winning and losing your case. Legal Expert can put you in touch with a medical negligence lawyer after one of our free consultations.

Medical Negligence Statistics

Statistics from the 2020/21 NHS annual resolutions report show the amount of money that is spent each year on cases of medical negligence. Overall the figure is listed as £2,209 million. Included in this figure is not only the money awarded in compensation, but also the legal costs accrued due to these claims too. Below, you’ll find the graph that breaks down via which scheme the payments were primarily made by.

medical negligence claims graph

Calculating The Compensation Due To You For Clinical/ Medical Negligence

If you have suffered an injury caused by medical negligence, the value of any resultant medical negligence claims can vary quite a bit. This is because the severity of an injury, along with the recovery time, can affect how much compensation you could be owed.

To help with this calculation, legal professionals will often consult a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG relates to general damages. This is the sum you would receive due to the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. These guidelines consist of a near-exhaustive list of injuries that you could have suffered as a result of negligence. Variables such as severity are taken into account, with more extreme injuries tending to be worth more.

Below, we have included a table with some example figures of what could be awarded to you due to a number of medical negligence claims.

InjuryAmountNotes
Paralysis (Quadriplegic)£304,630 to £379,100
Paralysis (Paraplegic)£205,580 to £266,740
Head Injury (severe brain damage)£264,650 to £379,100Injury resulting in almost complete loss of life quality, and needing constant care.
Head Injury (moderate/severe brain damage)£205,580 to £264,650Injury resulting in serious and permanent disablement.
Head Injury (moderate brain damage)£140,870 to £205,580Injury resulting in serious and permanent disablement.
Head Injury (moderate brain damage)£40,410 to £85,150Serious long-term effect upon mental function.
Head Injury (minor brain damage)£14,380 to £40,410Loss of memory lowered ability to concentrate.
Head Injury (minor)£2,070 to £11,980Injury that results in no brain damage, or very slight brain damage.
Psychiatric Damage (severe)£51,460 to £108,620
Psychiatric Damage (moderate/severe)£17,900 to £51,460
Psychiatric Damage (moderate)£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Damage (minor)£1,440 to £5,500
Eye Injury (severe)In the region of £252,180Total blindness in both eyes or loss of both eyes.
Eye Injury (loss of one eye)£51,460 to £61,690
Eye Injury (loss of sight in one eye)£46,240 to £51,460
Eye Injury (minor)£3,710 to £8,200
Ear Injury (total deafness)£85,170 to £102,890
Ear Injury (loss of hearing in one ear)£29,380 to £42,730
Ear Injury (partial loss of hearing)£6,580 to £42,730Also, includes impaired hearing due to tinnitus.
Loss of sense of smell£23,460 to £30,870
Loss of sense of taste£18,020 to £23,460
Chest Injuries (severe)£61,710 to £94,470Injury resulting in permanent disability, pain or scarring.
Neck Injury (severe)In the region of £139,210Injury resulting in partial paraplegia, or loss of neck mobility.
Neck Injury (moderate)£23,460 to £36,120Serious restriction to neck mobility.
Neck Injury (minor)£4,080 to £7,410Trivial injuries with full recovery and no long-term effects.
Back Injury (severe)£85,470 to £151,070
Back Injury (moderate)£26,050 to £36,390
Back Injury (minor)£7,410 to £11,730
Arm Injury (severe)£90,250 to £122,860Loss of use of both arms.
Arm Injury (moderate/severe)£36,770 to £56,180Loss of use of one arm.
Arm Injury (moderate)£18,020 to £36,770Break or fracture.
Wrist Injury£3,310 to £56,180
Hand Injury (severe)£132,040 to £189,110Loss of both hands.
Hand Injury (moderate)£90,250 to £102,890Loss of one hand.
Hand Injury (minor)£13,570 to £27,220
Loss of Finger£11,420 to £17,590
Loss of Thumb£33,330 to £51,460
Leg Injury (severe)£225,960 to £264,650Loss of both legs.
Leg Injury (moderate/severe)£90,320 to £127,530Including below knee amputation.
Knee Injury£65,440 to £90,290
Ankle Injury£46,980 to £65,420
Foot Injury (severe)£158,970 to £189,110Loss of both feet.
Foot Injury (moderate/severe)£78,800 to £102,890Loss of one foot.

There is another sum that you can be awarded as part of medical negligence claims. This figure is known as special damages. It is awarded to reimburse you for additional costs and expenses that would not have occurred if it were not for your injuries.

