How To Make A Claim Against A Hospital
By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 7th July 2023. 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.
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.
Select A Section
- What Is A Claim Against A Hospital?
- When You May Wish To Make A Claim Against A Hospital
- Who Could You Make A Hospital Negligence Claim Against?
- How Much Are Claims Against A Hospital For Negligence Worth?
- Special Damages Included In A Claim Against A Hospital
- Time Limits To Make A Claim Against A Hospital
- Hospital Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
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.
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.
How Much Are Claims Against A Hospital For Negligence Worth?
In claims against a hospital for negligence, compensation will be calculated by assessing the injury and harm that was caused.
Compensation in a negligence claim against a hospital could include two heads of compensation:
- General damages – An amount to compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by your injury
- Special damages – An amount to compensate you for the financial effect the injury and harm had on you
We can show you how various injuries have been valued and compensated in court claims in terms of general damages. The chart below uses information from the 2022 version of the Judicial College Guidelines to show you compensation brackets for different injuries. However, these should only be used as a rough guide as every case is valued individually.
|Injuries to the neck including serious fractures or disc damage. A considerably severe disability will be caused such as substantial loss of movement.
|Injuries such as fractures and disclocations of the neck resulting in severe symptoms. These injuries are the type that might ruquire spinal fusion.
|Tissue damage of the neck where full recovery takes place in around 1 to2 years.
|£38,780 to £69,730
|Cases 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
|£27,760 to £38,780
|Crush or compression fractures of the back are included in this compensation bracket.
|£7,890 to £12,510
|Back injuries which don’t require surgery but take between 2 to 5 years for full recovery to occur.
|up to £11,820
|Lacerations, elbow fractures and simple arm fractures fall under this compensation bracket.
|£5,720 to £13,280
|Includes injuries such as deep lacerations, penetrating wounds and crush injuries.
|up to £12,900
|Rupture ligaments, simple metatarsal fractures and puncture wounds of the foot are included.
|Non Traumatic Digestive System Injury
|Compensation 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 Traumatic Digestive SystemInjury
|Compensation 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.
As mentioned, you can also claim for financial losses the injury has had led to – however they would have to be reasonable and you will need evidence to support your claim. You could be able to claim compensation for:
- Affected earnings
- Care and treatment costs
- Restorative surgery or therapy not available on public healthcare
Whether you are making a claim against the NHS or a private healthcare facility, evidence could include payslips, receipts or invoices. Please reach out to our team for any more information you may need about medical negligence claims.
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.
Hospital Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
If you have strong grounds to make a medical negligence claim against a hospital, then you could seek support from a solicitor. If you contact our team of advisors, then they may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.
Our No Win No Fee solicitors may offer to support your hospital claim for compensation under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this type of agreement, you won’t have to pay upfront or ongoing fees for their services. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful.
If your claim is a success, then the No Win No Fee solicitor who supported your claim can take a legally capped percentage from the compensation awarded to you. This is commonly known as a success fee.
For more advice on making a medical negligence claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, please get in touch with our advisors for free. You can reach them by:
- Calling 0800 073 8804 to receive free advice directly from a member of our team.
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Other Useful Compensation Guides
- Pharmacy Claims Guide
- Clinical and Medical Negligence
- Crawley Medical Negligence Solicitors
- How To Claim Compensation If You’ve Had an Allergic Reaction to Medication
- How To Claim Against the NHS
Thank you for reading our guide looking at how to make a claim against a hospital.