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How To Make Hospital Negligence Claims

By Ed Maloney. Last Updated 11th July 2024. In this guide, we explain hospital negligence compensation and when you may be able to claim it. When visiting a hospital, people expect a certain standard of professional care. However, this is not always provided. In certain cases, negligent treatment by a hospital and its staff can cause a deterioration in a person’s health.

This guide is designed for those who have been a victim of hospital negligence. Even if you have not been a victim, it is also important that you understand your rights in these circumstances, should you wish to take legal action in the future.

The guide will give the basic details of everything concerning hospital negligence settlements and will try to answer all the frequently asked questions we encounter.

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Select A Section:

  1. What Is Hospital Negligence?
  2. Can I Make A Hospital Negligence Compensation Claim?
  3. Examples Of Hospital Negligence Cases
  4. How Long Do I Have To Start A Hospital Negligence Claim?
  5. How Do I Prove My Hospital Negligence Claim?
  6. How Much Compensation For Hospital Negligence Could I Receive?
  7. Make A No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Compensation Claim

What Is Hospital Negligence?

Before asking what hospital negligence claims are about, you may be wondering what negligence actually means in a medical setting.

When a medical professional, meaning someone who is formally trained in providing medical care, is working, they are expected to provide treatment that meets the minimum expected standard of care. This is the duty of care they owe you.

The exact nature of these standards can depend on their role, as different types of professionals have different responsibilities.

For example, a doctor could refer to guidance from the General Medical Council, a regulatory body for doctors, to consider what good medical practice looks like. Alternatively, a nurse could look at the standards and guidance shared by their own regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Hospital negligence can be defined as a medical professional in a hospital  failing to provide this minimum expected standard of care and causing a patient to suffer avoidable harm as a result.

Continue reading to learn when you could seek compensation for hospital negligence, and call our helpful advisors for further useful guidance.

Can I Make A Hospital Negligence Compensation Claim?

In order to make an eligible medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove that any harm you suffered was avoidable or unnecessary due to a medical professional breaching the duty of care they owed you. If you cannot prove medical negligence caused you unnecessary harm, you are unlikely to receive compensation.

If you have any questions about negligence in hospitals, you can contact our advisors at any time. They may be able to connect you with one of our experienced medical negligence solicitors if you seek expert legal support.

Examples Of Hospital Negligence Cases

Negligent treatment could happen in numerous scenarios and with many different causes. For example, the hospital negligence cases below could potentially occur in a hospital:

  • A doctor asks for the wrong dosage of medication to be administered because they did not check what the correct amount should be. The patient received too low a dosage, allowing their pain and suffering to continue and worsen.
  • Nurses fail to ensure a patient is secure in their bed and that bed rails are put in place. This leads to the patient falling out of bed and suffering a bad back injury.
  • A surgeon reads a patient’s chart incorrectly and amputates the patient’s leg when removing the leg was not necessary.

Does your experience sound similar to any of these examples? If you believe you’ve suffered needlessly as a result of substandard care, call today to learn if you could make a hospital negligence claim with the help of an expert solicitor.

How Long Do I Have To Start A Hospital Claim?

If you are eligible to claim compensation for negligence in a hospital, you must start legal proceedings within the correct time limit. This is typically three years as set by the Limitation Act 1980. It could be three years from the date you were harmed, or three years from the date of knowledge. This is the date that you first realised or would have been expected to realise that the harm you suffered was caused by hospital neglect.

However, in certain circumstances, there are exceptions to this limitation period. These include:

  • Those who lack the mental capacity to make their own hospital claim. For these parties, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. However, during this time, a court-appointed litigation friend can make a claim for them. If they regain this mental capacity and a claim was not filed on their behalf, they will have three years from the date of recovery to begin the process.
  • Those under the age of 18. For these parties, a pause is applied to the time limit until they turn 18. Before this date arrives, a litigation friend can start a claim for them. However, if they turn 18 and a claim was not made for them, they will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start proceedings.

If you would like to find out if you are within the time limit to start a claim for medical negligence, please get in touch with one of our advisors.

How Do I Prove My Hospital Negligence Claim?

Knowing exactly what you need to do if you have been a victim of hospital negligence and neglect is important, as this will form the first step to building up a good case for your compensation claim. The most important thing is to get the required evidence. The following actions should be taken before starting a claim

  • Collect Evidence: This refers to getting the hard evidence that you suffered negligence on the part of the hospital. Part of the evidence could include photographic evidence, eyewitness accounts and so on.
  • Get a Medical Opinion: The effect and injury caused by the neglect and negligence should be captured by a professional medical opinion after a thorough medical examination.
  • Document Financial Losses: Whatever losses you have suffered in the process, such as loss of earnings, should be well documented. This would form a basis for the type of claim you may make.
  • Seek legal advice: Getting in touch with our advisors is an excellent step to take next. We can guide you through the rest of the process.

