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How Much Compensation Can I Claim Against A Doctor Or GP Negligence?

According to a survey conducted by the NHS, 85.2% of people were pleased with their GP experience in 2015-16. Of the 836,000 people surveyed, 92% said they trusted their GP. As it stands, a person’s GP (an abbreviation of ‘general practitioner’) is usually trustworthy and greatly appreciated. However, there are instances when an accident occurs. If you have suffered from an injury as the result of a medical accident or complication, then it might be that your GP acted in a negligent manner. In cases such as these, you might be entitled to compensation.

Of all the people who lodged complaints against doctors in 2009, 45% of these related to issues with a GP. Since then, the number has continued to rise. Negligence, in these situations, can lead to an exacerbation of an existing condition or can even cause new, more worrisome conditions. It can even result in death. Whether a GP has provided an incorrect diagnosis or has prescribed the wrong medication, has failed to correctly act on test results or failed to refer a patient to a specialist, negligence can be damaging. It can harm your health, your home life, and your finances.

Given the rules and regulations which govern medical care, you may find yourself asking, “do I have a GP negligence case?” Trying to determine the answer to this question is tough. As you will see in this guide, there are many considerations you must take into account. But in situations where your GP has acted in a negligent manner, you may be entitled to compensation.

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A Guide to Doctor and GP Negligence Claims

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with an insight into the compensation claims process. Becoming embroiled in a compensation claim can be a stressful, confusing time, especially for those who are already suffering as a result of their injuries. As such, this guide provides a quick introduction to the process and how it can benefit you.

In this guide, we will examine the varying definitions of a GP negligence claim, the length of time such a claim can take to complete, how to find the right law firm, and potential GP negligence payouts. While your case will have its own unique considerations, the guide is designed to provide information for those who believe they might have a claim, pointing them towards the next step towards winning compensation.

What is a GP Negligence Claim?

A GP negligence claim can be defined in a variety of ways. Generally, it pertains to situations in which a GP has failed in their duty of care. This concept will be explained later in the guide. However, once this is demonstrated in a legal environment, it can be proved that the GP has acted in a negligent manner. If this is the case, then the claim against the GP has a greater chance of being successful.

GP negligence

GP negligence

Therefore, once you have demonstrated that your GP acted negligently and failed in their duty of care, you can attempt to win compensation. This compensation is designed to address your losses. These losses can include demonstrable financial expenditures, such as medical bills, travel costs, and lost wages. But it can also include more abstract damages, including compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence. With the correct legal assistance, you can ensure that a medical accident does not become too costly.

When making such a claim, there are a number of considerations you need to make. For instance, the GP negligence claims time limit is generally three years from the time of the accident. If, however, the patient was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the time limit begins on their 18th birthday. As well as this, you should consider the evidence you are able to provide in support of your claim, as well as which law firm is best placed to help you. We will cover these issues (and more) in this guide.

General Practitioner’s Duty of Care

According to the National Health Service (NHS) Act of 2006, General Practitioners owe their patients a duty of care. GPs are expected to provide skilled, reasonable care when administering treatments to patients. This means that your GP must have the necessary educational and legal qualifications required to practice in the United Kingdom. Reasonable care means that your GP needs to exercise reasonable caution when diagnosing patients, giving advice, or administering treatments. Duty of care will likely play a large role in any compensation claim.

Is GP Negligence Common?

In 2016, the Telegraph released an article detailing the rise of GP negligence cases in the UK. It was revealed that there had been an 80% rise in claims since 2009, with a 20% rise between 2015 and 2016. Cases involving GP negligence are becoming increasingly common.

Additionally, GP negligence can manifest in a number of different ways. Cases can include (but are not limited to):

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure – or delay – in investigating symptoms.
  • Failure – or delay – in referring the patient to a specialist.
  • Failure – or delay – in acting on the results of a test.
  • Inappropriate or insufficient medicine prescriptions.
  • Failure to review medication.
  • Inadequate monitoring of illness.

Given the huge volume of patients requiring medical attention in UK hospitals every single day, accidents and mistakes can occur. Added to that, they can be costly. At the same time, there are an increasing number of patients seeking private medical care or care for cosmetic issues. These cases can also be affected by negligence. If you believe that you have been harmed by a case of GP negligence, then you may be owed compensation.

What Different Reasons for a Doctor and GP Negligence Claims are there?

With the human body prone to such a wide range of medical complaints and conditions, it should not be a surprise to note that cases resulting in GP negligence (or medical negligence in general) can involve many different circumstances. Among the most common GP negligence claims examples are:

  • Surgical Complications: while the majority of GPs will not perform surgical procedures, they can prescribe and advise on such matters in a negligent manner. Should you suffer injuries as a result of a poorly performed surgery, the GP may be at fault.
  • Anaesthesia Mistakes: in a similar fashion to surgical complications, anaesthesia mistakes can result from the negligence on the part of a GP. Failure to diagnose or note potential complications arising from anaesthesia can damage your health.
  • Cosmetic Procedure Errors: errors resulting from cosmetic surgeries are becoming increasingly common. Errors can result from misdiagnosis or bad advice, which can in turn be the fault of a GP or other doctor.
  • General Misdiagnosis: your GP is expected to issue a timely and correct diagnosis of your condition so that the illness can be treated before your health worsens. If they fail to do this, and you are able to prove that their inaction have made the situation worse, a GP negligence claim could be made.
  • Care Negligence: If you or any of your loved ones live in a nursing home or assisted care facility and they sustain injuries due to improper care, you can also make a compensation claim.