For example, the wages you lost due to time missed at work could be included in this payment. This is known as loss of earnings. Things like prescriptions, medical bills, and travel costs can also be considered eligible too. It’s important to have evidence of these expenditures. Without proof, you’re likely to find it much more difficult to reclaim the money.

For more information regarding what can be included in this sum, get in touch with our advisors today.

Time Constraints For Filing A Clinical Negligence Compensation Claim

As with other personal injury claims, the statutory time limit for filing medical negligence claims is 3 years. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. However. There are slight differences however between the two.

Most personal injury claims need to be filed within 3 years from the date that the accident that caused your injury occurred. With medical negligence claims, the 3 years is calculated not from the time of the injury but often from the date when you first realised that your injury was the result of medical or clinical negligence. This is because many injuries that lead to medical negligence claims are not necessarily noticeable on the day they are sustained. The date you are diagnosed is known as the date of knowledge.

In other words. this additional time takes into consideration that in the majority of cases, the damaging effects of the misdiagnosis or mistreatment might only begin to manifest themselves a long while after the treatment in question. Sometimes, the effects may only make themselves felt after several years. A good way to prove you are not lying about your date of knowledge is to present you medical records during the process of your claim.

Claims Involving Children

For accidents involving children, the 3 -year time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. However, a litigation friend can pursue their claim for them prior to this date. This is an adult who is affiliated with the child and can claim on their behalf. It is often a parent or guardian, but can be another family member or friend, for example.

Claims Involving Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If the injured party has a reduced mental capacity, then their time limit is also suspended. It will only begin when their mental capacity returns. If it never does, or isn’t due to return, then their time limit remains suspended indefinitely.

Get Started Early

If you are planning on filing a compensation claim for medical negligence, it is important to get expert legal advice as early as possible. Obtaining all the necessary documentation and putting together a compelling case takes time. Moreover, the earlier you start the process the easier it will be to get access to witnesses and all the staff involved in your care.

Starting early also minimises the possibility that your medical negligence solicitor may not have sufficient time to put together your paperwork and file the case in court before the deadline.

Don’t Let Money Matters Stop You

Money matters, more specifically solicitor’s fees, are what stop most people from going ahead and getting the legal advice they need to file a strong compensation case in court. What you should know is that most medical negligence solicitors will give you a free first appointment.

During this first consultation, they will listen to all that you have to say and they will evaluate the merits of your medical negligence claim. If they feel that you have a strong case with a high chance of winning, they will agree to take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. This means you do not have to pay any fees at any point during the case. You only have to pay the solicitor after the case is closed and only if they have won the case for you and you have received the compensation due to you.

Once the solicitor has agreed to represent you, they will do all the leg work for you so you can use the time to focus on your health rather than worry too much about your medical negligence claim.

For more information on how we can help with medical negligence claims, get in touch with our team.

  • You can call us on 0800 073 8804
  • See if you have a claim online by completing our online form
  • Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right

Useful Links

Here is another of our guides on the topic medical negligence.

This article concentrates on the forms of evidence you will need for you case.

Medical Negligence in the armed forces.

This may be useful if you experienced medical negligence whilst serving in the military.

No Win No Fee Claims.

Information regarding how we work with hour our panel of lawyers work with 100% of their clients.

The 2020/2021 Edition of the NHS Resolutions Report

Official stats regarding negligence.

Litigation Friends.

How to appoint an adult to pursue a claim on someone else’s behalf.

General Medical Council

You can voice your concerns regarding a negligent doctor to the GMC.

Medical Negligence FAQs

What are some examples of medical negligence?

Examples include misdiagnosis, surgery without justification, ignoring results, surgical errors and a lack of aftercare.

What are the 4 D’s of medical negligence?

These are Duty, Deviation, Damages and Direct Causation.

Can you sue the NHS for medical negligence?

Yes, you can, and it could happen while you’re still receiving medical treatment.

How do you prove medical negligence?

There needs to be clear evidence of a doctor being negligent and with this specifically causing an injury to the victim.

What is the difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice?

Medical negligence signifies a mistake by a doctor, whereas medical malpractice sees the doctor deliberately not performing their job properly.

What is duty of care in medical negligence?

This is where a doctor must explain the risks of specific medication or treatment to the patient.

How long do medical negligence cases take?

They usually take around 12-18 months, though this could vary.

What are the 5 elements of negligence?

These are a duty, a breach of duty, the cause, the actual cause and any harm.

Thank you for reading our guide about medical negligence claims.

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