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How To Make A Claim Against A Hospital? – Complete Guide Online

How Do You Make A Compensation Claim Against A Hospital?

By John Bowes. Last Updated 15th April 2021. This guide shall explain how to make a claim against a hospital for suffering caused by negligence. When you visit a hospital for treatment, you put a lot of faith in the medical professionals who treat you. In many cases, that faith is warranted, and you’ll receive the excellent care you hoped for. However, accidents can happen that cause you to suffer. If you’ve suffered as a result of negligence in a hospital, you may be. entitled to claim compensation. 

How To Make A Claim Against A Hospital

Claim-against a hospital for negligence guide

Legal Expert specialises in making personal injury claims and claims for clinical and medical negligence in hospitals. Our advisors offer free legal advice about the claims process as well as a no-obligation assessment of any claim. If they believe you could be compensated, they could refer your case to one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors.

If you’d like to begin your claim right away, please contact us today on 0800 073 8804. Or, for more guidance on how to claim against a hospital, please continue reading.

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A Guide On How To Make A Claim Against A Hospital

Claims for hospital negligence can be complex cases to prove and require specialist medical evidence. That’s why we advise having someone on your side who specialises in such claims. In this guide, we’ll provide advice about how to make a claim against a hospital and how our team of specialist solicitors could represent you.

We will talk a lot about claims against NHS hospitals, but a lot of the information is relevant to private healthcare providers as well.

We shall cover the different reasons for making a claim, who you could make a claim against and when you could be entitled to compensation. Also, we’ll discuss the amount of compensation you could be entitled to.

In any type of claim, the evidence is key. It’s not enough for negligence to have happened; you need to have suffered as a result. Proving the suffering can be the tricky part. Therefore, we’ll explain how you go about obtaining copies of your medical records from a hospital, if necessary. Such evidence can form the basis for your claim. We’ll also look at other ways in which our solicitors can help prove the extent of your suffering.

It’s important to note that we can’t cover every possible scenario here, though. Therefore, if you don’t find information in this guide relating to your case, don’t worry. You could be entitled to claim if it can be shown that a medical professional has been negligent and that negligence has caused you to suffer.

If, when reading this guide, you have any questions or would like to proceed with a claim, please get in touch on the number at the top of the page. Our advice is free, and there’s no obligation to proceed.

What Is A Claim Against A Hospital?

There are many reasons why you could make a claim against a hospital. The list below contains some possible examples. However, please remember that to be eligible to claim, as well as a negligent act being performed, you’ll need to demonstrate that the negligence has caused you to suffer. Here are some of the reasons for claiming against a hospital:

  • Suffering caused by incorrect medication being prescribed or administered.
  • Additional suffering because of a misdiagnosis.
  • Surgical errors leading to avoidable injuries.
  • Hygiene levels in the hospital leading to superbugs like MRSA.
  • Inadequate care following surgery leading to pain and suffering.
  • Delays in receiving treatment.

Whatever the type of negligence that caused you to suffer, you could be eligible to claim compensation. The claim can cover financial losses, such as lost income, as well.

If you’d like to know more about how to claim against a hospital, please read on in our guide. Alternatively, you can call us to discuss the detail of your claim.

Hospital negligence claims statistics

In 2019/20, NHS Resolutions received 11,682 new claims for clinical negligence, according to the NHS Resolution Annual Report. This is an increase of 9.35% from 2018/19. However, the number of claims settled decreased from 15,655 to 15,550 from 2018/19 to 2019/20. The majority of these claims (71.5%) were settled with no formal proceedings.

The graph below shows that the top 3 categories of clinical claims in 2019/20. It also highlights the disparity between the number of claims brought forward and the value of these claims. For instance, maternity claims made up only 9% of the claims received in 2019/20, but the value of these kinds of claim accounted for 50% of the total value paid out.

how to make a claim against a hospital statistics graph

Clinical claims statistics graph

When You May Wish To Make A Claim Against A Hospital

Compensation isn’t a financial reward or penalty against the hospital; it’s paid to ensure you’re in the same position (or as close as possible) as you were before the negligence occurred.

Compensation is paid to cover the pain and suffering inflicted on you, to aid your recovery and to cover any financial losses you’ve incurred. Therefore, even if you did go on to make a full recovery, you may still want to claim.

For instance, if you were a cancer patient who received a late or misdiagnosis, you might want to claim because:

  • You had to undergo a lot more aggressive treatment because of the delay, affecting your physical and mental health.
  • The delay in treatment meant you had a lot more time off work, and you lost a lot more income than you would’ve had you been treated earlier.

