Surgery Gone Wrong Claims

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My Operation Has Gone Wrong – How Do I Claim Compensation?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 21st July 2023. If you have suffered avoidable harm due to an operation gone wrong, a claim for medical negligence compensation could be possible. However, you would need to prove that the harm you suffered was directly caused by a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care that all medical professionals owe, and the eligibility criteria you must meet to be able to make a failed operation claim. We will also share examples of the evidence that could be used to help support your medical negligence claim and how one of our experienced solicitors could help you with this. We will also discuss some of the benefits of making a claim with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.

For advice on claiming compensation for an operation gone wrong, or to see if you may have a valid case, you can contact our friendly team of advisors. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond to your queries and deliver free advice. To speak to our team, you can:

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Surgery Compensation Claims – A Helpful Guide

In order to successfully claim for surgery gone wrong, you would need to establish that your injuries were caused by medical negligence. You may not always be able to claim compensation for surgery. If the procedure hasn’t worked or has gone wrong, this may not be grounds for a claim.

Medical professionals need to make you aware of any risks before the operation is carried out. If not, and you are injured as a result, then this can be categorised as negligence.

However, surgery compensation claims can also be made due to errors on behalf of the surgeon themselves.

If you have any questions whilst reading any part of this guide, get in touch with our advisors today.

Surgical Error Statistics

The NHS reported that between April 2020 and March 2021, there were 364 incidents categorised as ‘never events‘. A never event is a serious, preventable incident that would not have occurred if healthcare professionals followed the safety guidelines and recommendations in place.

Some of the most common incidents included:

  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Retained foreign object post-procedure
  • Misplaced tube or feed incorrectly administered

What Is An Operation Which Has Gone Wrong?

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, this section will address how one might find themselves in this situation and provide some examples.

In terms of making a compensation claim, an operation that’s gone wrong is one where the level of care provided was lower than expected and has caused you to suffer in some way. That could be an injury, an illness or even psychological suffering.

Surgeons, doctors, nurses, anaesthetists and other medical professionals are thoroughly trained before they’re allowed to participate in surgical treatment. They have a duty of care to provide you with effective treatment, using the correct procedures and equipment and keep you as safe as possible throughout. If they fail to work to the expected standards, and that causes you to suffer, then you could sue the individual or hospital for medical negligence.

We’re often asked ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’. The answer, based on the above information, is that you could sue if the operation went wrong due to negligence and you suffered injuries, your condition worsened, or you became ill as a result of the negligence. In cases where your suffering was unavoidable, you wouldn’t normally be able to claim.

It’s possible to claim for medical negligence against the NHS as well as private hospitals. Also, you could claim for suffering caused by negligence during medical treatment as well as cosmetic surgery.

Surgery Gone Wrong – Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can happen for a number of reasons. However, in order to make a successful medical negligence claim, you’ll need to prove that a medical professional acted negligently and caused you to suffer pain or harm.

We have listed a few examples below where surgical errors could occur due to medical negligence:

  • A plastic surgery fail may occur if you are administered derma filler but have an allergic reaction to it because your practitioner failed to check your allergies
  • Your surgeon accidentally leaves surgical equipment inside your body
  • An operation is carried out on the wrong part of your body
  • You are administered too much or too little anaesthesia

If you have been injured or harmed following surgery gone wrong, our medical negligence solicitors could help you secure a compensation payout.

Surgical Negligence – Errors That Could Lead To Unsuccessful Operations

As stated above, medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to provide them with a minimum standard of care. If they fail to do so, patients who suffer unnecessarily may be able to recover compensation.

Unsuccessful operations could be caused by surgical negligence. For example, a patient could have the wrong prosthetic implanted into them during surgery, meaning that they are still unable to walk and are in pain even after a knee replacement.

Never events are defined by the NHS as serious yet preventable incidents. They include:

  • Wrong site This includes procedures performed on the wrong person or on the right person but wrong location. It can occur in or out of a surgical environment. Examples of procedures that could occur at the wrong site include biopsies, pain blocks and drain insertion as well as more major procedures such as amputations.
  • Wrong implant or prosthesis. This occurs when the placement of the implant is different from that outlined in the procedure plan.
  • Retained foreign objects. Some items used in surgery are subject to counting or checking, including swabs and instruments. If one or more of these is left inside the patient post-surgery, then it is considered a retained foreign object.

Call our advisors for free legal advice about medical negligence claims. If your claim seems eligible, they could connect you to our solicitors.

Claims For Surgeries Which Cause New Injuries

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, this could be as a result of surgery causing a new injury.

There are a number of different injuries that could be caused by surgery, from minor surgical injuries to severe damage caused. Remember, though, not all would mean your eligible for compensation. If the surgeon had no way of avoiding the injury, then you wouldn’t be able to claim. However, if the cause of the injury can be shown to be negligence, you could be entitled to claim. The types of injury you could claim for include:

  • Muscle damage.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Organ damage.
  • Cuts and lacerations.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Spinal cord damage.
  • Brain damage.