Essentially, a GP’s negligence can result in all manner of health-related accidents. Even the prescribing of bad advice can be viewed as a negligent action.

Are There Different Types of GP Negligence Claims?

While each compensation claim can have its own unique qualities and considerations, it can be possible to group the majority of claims into four broad categories. These four categories are:

  • Contributory Negligence: in cases of contributory negligence, it is decided that the patient’s own action or inaction was a contributing factor to their health concerns. If for instance, a GP prescribed medicine but the patient failed to administer, the patient will be deemed responsible. As such, no compensation is likely to be awarded.
  • Vicarious Liability: vicarious liability claims refer to a situation in which you choose to make claims against the organisation responsible for employing and managing the defendant. Their management of the medical practitioner may be seen as at fault. For instance, GP claims against the NHS can be categorised as vicarious liability claims.
  • Comparative Negligence: when a patient is also liable for the damages they suffered, this is referred to as comparative negligence. In such cases, the patient is also responsible but the GP is not exonerated. Typically, a court ruling will determine the balance of liability between the parties and compensation claims will be settled in accordance with this ruling.
  • Gross Negligence: the most serious of the four categories in matters concerning medical professionals. Given the fact that doctors, GPs, and other medical staff have a duty to prioritise their patients’ health, cases of gross negligence involve the defendant disregarding this completely. In addition to compensation claims, all gross negligence cases are typically taken to court and guilty parties will have their medical licences revoked.

Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, our experts will be able to tell you if your claim matches closely with any of the main four categories when dealing with cases of GP negligence.

What to do if you have been a Victim of Doctor or GP Negligence?

If you have been the victim of GP negligence, there are a number of steps which you can take to better ensure your compensation claim is successful. In situations such as this, we advise that you:

  • Gather Your Evidence: records are very important. Any and all statements, prescriptions, notes, and letters issued by your doctor, GP or medical practitioner can be important.
  • Get a Medical Assessment: there are two reasons for this. The first is to ensure that you are not currently being mistreated. Seeking advice from a different doctor or GP can help restore your health. Secondly, seeking this advice can allow you to determine the long-term health implications of the GP negligence as well as corroborating any potential claim you might have.
  • Find a Law Firm: given the complexity of any potential lawsuit, having legal representation can be essential. If you speak to our team, for instance, we can arrange for you to have a medical assessment with a local doctor. Likewise, we can offer a free consultation session to go over your case.

Should you decide to move forward with a claim, we are able to act as your proxy. This can mean dealing with the organisation or GP in question, filing the correct paperwork, and handling the compensation process on your behalf.

Claiming for GP Negligence for another Person

In cases in which GP negligence leads to the death of a loved one or in cases in which the person(s) affected is unable to claim for compensation, it is possible for a third party to do so on their behalf.

If you are able to prove the GP’s negligence and are either a parent, spouse or civil partner, you are able to claim what is known as a bereavement award. This is claimed through the deceased party’s estate and currently stands at just under £13,000. In addition, it is possible to claim funeral costs, as well as compensation for pain and suffering which might have been endured by the deceased person.

In the cases of parents claiming for deceased children, they may do so providing that the child was below 18 years of age. In situations where a civil partner or spouse was financially dependent on the deceased, it is also possible to make a dependency claim and ensure that the family does not suffer financially as a result of GP negligence.

How to Begin a Doctor GP Negligence Claim

The easiest, quickest way of launching a compensation claim for GP negligence is to hire a legal professional. If you call our offices, for example, we get started by arranging for you to take part in a free, no obligations consultation session. The purpose of this consultation is to provide you with an expert opinion as to the merits of your case. We’ll examine any evidence you’re able to provide and discuss the matter in great detail with you. In making a compensation claim against your GP, there are three factors to take into consideration. You should be able to prove that:

  • A duty of care was owed.
  • That the GP failed in their duty of care.
  • You suffered harm as a direct result of this failure.

Following the consultation session, if we believe that you have a viable claim, we can provide complete guidance as to the next step. We can provide fact-finding to gather further evidence, a medical assessment with a doctor local to you, and discuss how our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement could help you.

What can be claimed for due to GP Negligence?

If you are considering a compensation claim for GP negligence, then you might be interested to know exactly what damages you can recover. It is not only the health concerns themselves which are compensated. With the right legal team, you can seek compensation in the form of:

  • General damages: these relate to the pain and suffering which you may have endured. It can also include the impact on your day-to-day life and losses to your reputation.
  • Care claim: if your injury or health concerns have required the hiring of a nurse or personal carer, then the costs can be compensated following a successful claim.
    Loss of earnings: if you have been forced to take time away from work, the wages which you have lost will be factored into the settlement. Additionally, it can be possible to claim the loss of future earnings in some cases.
    Travel Expenses: this can include the expenses derived from travelling back and forth from medical appointments, including fuel costs and train fare.
  • Medical Expenses: medical expenses can include the need for specialist equipment, private treatment, or physiotherapy.

