How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Hospital Infection?
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 14th February 2024. Welcome to our guide on hospital infection claims. If you’re looking for advice on how to sue a hospital, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the past few years, there have been a number of infection outbreaks at hospitals across the UK. If you’ve suffered an infection while in hospital, and you believe the staff at the hospital are to blame, you could be entitled to compensation. This could be because hospital equipment wasn’t cleaned properly or because the staff did not follow the correct procedures. No matter the reason, we will help you to claim the highest compensation you are entitled to. We have many years of experience in these types of cases.
Whether you have queries in relation to Clostridium difficile (C diff) compensation claims or want to know more about hospital acquired infections compensation, contact us at a time that works for you. You can call us on 0800 073 8804. If you prefer, you can contact us through our website or by using the Live Chat window on your screen.
Read on to find out more about claiming. This guide will answer important questions, such as “what kind of infections can you get in the hospital?” and provide examples of where you might be able to claim.
Select a Section:
- How Much Compensation Could I Receive For A Hospital Acquired Infection?
- Can You Sue A Hospital For An Infection?
- What Evidence Do I Need For Hospital Infection Claims?
- The Most Common Types Of Hospital Infections
- No Win No Fee Hospital Infection Claims
- Further Resources
Compensation for hospital infections acquired as a result of medical negligence can be made up of two heads. The first head, general damages, is aimed towards the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the harm you have suffered. For example, if you contracted a catheter related urinary tract infection as a result of medical negligence and this developed into sepsis, the harm you underwent would be covered by general damages.
Those who value this head of your hospital infection claim may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that offers guideline compensation brackets for different forms of harm. You can find some examples of these brackets in the table below, but please note that the first entry is not found in the JCG.
Guideline Compensation Brackets
|Reason for compensation
|Typical compensation amount
|Multiple serious injuries plus special damages
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Compensation may be provided for the pain and suffering from multiple serious injuries plus certain financial losses, like loss of earnings.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Little or no meaningful response to the surrounding environment by the injured party
|£219,070 to £282,010
|Injuries will be having cognitive and physical effects that are seriously disabling
|£150,110 to £219,070
|Symptoms will likely include a moderate to severe intellectual effect. A personality change may also occur.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Either loss of kidneys or serious and permanent damage to both kidneys
|Up to £63,980
|This is where there is a significant risk of total loss of natural kidney function or future urinary tract infection.
|£30,770 to £44,880
|One kidney will have been lost, while the other will be undamaged.
|Illness from a non-traumatic injury
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Severe toxicosis, which causes fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and serious acute pain. There will also be irritable bowel syndrome and continuing incontinence.
|Illness from a non-traumatic injury
|£9,540 to £19,200
|Vomiting and diarrhoea that lasts for a two to four-week period with some bowel function disturbance and remaining discomfort. These consequences will last for a long period of time.
|£20,800 to £26,290
|Loss of spleen where there is a continual risk of internal disorders and infection as a consequence of the damage to the immune system.
What Are Special Damages?
Special damages are the second head of claim that you could receive for a successful hospital acquired infection claim. This addresses the financial losses caused by the harm you suffered.
For example, if you suffered a surgical site infection caused by poor hand washing on the part of your surgeon, you may need to take time off work to fully recover. In this case, any earnings lost could be recouped under special damages. This head of claim can also cover the cost of:
- Home adjustments.
- Prosthetics and mobility aids.
In order to claim for these losses, you will need to provide evidence of them with documentation, such as invoices and receipts.
To get more information on making a medical negligence claim for common hospital acquired infections, get in touch with our team of advisors today.
To be able to sue a hospital, you will need to show that a medical professional breached the duty of care they owed you, causing you to suffer unnecessary harm. Per their duty of care, all medical professionals must ensure that they provide you with the minimum standard of care when treating you as their patient. If they fail to do this, you could suffer unnecessary harm, and you might be eligible for compensation.
For example, some hospital-acquired infections can be spread through poor hygiene. If a medical professional, such as a nurse, fails to wash their hands between patients and you suffer an infection. In this instance, you might be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
However, if a medical professional can prove they took all the necessary steps and you still suffered an infection, you might not be able to make a claim.
Call our advisors if you have any questions about when you could sue the hospital you suffered the infection at. They could also advise you whether you might be eligible to make a claim. If they think you might be, they could put you in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.
How Long Do I Have To Sue A Hospital
If you would like to seek compensation, you will need to initiate proceedings within the limitation period for medical negligence claims. This is set out by the Limitation Act 1980 as typically three years from the date of the incident or from the date you connect the harm you suffered with negligence. This known as the date of knowledge.
Additionally, there are time limit exceptions for certain claimants. These include:
- Those without the mental capacity to bring forward their own claim have an indefinite suspension applied to the limitation period. During this time, a court-appointed litigation friend can sue a hospital on their behalf. However, if the claimant regains the appropriate capacity, the time limit will be reinstated on the date of their recovery if a claim has not already been made for them.
