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Knee Surgery Gone Wrong Claims Guide

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 24th February 2023. This is a guide to the steps you could take if your knee surgery has gone wrong. Medical professionals have a duty to provide their patients with the correct standard of care. Therefore, if a medical professional, such as a surgeon, breaches this duty, causing you to suffer avoidable harm, you may be eligible to claim compensation. 

Knee surgery gone wrong

Knee surgery has gone wrong claims guide

You may wonder, ‘how do I make a medical negligence claim when a knee operation has gone wrong?’ Just because your surgery has gone wrong does not mean medical negligence has taken place. In order to hold a valid medical negligence claim, your case must meet specific criteria. Throughout this guide, we will discuss what the criteria are and what evidence you can use to support your claim

Also, if you would like to speak to a member of our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer free and confidential legal advice. 

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Select A Section

  1. What Is Negligent Knee Surgery?
  2. When Could You Claim For Surgical Errors?
  3. How Could Negligent Knee Surgery Harm You?
  4. Knee Surgery Gone Wrong Case Study
  5. Compensation For Knee Surgery Gone Wrong – What Evidence Will I Need To Claim?
  6. What Payout Could You Get For Knee Surgery Gone Wrong?
  7. How To Get Help From A Medical Negligence Solicitor

What Is Negligent Knee Surgery? 

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. As part of this duty, they need to provide the correct standard of care. If they fail to do so and, as a result, you are caused avoidable harm, this is known as medical negligence. 

However, it is important to know that not all cases where a knee surgery has gone wrong may qualify for an eligible claim. A medical professional may have done everything to the correct standard, however, the surgery may have gone wrong for other reasons. 

Different types of knee surgery include:

In the following section, we will provide statistics on never events. A never event is an incident that wouldn’t occur if the proper frameworks had been followed.

Never Event Statistics 

According to NHS reports, between the 1st of April 2020 and the 31st of March 2021, there were 364 incidents that appeared to meet the definition of a never event

Examples of potential never events include: 

  • Wrong-site surgery – for example, where your left leg requires amputation at the knee, but the surgery is carried out on the right leg, which was healthy. 
  • A foreign object is retained post-procedure
  • The wrong patient is operated on.

If you have been the victim of a surgical error and would like to find out whether you can claim, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. 

When Could You Claim For Surgical Errors? 

To make a successful medical negligence claim, you must be able to prove the following: 

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty of care
  • You sustained harm as a result 

Additionally, you must ensure that your claim is within the relevant time limits. As per the Limitation Act 1980, you should generally begin your claim within 3 years of the incident. Or the limitation period can start from the date of knowledge – from the date, you become aware of medical negligence. 

There are some exceptions to these time limitations. For instance, if you were under the age of 18 when the incident happened, or the person lacks the mental capacity to make a claim. 

Please contact our advisors as soon as possible to learn more about these exceptions and find out whether your claim for a knee surgery gone wrong is within the relevant time limits.

How Could Negligent Knee Surgery Harm You? 

Below, we will look at what potential injuries could be suffered if knee surgery were to go wrong:    

  • Nerve damage
  • Anaesthetic issues
  • Operated on the wrong leg
  • Left instruments inside the surgery site
  • Operate on the wrong part of the knee
  • Disrupt the knee joint

The severity of your injuries and their impact on your life will determine how much compensation you could receive in the event of a successful claim. 

Please contact our advisors to have your medical negligence claim assessed for free today. 

Knee Surgery Gone Wrong Case Study 

In this section, we will provide an illustrative case study showing medical negligence in the case of a knee surgery gone wrong.

Diane went to Accident and Emergency as she had had a bad fall on her left knee. After several diagnostics tests, it was confirmed that she has broken her patella and needed knee surgery.

She underwent surgery to treat this, but when she woke up from the anaesthetic, she realised that her right knee had been operated on despite this leg not being injured.

This meant that she then had to undergo a second surgery, resulting in a protracted recovery period and scarring on both legs from this unnecessary medical treatment. 

If you have been involved in a situation similar to the example given above, please contact our advisors. 

Compensation For Knee Surgery Gone Wrong – What Evidence Will I Need To Claim?

In order to make a claim following knee surgery gone wrong, you must be able to prove that medical negligence has occurred. Without evidence, you are unlikely to be awarded knee surgery compensation.

