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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Optician Negligence?

The General Optical Council is a regulator that oversees the 29,000 eye care professionals that work in the UK. Of the various optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians, and optical businesses, it is the opticians who are the best known to the public. There is an optician on almost every high street in the United Kingdom, providing eye care to the population in a number of different ways.

But with so many opticians and so many people requiring their services every year, it should be no surprise that mistakes, errors, and accidents can occur. Occasionally, the negligence of an optician can lead to serious health concerns for the patient. As a result, that patient may be owed compensation. In this guide, we will discuss how you might be able to seek out and win a compensation claim against an optician in cases where negligence can be demonstrated.

Select a section:

A Guide to Optician Negligence Claims

In this guide, you will find all the necessary facts you need to know about filing a claim against your optician. This guide also serves as an introductory manual that will outline, in great detail, the steps you need to take in pursuing your claim.

At various points, we will discuss the causes of negligence on the behalf of opticians, the physical and psychological symptoms following an accident, and the ways in which you can seek professional legal assistance.

By the end of this guide, you should have the knowledge and the information required to make a claim against your optician and receive the compensation you deserve.

What is an Optician Negligence Claim?

Optician negligence can manifest itself in a number of different ways. In a broad sense, it refers to an occasion on which an optician has failed in their duty to provide what is known as a reasonable standard of care. As a result of this failure, you may have suffered an injury or harm. This could be a failure to diagnose an eye injury or to correctly rectify an on-going eye issue. There are many other ways in which your optician might be negligent. But if this negligence can be proven in legal terms, you may be due compensation.

Is Optician Negligence Common?

Optician negligence is part of a rising trend of medical negligence, cases in which patients are successfully claiming compensation after suffering injuries or health issues. In a wider sense, there has been an 80% increase in the number of cases of medical negligence that lead to compensation being paid out in the years between 2008 and 2013. Even between 2012 and 2013, there was an increase of 20%. Though optician negligence makes up only a small percentage of this total amount, eye and vision issues can have a huge impact on quality of life. In cases where an optician might have failed in their duty of care, patients are becoming increasingly aware of their right to claim compensation.

What Different Reasons are there for making an Optician Negligence Claim?

Listing every potential act of negligence committed by an optician can be difficult. Though it might seem a limited field, in terms of potential health issues, there are various ways in which an optician might be negligent. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • Misdiagnosis – There are incidences in which the optician will prescribe the wrong kind of treatment, having misidentified the condition of the patient. This can have serious health implications.
  • Overlooking a severe eye condition – Building on misdiagnosis, the failure to diagnose a serious eye condition in an appointment – one which may grow worse over time – can be a sign of negligence.
  • Failure to carry out a laser eye surgery successfully – With the complex nature of laser eye surgery, making a mistake can be costly. These mistakes can happen either during the procedure or they might involve a flawed recommendation from your optician.
  • Postponing further treatment – a delay or postponement in treatment can be harmful and, if it was recommended by your optician, this can be seen as a form of negligence.

Though errors or accidents are not impossible, acts of negligence such as those listed above can have serious implications for your vision and general eye health.

Are There Different Types of Optician Negligence Claims?

There are several different types of optical negligence claims, part of a broader definition of medical negligence. Listed below are the four different ways in which we categorise negligence claims. These are:

  • Contributory negligence – this category includes instances where the patient may be partially responsible, having failed – for example – to take their prescribed medicine. In these cases, compensation might not be awarded.
  • Comparative negligence – this category contains a balance of responsibility, with both the patient and the optician being responsible for the resulting health issue. In these cases, the compensation may be partially awarded.
  • Vicarious liability – this category includes cases where the institution or organisation which employs the optician is deemed responsible for their actions. Any compensation might be paid by the organisation, rather than the individual optician.
  • Gross negligence – this is the most severe category, in which the patient is adjudged to have suffered an injury through blatant disregard by the medical practitioner. As such, compensation is almost certain to be awarded. There will likely be a court hearing and the optician is likely to be stripped of their licence.