- The time limit does not begin until the claimant turns 18. Because of this, if you are injured while a minor, the time limit is frozen until your 18th birthday. A litigation friend can claim on your behalf during this time, or you can start your own claim between your 18th and 21st birthdays.
If you have any questions about eligibility and limitation periods for hospital negligence claims, speak with one of the advisors from our team.
One of the most important parts of making a hospital acquired infection claim is collecting evidence. This is because you are responsible for proving that you were owed a duty of care, and that the harm you suffered was caused by a breach of this duty.
Some examples of evidence that you could use to support a claim for a hospital acquired infection include:
- Medical records: Your medical records can detail the severity of the infection, as well as the treatment you received as a result and the treatment leading up to the infection.
- Witness statements: The contact details of anyone who witnessed negligent actions, such as a chaperone or family member, can be used by a professional to take their statements at a later date.
- Hospital charts: Your chart details your health and the treatment you received while in hospital. This can help show when you became unwell, and how it could have happened.
- Symptoms diary: Keeping a symptoms diary can help demonstrate the severity of the infection you suffered, and how it has affected and continues to affect you.
If you choose to work with a medical negligence solicitor on your claim, they could help you gather the evidence you need to support your hospital acquired infection claim. Contact our team of advisors today to find out how our medical negligence solicitors could help you, or read on to learn more about making a medical negligence claim.
If you would like to sue a hospital for an infection you acquired, you will need to prove that a breach in the duty of care owed to you caused your unnecessary suffering. For example, if bad hygiene practices were linked to your infection, you will need to prove this to make a medical negligence claim.
We’ve listed examples of the types of infections you may acquire in the hospital below:
- Clostridium difficile (C. diff). C. difficile is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite and a stomachache. It spreads when the infected party’s faeces gets onto surfaces.
- Staph Infection. These are caused by staphylococcus bacteria. This could be spread through close skin contact, sharing towels and droplets, such as from coughs.
- MRSA. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).This is a type of bacteria that is resistant to widely used antibiotics. Around 1 in 30 people carry it on their skin. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus may become a risk to patients staying in the hospital due to a way for bacteria to enter the body, such as an open wound or catheter. You might be screened for MRSA before entering a hospital and given treatment if you are carrying it to help avoid infection.
- Cellulitis. This is a skin infection usually caused by bacteria entering a break in the skin. Risk factors include having a weakened immune system, having lymphoedema, previous cellulitis or an open surgical wound.
- Sepsis. This is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It is caused by your immune system overreacting and can result in tissue and organ damage. Sepsis can result from surgical site infections and most other healthcare assosciated infections.
These are just a few examples of hospital acquired infections. Other types, such as urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, and other common hospital acquired infections can also be caused by medical negligence.
If you have valid grounds to claim for hospital negligence, then we could potentially help by connecting you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. Our solicitors can support medical negligence claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
One of the benefits of such an agreement is that you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their services either upfront or while your claim is being processed. You also don’t need to pay your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful.
If your claim is successful, then your solicitor will take a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation awarded to you as a success fee. The legal cap helps to make sure the most of your compensation stays with you.
Contact Our Team
Get in touch with our advisors for free today for more advice on how to sue a hospital with a No Win No Fee solicitor. If your claim is valid, one of our helpful advisors could connect you with one of our solicitors.
To contact us, you can:
- Call 0800 073 8804
- Fill in our online contact form.
- Message us using our 24/7 live chat service.
Thanks for reading our hospital infection claims guide. Furthermore, to learn more about hospital acquired infection claims, please contact our team for free legal advice at a time that works for you using the above details.
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More Helpful Links
If you or a loved one or member of your family have been infected with MRSA super bug in a hospital in the UK contact us today to see if you can claim compensation and also get free legal advice.
This takes you to the MRSA NHS page. You will find out plenty of useful information, including how you get MRSA, symptoms, MRSA swab, screening and testing, nosocomial infection treatment, and prevention.
This link takes you to the NHS page on E.coli. You will find details regarding the causes of E.coli, as well as the symptoms, treatment, prevention, and returning to school or work.
This takes you to the Government website page for HCAI, which stands for healthcare associated infections. The contents include management of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) and epidemiology.
This is a news story on the Government website about reducing infections in the NHS. It talks about the plans to stop hospital infections, including more money being pumped into hospitals that reduce rates of infection.
This takes you to the Government website whereby you will find an FOI release on hospital acquired infections.
If you want to make a compliant about an NHS service, this website provides you with information on doing so, including time limits for NHS complaints.
If you want to make a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim for a hospital infection contact our team today to find out if you can claim and get free legal advice.
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