Proving how a surgeon caused these types of injuries can be quite a complex task. Therefore, we advise that you have a specialist solicitor working on your side. Our team have vast experience in making surgical negligence claims and can help prove what caused your suffering by using expert medical advisors.

Claims For Wrong Site Surgery

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, this could be as a result of wrong-site surgery.

The NHS has a number of defined “never events”. This means events that should never occur in surgery. They include wrong implants, retained foreign objects, wrong route administration of medicines, insulin overdoses and wrong site surgery. Wrong surgery could occur because the wrong patient receives the wrong treatment, or the wrong body part is operated on. One example could be the amputation of the left arm when the right arm should’ve been removed.

At best, the latter could be described as inconvenient as the operation needs to be carried out again. At worst, wrong site surgery could be life-changing, life-threatening or fatal.

Whether the event is spotted during surgery or after it has been completed, you could claim for any suffering caused.

Claim For Harm Caused By An Unnecessary Surgery

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, this could be as a result of unnecessary surgery.

Being told you need any form of surgery can be stressful. That’s especially true if the surgeon explains a long list of risk associated with the procedure. If the advice from the surgeon is that you should allow them to perform the procedure, then the chances are you’ll accept their expert advice.

If it turns out that the surgery was unnecessary, you might be able to claim compensation for any injuries, side effects or stress caused by the procedure. Some reasons why unnecessary surgery might be carried out include:

  • A misdiagnosis.
  • Failure to obtain informed consent prior to the treatment.
  • A failure to inform the patient of alternative, non-surgical, treatments that could’ve eased their symptoms or cured the condition.
  • The carrying out of a partial procedure i.e. where a partial hip replacement is carried out but where a full one would’ve been a better solution.

To prove that surgery was unnecessary, you’ll need a specialist medical negligence solicitor on your side. If you’d like to discuss how we could help you claim, why not call our advisors today. We’ll review your case and advise if you have the chance of being compensated or not.

Operation Gone Wrong – Do I Need Evidence?

After suffering harm from an operation gone wrong, it is essential that you have evidence to support your medical negligence claim. Without any evidence, your claim is unlikely to be settled successfully. You’ll be expected to provide proof of any injuries or financial harm you have endured as a direct result of the medical negligence.

Additionally, you should be able to provide evidence that a medical professional owed you a duty of care and breached this duty, leading to you experiencing harm.

If you are wondering about what evidence you could gather, we’ve featured some examples below:

  • Medical records
  • Photographs of any injuries
  • Contact details of any witnesses
  • Proof of financial losses, such as bank statements or receipts

Get in touch with us for free legal advice regarding medical negligence claims. Our advisors can provide further information on claims for operations gone wrong.

Operation Gone Wrong Claims Calculator

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, you may also be wondering how much you could be entitled to.

We’re now going to look at how much compensation you could be entitled to. As every personal injury claim is different, it’s impossible for us to provide an accurate assessment for every claim here. However, the personal injury claims calculator table below shows some compensation payments awarded for different injuries.

Type of InjurySeverityCompensation RangeDetails
Brain damageVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990Brain injuries which have very little evideince of environmental response or language function. Full time nursing care will be required.
Brain damageModerate£150,110 to £219,070Cases where the amount of care required is lower. Injuries include personality changes as well as an effect on sight, speech and senses. These will mean there's no prospect of employment.
Tetraplegia£324,600 to £403,990Payments at the top end of this bracket will be where physical pain is present, senses are significantly impaired and the ability to communicate is also affected. Age, respiratory issues and the extent of any residual movement are some of the factors considered.
Paraplegia£219,070 to £284,260Factors in deciding the amount within this bracket include the extent of any pain, the degree of independence, age and life expectany, depression and impact of sexual function.
Back Severe£91,090 to £160,980These are the most severe types of back injury which involved damage to the spinal cord. Incomplete paralysis could be caused as well as significantly impaired bowel, bladder and sexual function.
Back Minor£7,890 to £12,510Injuries to the back which take between 2 and 5 years to completely heal without surgery.
NeckSevereIn the region £148,330A neck injury that is associated with incomplete paraplegia or where the claimant has little or no neck movement despite wearing a neck collar for years.
NeckModerate£24,990 to £38,490Included in this bracket are dislocations of the neck or neck fractures which could require spinal fusion.
NeckMinor£4,350 to £7,890Tissue damage to the neck which is fully healed between 1 and 2 years..

While the negligence compensation calculator concentrates on some of the more serious injuries possible when an operation goes wrong, you could claim for any type of suffering if it was caused by a negligent act.

It’s important that your injuries are assessed properly, and evidence is supplied to prove the extent of your suffering. Otherwise, the amount of compensation paid might not be at the correct level. Therefore, our solicitors use independent doctors to review your injuries. They provide a report which details your specific injuries, how you suffered and whether you’ll suffer in the future. Where possible, we always try to arrange medical assessments locally so that you don’t have to travel too far.

