A Guide On Claiming If An Optometrist Did Not Refer You To Hospital

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An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital, Could I Claim Compensation?

In this guide, we will answer the question, “If an optometrist did not refer me to hospital for testing, could I claim compensation?”. You will find information on the duty of care owed by optometrists and how failure to uphold this can cause patients to experience harm.

We have included some examples of how optometrists could negligently miss symptoms of health conditions and subsequently fail to refer you for further testing at a hospital. You will also find information on the types of harm this could lead to, as well as information on how compensation for that harm is calculated.

Towards the end of this guide, you will see a brief overview of the benefits of working with one of our solicitors under the type of No Win No Fee contract they can offer.

Our team of advisors are available to provide further guidance on the claims process, as well as offer a cost-free, no-obligation consultation on your eligibility to claim. To speak to an advisor from our team, you can get in touch via:

optometrist did not refer me to hospital

Select A Section

  1. Could I Claim If An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital For Testing?
  2. When Could Optometrists Fail To Refer You For Testing?
  3. What Evidence Should I Collect To Prove My Claim?
  4. How Much Could Your Claim Against A Negligent Optometrist Be Worth?
  5. How Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help If An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital?
  6. Further Information On Negligence Claims

Could I Claim If An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital For Testing?

Following a delayed or missed diagnosis of an eye condition, you may be thinking, “the optometrist did not refer me to hospital, could I make a claim?”. You may be eligible to claim compensation if you can show that the optometrist acted negligently by not referring you for further testing.

There is an expectation imposed on optometrists that they provide you with the correct standard of care during your eye exam. According to the NHS, an optometrist can refer you to a GP or hospital for further investigations if necessary. A failure to refer you for testing by providing care that fell below this standard could constitute a breach of this duty and cause you to suffer harm if an abnormality in your eyes was missed.

In order to begin a claim for optometrist negligence after the optometrist failed to refer you to the hospital for further tests, you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • The optometrist owed you a duty of care.
  • They failed to uphold their duty.
  • You suffered harm because of that failure.

Is There A Time Limit To Claim If An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital?

In most cases, the time limit to begin a claim for optometrist negligence is 3 years, as per the Limitation Act 1980. This is counted either from the negligent action itself or from the date you would have been expected to connect the harm with the breach of duty. This is referred to as the date of knowledge. However, there are exceptions, such as if the person is under the age of 18 or they lack the mental capacity to start their own claim.

To get further advice on the time limit and eligibility criteria, speak to our team today using the contact details above.

When Could Optometrists Refer You For Testing?

Below we have detailed some scenarios where an optometrist could fail to refer you to hospital and cause you avoidable harm. This could include:

  • An optometrist missed clear symptoms of eye cancer and therefore did not refer you for further tests. This led to the cancer advancing and necessitating a more aggressive treatment plan.
  • During your diabetes eye screening, the optometrist failed to diagnose diabetic retinopathy correctly. This is an eye disease that can lead to damage of the blood vessels in your eye. By failing to refer you to a hospital for further testing, you experienced a delay in treatment and consequently suffered permanent damage to your vision. 

There are many other circumstances where an optometrist could act negligently, so if you do not see your particular circumstances here, you may still be eligible to claim. Speak to our advisors to discuss your potential case in more specific detail.

What Evidence Should I Collect To Prove My Claim?

Supporting evidence is used to demonstrate both the negligent action of an optometrist, and the impacts this action had on your health and well-being. To improve your claim’s chances of success, you should acquire as much thorough evidence as you can. We have given some examples here:

  • Medical documentation, such as the photographs of your eye from the initial examination, will be key evidence in your optometrist negligence claim. 
  • Another individual who attended your appointment with you could provide a witness statement, so be sure to take down their contact information.
  • Write a diary during the course of your treatment, in particular detailing any symptoms and the psychological effects this had on you. 

You could get support from one of our solicitors. They have experience handling optometrist negligence claims and can assist you through the stages of gathering evidence, building your case, and seeking compensation.

How Much Could Your Claim Against A Negligent Optometrist Be Worth?

In this section, we will aim to answer the question, “What could my claim be worth after an optometrist did not refer me to hospital for further testing?”. You will receive a compensation payout if your claim for optometrist negligence is a success. This compensation can be comprised of two different heads of claim, these are called general and special damages.

General damages awards for both the physical and psychiatric impacts of the harm caused by a breach of duty. To calculate the potential value of general damages, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication contains guideline award brackets for various different types of harm, we have used a selection of the eye injury brackets in the table below. 

Compensation Table

Please note this table has been included to act as guidance only.

Type of Harm Severity Guideline Compensation Bracket Notes
Injuries affecting sight Total Blindness (b) In the region of £268,720 Complete loss of sight in both eyes.
Loss of Sight in One Eye, Reduced Vision in Remaining Eye (c)(i) £95,990 to £179,770 Cases where there is serious risk of further deterioration in the remaining eye. This goes beyond some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia.
Loss of Sight in One Eye, Reduced Vision in Remaining Eye (c)(ii) £63,950 to £105,990 Reduced vision in the other eye alongside other problems, such as double vision.
Total Loss of One Eye (d) £54,830 to £65,710 Awards within the bracket will depend on age, psychiatric consequences and cosmetic effects.
Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye (e) £49,270 to £54,830 This awards takes into account risk of sympathetic ophthalmia. This bracket also awards for cases involving scarring of the eye region.
Incomplete Loss of Sight in One Eye (f) £23,680 to £39,340 Serious but not total loss of vision in one eye, without significant risk of loss or reduction of vision in the remaining eye.
Minor Permanent Vision Impairment in One or Both Eyes (g) £9,110 to £20,980 Cases involving some double vision, or permanent sensitivity to bright lights.

Special Damages

Special damages awards for the financial losses stemming from the harm you have sustained due to a breach of duty. Below are some possible costs you could be reimbursed for under special damages:

  • Travel costs.
  • In-home care costs.
  • Home adaptations.
  • Loss of income.
  • Medical expenses.

Remember to keep copies of any receipts, travel tickets and your payslips as proof you incurred financial losses due to your injuries. To get a more detailed estimate of the value of your potential claim, contact our advisors via the contact information given below.

How Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help If An Optometrist Did Not Refer Me To Hospital?

Talk to our team of dedicated advisors for a free consultation on your eligibility to begin a claim. If they decide you have a valid claim, one of our solicitors could offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

Making your optometrist negligence claim under a CFA presents a number of benefits, including:

  • No fees at the start of the claims process for the solicitor to begin working on your case.
  • You will also not have to pay fees for this work during the claims process itself.
  • Finally, if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay the solicitor for their services. 

Following the success of your optometrist negligence claim, you will be awarded a compensation payout. The solicitor will take a percentage amount of the compensation as their success fee. The maximum success fee percentage is subject to a legal cap, so therefore, the majority of the awarded compensation will go to you. 

For further guidance on the question, “An optometrist did not refer me to hospital, can I claim compensation?” speak to our advisors today. They can answer any questions you may have as well as assess your eligibility to claim free of charge. Talk to our team via the following contact details:

  • Phone on 0800 073 8804 
  • Complete our “Claim Online” form
  • Click the live chat button for a quick response to your queries.

Further Information On Negligence Claims

See our other claims guides:

External resources:

Thank you for reading our guide. We hope we have provided a satisfactory answer to the question, “An optometrist did not refer me to hospital for testing, could I claim compensation?”. You can speak to our advisors for further information or to get a no-cost, zero-obligation assessment of your eligibility to claim. Contact our team via any of the details given above.

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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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