Another example could be a parent claiming after a child suffered brain damage caused by errors in childbirth. As well as claiming for their pain and suffering, the claim could be made because:

  • Adaptations to the home are needed to improve accessibility.
  • They need to receive ongoing care for the rest of their life.
  • The fact that the mistake has prevented the child from leading a normal life.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might want to claim other than the initial pain caused by negligence. Our solicitors always try to ensure all aspects of your claim are assessed before it’s filed. That’s because, once a claim has been settled, you can’t go back and ask for more compensation later.

Who Could You Make A Hospital Negligence Claim Against?

As we look at the issue of how to make a claim against a hospital, another important thing to consider is who the claim will be made against. When you make a claim, there are several different people or organisations the claim could be made against. These include:

  • NHS Trusts.
    An NHS hospital trust manages and operates an NHS hospital. They are responsible for ensuring the hospital provides quality healthcare to patients. Overall responsibility in an NHS hospital trust lies with the chief executive.
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
    CCGs have responsibility for purchasing hospital care products. A complaint to a CCG could be made if you receive unsatisfactory service from an NHS hospital or with a private hospital that was paid to provide NHS services.
  • Private hospitals providing NHS treatment.
    If you suffer because of negligence in a private hospital that was providing services on behalf of the NHS, you could be entitled to make a claim.
  • Individual medical professionals.
    All medical professionals have a duty of care to ensure patient safety. This means they need to follow the correct procedures, use the right equipment and inform patients of any risks (where possible). You could claim against an individual if they breach their legal duty of care towards you.
  • Your GP.
    Even though your GP won’t treat you in the hospital, you could be entitled to claim against them in some circumstances. This could include if they failed to refer you to a specialist at the hospital soon enough. Also, it could be possible if they don’t provide the hospital with enough information about your symptoms.

If you use Legal Expert to help with your claim, you won’t need to worry about who the claim is against. Our specialists will take all the information from you and handle the case on your behalf.

Should I Make An Official Complaint?

The official complaints process is designed to try and put things right at the earliest opportunity. The NHS encourages feedback to help them improve services. If you’re worried about complaining about a medical professional, in case they treat you differently, you can complain to the clinical commissioning group instead of the hospital directly.

To help you decide whether you want to follow the official complaints process, you could use this flowchart from Citizen’s Advice. When you contact us about how to make a claim against a hospital, we could also help you make an official complaint. 

Steps To Make A Compensation Claim

In this section, we’re going to look at how compensation claims against a hospital are handled and some steps you could take to help with the claim.

It’s important to note that you don’t have to use the official complaints procedure before starting a legal claim. We’d advise that you speak with your solicitor first. It may be that they’ll use the process to find out more information about what happened.

One thing you could do yourself is to request a copy of your medical records. You have a legal right to ask for copies from either your GP or the hospital where you received treatment. You do not need to tell them that you’re going to claim this point.

When you claim against a hospital, it will be passed on to NHS Resolution (formerly the NHS litigation authority). They handle claims on behalf of all NHS bodies, so this is who your solicitor will communicate with. According to their website, the majority of the claims they handle are resolved without the need for formal court proceedings. It is also our experience that the majority of medical negligence cases are resolved amicably without the need for court action.

Calculating Compensation Claims Against A Hospital (Updated April 2021)

A common question about how to make a claim against a hospital is how much compensation could be awarded. We know that if you’re reading this guide, you probably want to know how much compensation you could receive. The truth is that every hospital negligence claim is unique. There are many factors involved in valuing a claim, so providing an estimated compensation figure is only possible once we’ve discussed your claim with you. However, to give you an idea of compensation amounts paid for some injuries, we’ve included a  medical negligence claims calculator table below, similar to a personal injury compensation calculator.

InjurySeverityRangeComments
NeckSevere£61,710 to £122,860Injuries to the neck including serious fractures or disc damage. A considerably severe disability will be caused such as substantial loss of movement.
NeckModerate£23,460 to £36,120Injuries such as fractures and disclocations of the neck resulting in severe symptoms. These injuries are the type that might ruquire spinal fusion.
NeckMinor£4,080 to £7,410Tissue damage of the neck where full recovery takes place in around 1 to2 years.
Back Severe £36,390 to £65,440Cases of disc lesions or fractures of discs or of vertebral bodies or soft tissue injuries leading to chronic conditions where, despite treatment, there remain disabilities
Back Moderate£26,050 to £36,390Crush or compression fractures of the back are included in this compensation bracket.
Back Minor£7,410 to £11,730Back injuries which don't require surgery but take between 2 to 5 years for full recovery to occur.
ArmsModerateup to £11,820Lacerations, elbow fractures and simple arm fractures fall under this compensation bracket.
HandModerate£5,260 to £12,460Includes injuries such as deep lacerations, penetrating wounds and crush injuries.
LegsSevere£90,320 to £127,530This type of injury doesn't require the leg to be amputated. However the injuries are very severe that and the outcome is the same as if amputation had occurred.
FootModestup to £12,900Rupture ligaments, simple metatarsal fractures and puncture wounds of the foot are included.
Non Traumtic Injury£36,060 to £49,270Compensation for illnesses that cause acute pain occurs due to severe toxicosis. Other symptoms include fever and diarrhoea. A hospital stay of around a few weeks will be required, enjoyment of life and ability to work will be significantly affected.
Non Traumtic Injury£8,950 to £18,020Compensation for illnesses including diarrhoea and vomiting which reduce over a 2 to 4 week period. Enjoyment and bowel function could be affected for a couple of years.