Getting it right at the initial stage will go a long way to strengthening your case and increasing the chances of getting the maximum compensation possible in hospital negligence claims.

How Much Compensation For Hospital Negligence Could I Receive?

We are often asked about compensation for hospital negligence and how much could be paid out for the effects of substandard treatment.

A medical negligence in hospital payout may have a maximum of two parts, which are called heads of loss.

The main head is called general damages. This compensates for physical pain and psychological damage caused by negligent hospital care.

When hospital negligence compensation is calculated, those in charge of the deliberations can look at medical evidence. They might also review the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). A definitive list of injuries and illnesses can be found in this publication, as well as suggested compensation brackets for each.

Apart from the first line, everything in the table below comes from the JCG. It is only a guide, so please call if you want more insight into what hospital negligence claims payouts might look like.

Injury TypeSeverityCompensation Amount
Multiple Very Serious Injuries And Related Financial Costs Or LossesSeriousUp to £250,000+
BrainModerate (ii)£110,720 to £183,190
Leg AmputationAbove-Knee Amputation£127,930 to £167,760
NeckSevere (ii)£80,240 to £159,770
BackSevere (iii)£47,320 to £85,100
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£28,250 to £73,05
ShoulderSevere£23,430 to £58,610
Reproductive System: Female(C) Infertility With No Medical Complications£68,440 to £87,070
Arm(D) Simple Forearm Fractures£8,060 to £23,430
HandModerate£6,910 to £16,200

Can My Hospital Negligence Payout Cover My Financial Losses?

A negligence in hospital payout can cover more than just the physical and emotional effects of below-standard treatment. A second head of loss called special damages can also feature. It aims to cover financial losses that resulted from avoidable harm suffered in hospital.

For example, your hospital negligence claim payout might include a payment accounting for:

  • A loss of earnings from missing work.
  • Medical bills.
  • Travel fees.
  • Home healthcare expenses.

If you’ve sustained harm because of a professional’s negligent care and want to learn what hospital negligence compensation you might be awarded for it, just call us today for a detailed discussion.

Make A No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Compensation Claim

If you’ve suffered unnecessary harm due to negligence in a hospital setting, and you are eligible to claim compensation, you may wish to use a solicitor to help you make your claim. A solicitor could assist you in gathering evidence for your claim, and they could negotiate compensation on your behalf.

One of our solicitors may offer to work on your claim under a No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If they do so, you would not have to pay them upfront for their work or throughout the process of your claim.

Should your claim be successful, your chosen solicitor would take a success fee (a small percentage of your compensation) from your payout. If your claim failed, you would not pay the solicitor for their work.

You can contact us to check if one of our solicitors could help you with your hospital negligence claim. They would be happy to answer any questions you might have, and could provide you with free advice.

  • Call any time on 0800 073 8804
  • Talk with an advisor using Live Chat
  • Contact us online and an advisor will call you back.

Helpful Links On Medical Negligence Claims

In this final section on hospital compensation claims for negligence, we’ve included some related guides you may find useful, as well as answers to some commonly asked questions.

How to Make a Misdiagnosis Claim

Our guide to claiming after you’ve been misdiagnosed. 

How Much Compensation For Hospital Negligence

A useful guide on claiming compensation against the NHS for hospital negligence.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Care Home Negligence?

Have you or a loved one been subject to negligence at a care home? Read our guide.

How Much Compensation Will I Get For Assault?

If you’ve been punched, beaten or worse, you could make a criminal injury claim for assault. It’s likely you’ll go to a hospital for treatment. If some of your injuries are misdiagnosed or mistreated, you could make a separate claim under medical negligence. 

Claiming Car Accident Compensation

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation. If you go on to receive treatment in a hospital for your injuries and experience negligence there, that would be classed as a separate legal action; you could, therefore, make two separate claims.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Doctor or GP Negligence?

Our guide on claiming when you’ve been a victim to sub-par clinical standards.

I cut myself on barbed wire, can I claim compensation?

In this guide, we talk about how you may be able to claim if you suffer a cut from barbed/razor wire due to another party’s negligence.

How to make a complaint about an NHS service

If you or a family member has suffered due to hospital negligence and you’re wanting to make a complaint against the NHS we can help you file the complaint along with your compensation claim contact us for more advice.

Good Medical Practice

Read the General Medical Council guide to find out the standards set for doctors.

Guides Regarding Negligence At Specific Hospitals

Other Medical Negligence Guides

Other Useful Claims Guides

If you would like to speak to an advisor about how to claim for hospital negligence compensation, you can contact Legal Expert today using the contact details included in this guide.

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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.

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