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Clinical and Medical Negligence Claims

At some point in life, we will all seek out medical care. We trust health professionals to provide the right level of treatment in order to help us recover or live with a condition. Unfortunately, there are some cases where professionals fail to uphold their duty of care properly. Our guide to clinical or medical negligence claims explains your legal options if medical malpractice leads to you suffering needless harm.

We offer thorough guidance on important elements of the medical negligence claim process. Here, you can learn when a claim meets the expected eligibility requirements and how to prove medical negligence.

You can also see what a compensation payout could address if you have a successful medical negligence case. Our specialist medical negligence solicitors are greatly experienced in helping people secure financial compensation, so you may be interested in reading about the No Win No Fee services they offer at the end of this guide.

Further to this guide, and all the detailed clinical negligence claim articles you can find on this website, you can get free guidance by contacting our dedicated advisors. You can even find out whether you have a valid claim. Reach us now or at any time by either:

  • Calling 0800 073 8804.
  • Going online to contact us via a web form.
  • Using the live support tab in the bottom-left of your screen.

A piece of paper with the words 'Medical Negligence' on and a gavel sat on top of it.

Browse Our Guide

  1. What Is Medical Negligence?
  2. What Are Medical Negligence Claims?
  3. What Are Examples Of Potential Medical Negligence Claims?
  4. Can I Sue The NHS For Medical Negligence?
  5. Can I Sue A Private Healthcare Provider For Medical Negligence?
  6. How Long Do I Have To Claim For Medical Negligence?
  7. Can I Claim On Behalf Of A Loved One?
  8. What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
  9. What Is The Clinical Negligence Claim Process?
  10. How Much Medical Negligence Compensation Could I Receive?
  11. How Long Will It Take To Receive Compensation For A Medical Negligence Claim?
  12. Why Make A Medical Negligence Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  13. Read More About Medical Negligence Claims

What Is Medical Negligence?

A medical professional is someone who has been trained to provide medical services. Doctors and nurses are examples of medical professionals. They are required to uphold certain professional standards. 

Professionals can look to the relevant regulatory body to understand their expected standards of care. For example, the General Medical Council (GMC) outlines what makes good medical practice for doctors.

Medical or clinical negligence can be defined as a healthcare professional acting outside of those expected standards and causing a patient to suffer harm that would have otherwise been avoided.

Negligent treatment can lead to many different medical errors, including:

  • Providing the incorrect dosage of medicine.
  • Cases of surgery going wrong and causing further issues.
  • Giving a misdiagnosis or failing to properly diagnose a condition.

Continue reading through this guide for more detailed examples of negligence. At Legal Expert, we are extremely knowledgeable on the subject of medical negligence claims. Therefore, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our helpful advisors through the phone number at the top of this page.

What Are Medical Negligence Claims?

You may be reading this guide because you’ve suffered unnecessary harm because of medical treatment. If you’re wondering what your options are, it is worth knowing when you can claim compensation for the effects of negligent care.

A person can make a medical negligence claim if they can show that:

  • A medical professional owed them a duty of care.
  • They failed to provide the correct standard of care. For example, they chose not to follow the correct procedure when administering treatment.
  • As a result of this breach of duty, the claimant suffered avoidable harm.

If you’ve experienced medical negligence then call the number above to find out whether a medical negligence solicitor could help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

What Are Examples Of Potential Medical Negligence Claims?

You may not yet be certain what counts as medical negligence. With that in mind, these short sections highlight common types of medical negligence claims our expert solicitors handle and how they may come about.

Misdiagnosis Claims

Medical professionals are regularly required to diagnose conditions. Some are harder to diagnose than others, so they can happen in error without negligence having occurred. However, a medical misdiagnosis can have severe effects. For example:

  • A GP does not listen to the patient clearly explaining symptoms and does not recommend testing or further evaluation. They misdiagnose brain cancer as a straightforward migraine, which allows the cancer to spread.

Birth Injury Claims

Both the mother and the baby could suffer birth injuries, especially if the birthing process is not carried out properly. For example:

Medication Error Claims

Patients often rely on medicine to reduce or remove the symptoms of a condition. Negligent medication errors run the risk of causing serious harm. Common medication errors include:

  • GPs prescribing either too much or too little medicine.
  • Doctors administering medication that a patient is known to be allergic to. This could cause a serious allergic reaction and further complications.
  • A pharmacy mix-up leading to a patient receiving someone else’s medicine. 