When you claim against a hospital, it’s important that your medical negligence solicitor can demonstrate exactly how you suffered. That’s because each injury is compensated based on its severity. That’s why our solicitors use independent medical experts to assess your injuries. Their reports are used by our solicitors to try and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation.

The amounts listed in the table are known as general damages. That’s the compensation awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injuries. As well as this, when you sue the NHS for negligence, you can also claim back any financial losses linked to your suffering. This form of compensation is known as special damages, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Read on to find out what special damages can be included in your compensation claim, or for more free legal advice about how to make a claim against a hospital, contact Legal Expert today.

Special Damages Included In A Claim Against A Hospital

There are many different elements to a special damages claim. Some examples of special damages include:

  • Medication Expenses.
    While it’s usually true that you’ll receive free remedial treatment from the NHS, you could still incur medical expenses. These could include the cost of prescription medicines, over the counter treatments and some treatments not included on the NHS. Therefore, you could claim these costs back.
  • Travel Costs.
    There are a couple of ways in which you could incur travel expenses as a result of your injuries. First of all, you could have to pay for alternative travel arrangements if your injuries leave you unable to drive for any period of time. Also, you could incur fuel and parking costs associated with GP or hospital appointments.
  • Care Costs.
    There are cases where the claimant will need a carer to aid them while they’re recovering. Therefore, the cost of a professional carer could be claimed back. Also, the time of a friend or family member could be claimed for.
  • Lost Income.
    If you have to take time off work while you recover (or to visit your GP), you could end up out of pocket. That could be the case if your employer only pays you statutory sick pay (SSP). In these cases, you could ask for lost income to be paid back. Also, when your ability to work is affected long-term, you could claim for future lost income too.

For any financial loss claim, we advise that you retain receipts, wage slips or bank statements that prove your expenses. You could also keep a diary to show how spending was linked to your hospital negligence claim.

Part of the question of how to make a claim against a hospital involves understanding the time limits that such a claim has. Our next section will look at this in greater detail.

Time Limits To Make A Claim Against A Hospital

As with all medical negligence claims, if you decide to claim against a hospital, you’ll need to do so within the statutory claims time limit.

Where you’re making a claim on your own behalf, you’ll have 3-years to do so. This could be from the date you sustained your injury or illness. Alternatively, it could be from the date you found out the cause of your suffering.

For cases involving children, a parent can claim at any point before they turn 18. If that doesn’t happen, when the child becomes an adult, they have until their 21st birthday to claim.

In cases where the claimant can’t claim on their own (because of mental disability), the 3-year time limit doesn’t apply unless they recover. This means a claim could be made at any point if they’re still suffering. It can take many years to fully understand the impact of some brain injuries, so this allowance means a claim can be settled fully. It is sometimes possible for interim payments to be awarded while the claim is being processed.

If you’re wondering how to make a claim against a hospital on a No Win No Fee basis, then our next section will be of interest to you.

No Win, No Fee Claims Against A Hospital

One thing people worry about when making a medical negligence claim is the price of hiring a lawyer. However, you needn’t worry if you use Legal Expert. That’s because our solicitors offer to work on a No Win, No Fee basis for any claim they take on. Here’s how the claims process works:

First of all, your solicitor will assess your claim. They do this because there’s a risk they won’t be paid if the case is lost. We also believe it’s only right we tell you upfront if there’s little chance of receiving compensation.

If the solicitor thinks the claim is winnable, they’ll give you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is your contract, and it contains important information about the solicitor’s fees. It will state that:

  • You will not have to pay any fees upfront or during the claim. And if your case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 
  • You’ll only pay solicitor’s fees if they win compensation for you. This will come in the form of a small contribution which would be deducted from your compensation. Success fees are legally capped and will be agreed upon with you before the claim begins.

The great thing about No Win, No Fee services is that your financial risk is reduced, and that means you won’t be stressing as much throughout the case. To find out whether you are eligible for a No Win, No Fee claim, please call the number at the top of the screen today. We can help you learn how to make a claim against a hospital. 

Why Choose Us For Your Hospital Negligence Claim?

