Clinical And Medical Negligence Claims
By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 8th April 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. And this could lead to a claim for medical negligence compensation.
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.
Select a section
- The Basis Of A Medical Negligence Claim
- Types Of Medical Injuries You Can Claim Compensation For
- Why Hiring A Medical Negligence Lawyer is So Important
- Calculating The Compensation Due To You For Clinical Or Medical Negligence</li
- Time Constraints For Making A Medical Negligence Claim
- Don’t let Money Matters Stop You
When filing a compensation claim for clinical or medical negligence you will have to prove two things – Fault & Causation.
- Liability or Fault – You have to prove that the healthcare professional was negligent and failed to carry out their duties in a responsible manner
- 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.
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.
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.
One of the most significant aspects of any clinical/ medical negligence claim is that of determining the amount of compensation that is due to you. There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when making this calculation.
Depending on the nature and extent of the clinical negligence and its consequences, you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation for:
- The suffering you have undergone
- Cost of medications or rehabilitation
- Cost of ongoing medical treatment
- Treatment-related travel expenses
- Cost of making any modifications to your home or vehicle so you can function as independently as possible
- Transport and mobility aids
- Loss of income if you have had to stay away from work
- The projected loss of income if your injury prevents you from going back to work in the same capacity
- Cost of having to employ a caretaker
- Cost of additional care or support that will allow your dependent family to live their lives to the fullest
- Cost of continuing social and leisure pursuits that you indulged in before the injury
In most clinical or medical negligence cases, the compensation amount is split into two parts.
The first part is a lump sum amount that is meant to help you meet the expenses involved in the treatment as well as immediate future medical and non-medical expenses.
The second part includes periodical payments, which may be made annually, half-yearly or quarterly in advance. The periodic payments provide a tax-free annual income that is meant to meet future expenses as they come up.
If you have not had any experience in this particular area, you could risk making the mistake of settling for far less than you are entitled to for medical negligence claims. A solicitor on the other hand, will know exactly what you are entitled to and will go all out to make sure that you get the maximum compensation that is allowed.
The table below shows various figures for injuries as a result of medical negligence.
|Paralysis (Quadriplegic)||£304,630 to £379,100|
|Paralysis (Paraplegic)||£205,580 to £266,740|
|Head Injury (severe brain damage)||£264,650 to £379,100||Injury resulting in almost complete loss of life quality, and needing constant care.|
|Head Injury (moderate/severe brain damage)||£205,580 to £264,650||Injury resulting in serious and permanent disablement.|
|Head Injury (moderate brain damage)||£140,870 to £205,580||Injury resulting in serious and permanent disablement.|
|Head Injury (moderate brain damage)||£40,410 to £85,150||Serious long-term effect upon mental function.|
|Head Injury (minor brain damage)||£14,380 to £40,410||Loss of memory lowered ability to concentrate.|
|Head Injury (minor)||£2,070 to £11,980||Injury 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 £252,180||Total 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 £42,730||Also, 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 £94,470||Injury resulting in permanent disability, pain or scarring.|
|Neck Injury (severe)||In the region of £139,210||Injury resulting in partial paraplegia, or loss of neck mobility.|
|Neck Injury (moderate)||£23,460 to £36,120||Serious restriction to neck mobility.|
|Neck Injury (minor)||£4,080 to £7,410||Trivial 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 £122,860||Loss of use of both arms.|
|Arm Injury (moderate/severe)||£36,770 to £56,180||Loss of use of one arm.|
|Arm Injury (moderate)||£18,020 to £36,770||Break or fracture.|
|Wrist Injury||£3,310 to £56,180|
|Hand Injury (severe)||£132,040 to £189,110||Loss of both hands.|
|Hand Injury (moderate)||£90,250 to £102,890||Loss 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 £264,650||Loss of both legs.|
|Leg Injury (moderate/severe)||£90,320 to £127,530||Including below knee amputation.|
|Knee Injury||£65,440 to £90,290|
|Ankle Injury||£46,980 to £65,420|
|Foot Injury (severe)||£158,970 to £189,110||Loss of both feet.|
|Foot Injury (moderate/severe)||£78,800 to £102,890||Loss of one foot.|
As with other personal injury claims, the statutory time limit for filing a medical or clinical negligence compensation claim is three years. There is a slight difference however between the two.
Most personal injury claims need to be filed within 3 years from the date that the accident occurred. With medical and clinical negligence claims, the 3 years is calculated not from the time of the injury but from the date when you first realised that your injury was the result of medical or clinical negligence.
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.
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.
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.
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 compensation.