Below we’ve listed a few examples of evidence you can use when claiming compensation for knee surgery or a similar surgical error:

  • Medical evidence – obtain your medical records as they’ll contain details of any appointments you have attended with the medical professional who acted negligently.
  • Independent diagnosis – If you are assessed by an independent medical expert, they’ll be able to provide evidence of your condition.
  • Witness statements – if a family member or friend can corroborate your version of events and any harm you have suffered, ask for their contact details so your solicitor can get in touch for a statement.

If you have any more questions about the surgery compensation claims process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our advisors offer free legal advice around the clock and could connect you with one of our expert medical negligence solicitors.

What Payout Could You Get For Knee Surgery Gone Wrong? 

If you make a successful claim following a knee surgery that has gone wrong, the compensation awarded could be comprised of up to two potential heads of loss. 

Firstly, you could be awarded compensation under general damages for the pain and suffering that has been caused by the incident of medical negligence. This accounts for both physical and mental harm. 

We have compiled a table with bracket amounts for different types of harm using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), updated in April 2022. The JCG is a document that legal professionals, such as hospital negligence solicitors, can use to assist them when valuing general damages. 

Site of Injury Severity Compensation Brackets Details
Leg Injury Amputation (iii) £104,830 to £137,470 Above the knee amputation of one of the person’s leg.
Leg Injury Amputation (iv) £97,980 to £132,990 Below the knee amputation of one of the person’s legs.
Knee Injury Severe (a)(i) £69,730 to £96,210 A serious knee injury involving multiple problems, such as the disruption of the joint, lengthy treatment and gross ligamentous damage. An arthrodesis or arthroplasty will have taken place or will be inevitable.
Knee Injury Severe (a)(ii) £52,120 to £69,730 A leg fracture extending to the knee joint and resulting in constant, permanent pain as well as limitation of movement amongst further problems.
Knee Injury Severe (a)(iii) £26,190 to £43,460 A less severe injury than in the brackets above, which may cause continuing symptoms, for example hindered mobility, pain and discomfort.
Knee Injury Moderate (b)(i) £14,840 to £26,190 An injury that involves dislocation, torn meniscus or cartilage that causes instability, wasting, weakness or another mild future disability.
Knee Injury Moderate (b)(ii) Up to £13,740 Injuries within this bracket will be similar to those above, but less serious. Or injuries that cause lacerations, twisting, or bruising injuries
Scarring N/A £7,830 to £22,730 Multiple noticeable laceration scars, or one disfiguring scar to the leg(s) fall in this bracket.
Scarring N/A In the region of £8,640 Laparotomy surgery but no significant internal injury was found.

These figures are a guide; each medical negligence claim is unique. Therefore, the settlement you may receive could differ. 

Furthermore, you could also receive an award under special damages. This head of loss reimburses you for any financial losses due to medical negligence. For example, an incident of medical negligence that results in permanent disabilities may require you to make home adaptations.

Other financial losses you could suffer include: 

  • Travel expenses 
  • Loss of earnings 
  • Care costs 
  • Medical expenses 

To be reimbursed for any monetary losses, you may wish to keep evidence, such as receipts, bank records and payslips.

If you would like more details regarding the amount of compensation you could receive for a successful knee surgery gone wrong compensation claim, please contact an advisor from our team. 

How To Get Help From A Medical Negligence Solicitor

Being represented by a No Win No Fee solicitor under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could provide benefits for you and your claim. For example, you generally won’t pay for the services of a solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful. Also, generally, there are no fees for these services to be paid upfront or while your claim is ongoing. 

On the other hand, a successful claim will mean a No Win No Fee solicitor will commonly receive a success fee, which is a small legally capped percentage of the compensation. 

After a free consultation on your knee surgery gone wrong compensation claim, our advisors could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors should they find that you may have an eligible claim.  

To get in touch: 

 Learn More About Surgical Negligence Claims 

Below we have provided some of our own guides that you could find useful regarding medical negligence claims: 

We have also included some additional resources that may be helpful: 

Other Guides Available To Read

Thank you for reading this guide on whether you could make a medical negligence claim for knee surgery that has gone wrong.

Guide By Pescal

Edited By Melissa.

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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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