If you have suffered an injury as the result of a GP’s negligence, being able to claim back the above expenses can help restore the financial balance to your life.

How Much Compensation will I get for a GP Negligence Claim?

Determining how much compensation you might receive following a GP Negligence claim is not simple. We have included the below table as a rough GP negligence claims calculator, allowing you to obtain pre-determined figures based on average payouts in the past. It should be remembered, however, that the unique circumstances of your claim can mean that your payout amount may well be different.

InjuryDegreeAmountDescription
Foot InjuryMildUp to £10,450Short-term damage to foot; pain as result of injury.
Foot InjuryModerate£10,450 to £19,000Long-term loss of function of one or both feet; ongoing disability as result of injury.
Foot InjurySevere£31,900 to £53,200Amputation of one or both feet as a result of accident.
AchillesModerate£9,575 to £16,000Loss of function of the ankle in the long-term, possibly with ongoing pain as a result of injury.
Ankle InjurySevereIn the region of £29,200Loss of function of ankle, long-term pain, or requiring surgery to correct as a result of injury.
Knee InjuryModerateUp to £19,900Long-term damage to knee, resulting in loss of function and ongoing pain as result of injury.
Knee InjurySevere£19,900 to £73,125Permanent loss of function to one or both knees as result of injury.
Leg InjuryModerate£21,100 to £29,800Loss of function of one or both legs as result of injury.
Leg InjurySevere£73,150 to £103,250Amputation of one or both legs as result of injury.

The above injuries are selected examples designed to indicate how big a role the severity of an injury can play in any compensation claim. If the negligence of your GP has caused an injury or health concern and you would like an estimate of any potential payout, discuss the matter with our team today.

How long does a GP Negligence Claim Take?

Depending on the nature and severity of your case, your GP negligence compensation is typically fought over the course of many months. As such, the average length of time is eight months. Due to the unique nature of every case, however, certain claims can take much longer. If you would like an estimate of the amount of time it might take to make a claim, you can call our offices and arrange for a free consultation session.

NHS GP Negligence Compensation Claims

The NHS is expected to provide routine screenings, prescriptions, treatment of mild or severe health conditions, surgeries, and end of life care to patients and – just like GPs – the NHS also owes patients a duty of care to exercise skill and caution when handling medical cases. However, due to the sheer number of patients, the NHS is sometimes unable to provide the same quality healthcare to all patients.

We have worked on many NHS GP negligence cases over the years and we have succeeded in helping our clients obtain compensation for NHS misdiagnosis, surgical negligence, errors in prescriptions, and incorrect medical advice.

There is a three-year statute of limitation on NHS GP negligence cases, as is standard in many compensation claims. The NHS also provides their own channel for complaints, offering procedures which could provide you with a solution before resorting to legal action. The two are not mutually exclusive, however, and it is possible to hire legal assistance even after making a complaint that has not been resolved. If you would like to learn more about the procedures for making NHS GP negligence compensation claims, call our offices and arrange a consultation.

No Win No Fee GP Negligence Claims

Perhaps the most difficult part of making a compensation claim is dealing with the finances. In the aftermath of a health scare, trying to make a claim for GP negligence can seem like a tough battle. This is particularly true if you have had to take time away from work or have had to purchase expensive medical equipment or hire private healthcare. Such accidents can cost you a great deal of money and hiring an expert legal team can be expensive.

This is why we offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. We offer this so that clients don’t have to pay up front, they don’t have to worry about mounting debts, and they don’t need to worry about their case costing too much. We simply take our costs from the final compensation amount. This only happens when the case is successful. This arrangement, also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement, can be a huge help when you’re seeking compensation.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service for a GP Negligence Claim?

Picking the right law firm is important. You need to be able to trust and rely on your solicitor to win you the compensation you are owed. This is why so many clients turn to us.

We put the well-being of our clients first, making it our number one priority. This could be offering a free legal consultation to help guide you through the early stages of your process or offering a medical assessment with a local doctor so you don’t need to worry about the long term implications of your issue. It can even be the ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement which we offer, helping you to forget about any upfront costs.

If you want to take advantage of our years of legal experience, we’re only ever one phone call away. Thanks to our professional knowledge, you can find that fighting for compensation is much easier than you ever expected.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If you would like to discuss a potential claim, you can either call 0800 073 8804 or fill out the contact form on our website. For the best legal representation, get in touch today.

Helpful Links

Claim Compensation for Misdiagnosis? click here to find out more.

Have you or a family member been wrongly diagnosed? find out if you can claim compensation today.

Feedback and complaints about the NHS in England

Find out how to complain about a NHS doctor or GP on this NHS complaints procedure link.

Citizens Advice Clinical negligence in the NHS – taking legal action

View the citizens advice page on claiming compensation against a GP.
How do I make a complaint about an NHS service?

Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure. If you want to complain about an NHS service – such as a hospital, GP or Doctor click this link to find out more.

 

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