Legal Expert can offer you a complete legal service, from start to finish.  Here are some reasons we believe you should choose us to support your claim:

  • We have a claims line that’s open 24-7. This means you can begin whenever it suits you.
  • Our team of solicitors have handled clinical negligence claims for decades and are specialists in the field.
  • We’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that your claim is being handled by competent experts/
  • The initial consultation we offer is on a no-obligation basis. Our team of advisors offer free legal advice too.
  • We’ve received scores of positive feedback from previous clients.
  • Our solicitors always try to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
  • They’ll also ensure you’re kept up to date throughout the claims process.
  • Finally, while our solicitors won’t rush a claim, they’ll always work as efficiently as possible.

If there’s anything you’d like to know about the Legal Expert service, please contact us today.

Start Your Claim Against A Hospital

Now that you’ve read about how to make a claim against a hospital, we hope you’ve decided to let Legal Expert represent you. If so, here are the best methods of contacting our specialists:

  • Calling 0800 073 8804 to receive free advice directly from a member of our team.
  • Emailing info@legalexpert.co.uk with the details of your hospital negligence claim.
  • Connecting with an advisor via our live chat facility.
  • Or, finally, you could ask us to call you back at a suitable time by completing our online enquiry form.

However you choose to begin your medical negligence claim, we’ll start by reviewing your evidence. We’ll provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim and give free legal advice about your options. If we believe one of those options is to take legal action, we could introduce you to one of our clinical negligence solicitors. Remember, if they take on your claim, it’ll be on a No Win, No Fee basis. 

References

You’ve now come to the end of this guide explaining how to make a claim against a hospital. We’ve included some more of our relevant guides below and also some external resources which you might find helpful.

Midwife Negligence Claims – This guide covers medical malpractice claims against midwives where a birth injury was caused by negligence.

Private Hospital Claims – A guide that looks at making a claim against a hospital that’s not operated by the NHS.

Wrong Medication Claims – Information on when a medical negligence solicitor could help you claim for suffering caused when you’re given the wrong medication.

NHS Complaints Procedure – The procedure for making official complaints to the NHS.

Hospital Finder – An online tool from the NHS that allows you to search for hospitals and other NHS services in your area.

The General Medical Council – The GMC protect patients by supporting medical providers and doctors.

Hospital Negligence Claims – This is our updated guide on claiming for negligence care in a hospital.

Fatal Medical Negligence – This is our updated guide on claiming for medical negligence resulting in death.

FAQs On How To Make A Claim Against A Hospital

Do Claims Against Hospitals Have To Go To Court? 

One of the factors which could put people off from claiming against a hospital are worries about whether the claim will need to go to court. Court cases for personal injury claims mean that a case is heard in front of a judge who decides if a claim is awarded and what compensation someone may receive. 

In the UK, the majority of claims for medical negligence do not need to go to court. Even if court proceedings are started, this does not mean that a case will make it all the way to a court. Courts will encourage parties to come to an agreement in cases that do reach this far. 

In the unlikely event that your claim does need to go to court, our team will help you prepare for your case to be heard in court. 

Can You Request Interim Payments?

If you have been harmed because of negligence in a hospital, your injuries may prevent you from being able to work. This, as well as any medical costs, could create financial problems for claimants. If you are facing financial pressures because of your injuries, you could be able to request an interim payment from the defendant to help meet these costs.

What qualifies as medical negligence?

Medical negligence is the term used when the level of care you receive from a healthcare professional falls below the expected standard.

What are examples of medical negligence?

A case of medical negligence might involve

  • A patient being prescribed the wrong medication for their illness
  • Diagnostic tests being misread, leading to delayed diagnosis
  • A disease being mistakenly diagnosed as something else, leading to the wrong treatment being administered
  • Surgical errors

How can you prove negligence?

In order to prove negligence, you have to show that you were owed a duty of care by a doctor or other healthcare provider and that this duty was breached. You then need to show that you suffered from injury or harm as a direct result of this breach of duty.

How much could I receive in a claim for negligent treatment?

The amount that your claim could be worth will vary greatly depending on individual circumstances. As well as the amount paid for your pain and suffering, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis, you’ll also be paid special damages to cover any financial loss you’ve experienced, like loss of earnings for time off work.

Do I need a solicitor to make a medical negligence claim?

Having a solicitor work on your behalf is not a requirement for making a personal injury claim. However, medical negligence claims can be complex, and you will find that the process is much easier with an experienced solicitor representing you.

Does it cost anything to make a medical negligence claim with a solicitor?

It depends. Some medical negligence solicitors would charge an hourly fee for representation, meaning you could be footing a hefty bill at the end of the process even if you weren’t successful in your claim. Our No Win No Fee agreement means that if you claim through Legal Expert, you won’t pay a penny unless your claim succeeds and you receive your compensation.

Thank you for reading our guide looking at how to make a claim against a hospital.

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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