Surgical Negligence Claims

Surgery can be risky at the best of times, so surgeon negligence may have devastating consequences. For example:

  • The surgeon misreads medical records and operates on the wrong leg. This unnecessary surgery means the leg is needlessly amputated.

Medical negligence could arise from any of these scenarios, and more beyond. Our trained clinical negligence solicitors have years of combined experience in all manner of cases, so if you’d like to learn if a solicitor can help you claim compensation, just call us today.

A doctor standing above a patient who is lying in bed and placing a hand on their head.

Can I Sue The NHS For Medical Negligence?

The NHS is the UK’s largest healthcare provider, with millions of patients visiting NHS surgeries, hospitals and clinics on a daily basis. It also leaves it open to a significant number of clinical negligence claims when medical treatment goes wrong. NHS Resolution, an arm’s-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care which helps NHS Trusts resolves disputes, reported that £1.99 billion was paid out in damages to claimants in 2022/23. Our research found that one NHS Trust paid more than £10m in damages in the period between July 2022 and July 2023.

The NHS sets out patient rights in the NHS Constitution, as well as staff responsibilities.

You could make a clinical negligence compensation claim on the basis of a medical professional being negligent and causing you avoidable harm.

NHS clinical negligence cases must be able to clearly show that negligent treatment directly caused needless pain and suffering. Contact us today for guidance on how to do this and how our specialist solicitors could help build a claim against the NHS.

Can I Sue A Private Healthcare Provider For Medical Negligence?

Making a medical negligence claim against a private healthcare provider is just as viable as a claim against the NHS. The process of claiming compensation would essentially be the same.

Whether you’re claiming against a public or private health service, a specialist medical negligence solicitor could help you secure compensation if you have a valid case. Call today and an advisor can find out if you have good grounds to start a claim.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Medical Negligence?

The Limitation Act 1980 sets a legal time limit in place for starting a claim. Typically, medical negligence claims have two potential time limits, which are three years from either:

  • When the negligent treatment occurred, or;
  • When you became aware that a medical professional was negligent and your harm was avoidable. This is known in medical negligence cases as the date of knowledge.

The courts are able to make an exception in cases that require one. For example, if a person does not have the mental capacity to make a legal claim, their time limit is paused until such time that they recover. If they don’t, the limitation period is paused indefinitely.

A minor under the age of 18 also has a pause in place. This ends once they turn 18, so they have until their 21st birthday to start their claim.

You can call today for advice on time limits and how long you have to get your potential claim for medical negligence underway.

Can I Claim On Behalf Of A Loved One?

During the time when the affected person’s time limit for claiming is paused, you can be appointed as their litigation friend by the courts. This means that you are a trusted adult who agrees to act in the person’s best interests.

In some cases, you may need to be responsible for the account holding the compensation awarded to them until they can collect it. For example, a minor’s compensation is held in a Court Funds Office account until they turn 18.

A solicitor can also be appointed as a litigation friend. To learn more about this, just call today and ask our team how claiming compensation on someone else’s behalf works.

What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

People making medical negligence claims are much more likely to be successful if they present relevant evidence that supports their case. What you are able to collect depends on your particular case and what happened, but some ways to prove medical negligence include:

  • Detailed notes of who treated you and the symptoms you experienced.
  • A copy of your medical records. You can request a copy of your health records from your GP or equivalent healthcare provider.
  • Physical evidence where applicable. For example, you might have a bottle of medication that was given to you in error.
  • Contact details for potential witnesses.
  • Potentially, your care may be subject to the Bolam Test, which is where a panel of relevantly trained experts offer an opinion on whether your care met the expected professional standards. This isn’t always needed in a medical negligence claim, but if it happens the outcome will be submitted as evidence.

If a solicitor takes on your case, you could instruct them to help you collect evidence. This is just one of the ways in which a solicitor can help you during the claim process, as we explain in the next section. Please call if you’d like to know more about useful evidence for medical negligence cases.

A doctor sat on the floor of their office with a hand covering their face.

What Is The Clinical Negligence Claim Process?

When people think about clinical and medical negligence claims, they might think of a court hearing. Actually, very few cases need to go to court. Solicitors will follow a series of steps known as pre-action protocol to try and resolve the claim outside of court.