Compensation Amounts For Operation Gone Wrong Claims

If your operation went wrong due to negligence, it’s not just your physical and mental health that can be affected by the harm you sustained. A payout following a successful medical negligence claim may also include figures that have been calculated with the intention of reimbursing you for out of pocket expenses caused by your injuries. These figures are known as special damages.

To illustrate, we have included some examples of special damages below:

Medical bills – You may be left in pain because of the harm you sustained after a surgery gone wrong. If so, costs such as prescription painkillers and other medications can be covered by special damages.

Prosthetic costs – For example, a botched operation could lead to a limb being amputated. If this were to happen, you may require the use of a prosthetic limb. This is an expense that you could claim back if it took place as a result of medical negligence.

Loss of earnings – In the aftermath of an operation gone wrong, it’s possible that you could be left unable to work for a period of time. If this is the case, it may affect how much you are able to earn. Your loss of earnings may be reimbursed to you in this scenario.

It’s important to be able to prove that these costs and losses occurred. You can do this by gathering evidence such as receipts and payslips.

If you have any questions about what else could be included in a special damages payment, get in touch with our advisors today. They can give you tailored advice once they know more about your specific circumstances.

No Win No Fee Operation Gone Wrong Claims

If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, you may be worried about the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer. To alleviate those concerns, our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis for any claim they take on. They do so to allow as many people to claim as possible.

To begin surgical mistake cases, the solicitor will check your case has a chance of being won. If it does, and they take your claim on, they’ll prepare a conditional fee agreement (CFA) for you. This is the legal name for a no win no fee agreement.

The CFA is a legal contract between you and your solicitor. Amongst the terms and conditions, you’ll find two key pieces of information:

  • The success fee you’ll pay if you receive compensation.
  • A statement confirming that there are no solicitor’s fees to pay unless compensation is paid.

Success fees are used to cover the solicitor’s fees. They’re expressed as a percentage of your compensation. To make the process easier, you don’t have to send funds to cover the success fee, they’re automatically deducted from your compensation. A typical success fee is 25% of your compensation.

If you’d like to check whether you could use our no win no fee service, please call the number at the top of the screen today.

‘My operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’ FAQs

Can you claim if an operation goes wrong?

If you’re wondering how to make a personal injury claim, get in touch with our team today to see if you have a valid case. If we believe you could claim compensation, one of our advisors could connect you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. All you need to do is call the number at the top of this page to get started or fill out a contact form for us to get back to you.

What is surgery negligence?

Surgical negligence is a form of medical negligence that could occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from wrong-site surgery to unnecessary surgery. In order to be able to make a claim for it, your situation will have to meet the following criteria:

  • A breach of duty took place. This is where the standard of treatment was below the level that could be reasonably expected of a competent medical professional.
  • Avoidable harm was caused. This means that evidence needs to show that the injuries or suffering sustained were caused by the breach of duty rather than an underlying condition.

Start Your Operation Gone Wrong Claim

You’ve now reached the end of our guide about making an operation gone wrong claim. If you’re wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, we hope you’re now ready to begin your claim and would like Legal Expert to help you. If so, there are a number of ways to get in touch, these include:

When you contact us to discuss compensation for an operation that’s gone wrong, we’ll begin by offering a free consultation. Our team will listen to what’s happened, how you suffered and what evidence you have to support the claim. If you have a strong enough case, we could introduce you to a personal injury solicitor. Should they agree to take on your claim, it’ll be on a no win no fee basis.

Where Can I Find Out More?

Thanks for taking time to read our operation gone wrong claim guide. We hope you’ve received all of the information you need to help you decide whether to make a surgery compensation claim or not.

If you’re still wondering ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’, here are some more of our guides as well as some external resources that could prove useful. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our team today for a free consultation on your case.

  • Legal Action NHS – This guide from the Citizens Advice Bureau provides more information about claiming for NHS negligence.
  • NHS Complaints – The procedure for making a formal complaint against the NHS. Remember, you don’t need to complain to begin a medical negligence claim.
  • Find Health Services Near You – A handy tool from the NHS that can be used to look up addresses of GPs, hospitals and other services in your area.
  • Cosmetic Surgery Claims – This guide looks at when you could claim surgery failure compensation for negligence in cosmetic surgery.
  • Cancer Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims – A look at when a medical negligence lawyer could help you claim for suffering caused by a cancer misdiagnosis.
  • Hospital Negligence Claims – This guide looks at different types of medical malpractice in a hospital, not just in the operating theatre.
  • Find out how to claim for pancreatic cancer misdiagnosis and get more information on the medical negligence compensation claims process.

We hope this guide has addressed the question of ‘my operation has gone wrong how do I claim compensation?’. Once again, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today if you have any queries.

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    • 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.