These steps are:

  • Obtaining health records. The claimant’s healthcare provider should share a copy within 40 days of the request.
  • Discussing your potential need for rehabilitation with the defendant.
  • Sending a Letter of Notification to inform the defendant that you are making a claim. They have up to 14 days to acknowledge the letter.
  • Following up with a Letter of Claim that has a clear summary of the facts your claim is based on. Again, this letter should be acknowledged within 14 days.
  • A detailed and reasoned answer being given by the defendant in a Letter of Response. They have four months from when they receive the Letter of Claim to investigate and send the letter.
  • Seeking the insight of experts. This may include an independent medical examination by a professional with no ties to either party.
  • Working towards an outcome. If this cannot be achieved amicably, both sides may agree to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). An ADR could be mediation with a neutral third party, arbitration or taking the case to an ombudsman.

An expert solicitor could help you through every step and keep you up to speed throughout. Learn about the help offered by our medical negligence solicitors today by calling our free helpline.

How Much Medical Negligence Compensation Could I Receive?

You may be wondering how much compensation could be given after successful clinical negligence claims.

At least some of your payout would come under the general damages head of loss, meaning that you are compensated for physical injury and mental suffering brought about by negligent care.

Those working out compensation under this head of loss might look at the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). It is often used for guidance as it provides suggested compensation brackets for various forms of harm. The table you see below uses JCG figures.

Medical Negligence Compensation Table

This table features JCG figures, except for its top line. Please remember that this is only a guide and does not reflect the outcome of every medical negligence claim.

Multiple Cases of Serious Harm Plus Significant Financial LossesSevereUp to £1,000,000+
Brain InjuryVery Severe£344,150 to £493,000
ParalysisParaplegia£267,340 to £346,890
BladderDouble IncontinenceUp to £224,790
LegAbove-Knee Amputation Of One Leg£127,930 to £167,760
KidneysSignificant Risk Of Future InfectionUp to £78,080
WristComplete Loss Of Function£58,710 to £73,050
Lung DiseaseBreathing Difficulties Short Of Disabling Breathlessness£38,210 to £66,920
Scarring To Other Parts Of The BodyNumerous Noticeable Scars Or One Disfiguring Scar£9,560 to £27,740
Digestive SystemIllness/Damage Resulting From Non-Traumatic Injury (ii)£11,640 to £23,430

Can I Claim For Loss of Earnings In A Medical Negligence Claim?

Many people who have suffered medical negligence aren’t just affected physically or mentally. In fact, the financial damage can occasionally be a lot more significant.

One example of this is a loss of earnings, where you fail to receive your normal pay, and potentially payments related to bonuses or your pension. It could also account for:

  • Medical bills.
  • The cost of travelling to and from appointments.
  • Domestic care fees.

Call today and discuss your experience with our advisors to get a better understanding of what can be claimed for in medical negligence claims.

How Long Will It Take To Receive Compensation For A Medical Negligence Claim?

Given that people who have suffered medical negligence might face costly treatment to deal with its effects, it’s reasonable to want to know how long it will take for compensation to arrive.

Some claims will be resolved in just a few months, but others will go on for longer if the case is complex or the two sides disagree. In certain cases, interim payments could be arranged to help the claimant with necessary costs while the claim is unfinished.

A solicitor can help the claim run as smoothly as possible while prioritising getting the best possible outcome. Give us a call or continue reading to learn about the No Win No Fee medical negligence claim support our solicitors could offer you.

A medical negligence claims solicitor shaking hands with their client.

Why Make A Medical Negligence Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Our solicitors are medical negligence experts with a proven track record of helping claimants get the compensation they deserve. If you’re worried about the financial risk involved with medical negligence claims, you may be interested to know that our solicitors offer a Conditional Fee Agreement.

This means that you can expect:

  • No upfront legal fees or running costs.
  • Zero to pay in solicitor fees if the claim fails.
  • Your solicitor only to take a small percentage of the compensation you receive in a successful case. The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 applies a strict legal cap to this percentage.

If you have a valid claim, you could be connected to an expert solicitor who will be there when you want legal advice or get help with the claims process. All you need to do to find out if you can access this service is speak to our helpful advisors today. The below options are all free of charge, so please get in touch any time:

Read More About Medical Negligence Claims

Here are some further guides from our archive:

These resources are also useful:

If you have any questions about medical negligence claims, please get in touch today.

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.

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. In rare cases, when claiming for medical malpractice in the UK, the case could end up going to court which means that it will take longer to complete.

Useful Links

How To Prove 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.

General Medical Council

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

Claiming When A Dentist Extracted The Wrong Tooth

This guide advises on dental negligence claims related to wrong tooth extraction.

Other Medical Negligence Claims Guides

You can check out other medical negligence claims guides we have available on our website, such as the following:

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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