If you bring your case to a legal professional, they will be able to inform you as to which category best matches your own claim.

The Physical Symptoms of Optician Negligence

Knowing how to recognise the physical symptoms of optician negligence can be very useful. If, for instance, you are claiming optician negligence compensation, then gathering evidence of any of the below symptoms might be essential. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • Individual can experience severe headaches and migraines
  • Vision is blurred
  • Dry eyes
  • Partial or full loss of eyesight
  • Poor night vision
  • Problems reading
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Poor vision sharpness, especially in daylight
  • Eye Strain
  • Double vision

If you are currently experiencing any of these issues, it is important to document any of these symptoms and to seek medical assistance if required.

The Psychological Symptoms of Optician Negligence

In addition to the physical symptoms demonstrated following cases of negligence by opticians, there are also psychological symptoms which may be evident. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Decrease in quality of life
  • Anxiety

Recognising and documenting any psychological symptoms can be difficult but can also be hugely beneficial when fighting for (and winning) compensation.

What to Do If You Have been a Victim of Optician Negligence?

Once you realise that you may have been a victim of optician negligence, there are a number of steps that you can take in order to better prepare for a compensation claim. We recommend the following:

  • You should document and detail all interactions with the optician which you experienced. This can be everything from a prescription to a telephone record. While not all of it might be useful, having as much evidence as possible can be hugely helpful.
  • If you are experiencing any pain as a result of this incident, you should visit a doctor. They can provide medical advice on how to resolve your issue and a doctor’s note or medical report can be used as part of building the case.
  • You may wish to seek a second opinion from another optician. If you believe the original optician may have acted negligently, you can seek the care and assistance of a second and resolve any ongoing vision issues.
  • Reach out to a law firm. Building a medical or optician negligence case can be incredibly complex. This is why we advise people that legal aid can help deal with the issue in a much more efficient manner.

If you choose to seek legal assistance, then the following steps in the claims process can be much easier. We will discuss this in the next section.

How to Begin an Optician Negligence Claim

If you wish to launch a compensation claim against your optician and have gathered evidence with the aim of doing so, the next step we advise is to seek legal assistance. Calling our offices, for example, can help you discover the full range of expertise that is on offer. With a large amount of paperwork, regulations, and procedures to follow, having a professional on hand can be very beneficial.

If you do choose to hire our firm, the process of beginning your compensation claim would start with a consultation session. You can arrange this over the phone at a time that suits you. Our consultation is offered free of charge and allows you to have a legal expert look over your case and help you decide on a course of action. If you do have a case, we can provide advice regarding potential settlement amounts and how to move forward with the claim. We can also arrange for you to meet with a local doctor in order to better diagnose and deal with every long- and short-term health issue which may arise from the negligence case. With the right help, starting a compensation claim can be much easier.

What can be Claimed for due to Optician Negligence?

When considering a compensation claim, one of the most common mistakes people make is not knowing how a final settlement total is reached. Rather than one single number, the final amount is typically made up of a number of different figures, which factor in the various circumstances of the case. For example, you may be able to claim the following:

  • General damages – this can cover the general pain and suffering you have endured as the result of your optician’s negligent actions.
  • Care claim – in some cases, health issues can mean that you need to hire assistance. Paying for a nurse or a carer can be expensive and this is a cost which can be recovered during the compensation process.
  • Loss of earnings – with vision being so important in so many jobs, health issues affecting your ability to see can massively damage your earning potential. If you have had to take time off work or if you have found that your future ability to earn has been damaged by an optician’s negligence, you can claim to have these losses covered.
  • Travel Expenses – frequent trips to medical appointments can be costly, so you may be able to cover the expenses of necessary travel, such as train fares.
  • Medical Expenses – medical expenses – for equipment, medicine, and visiting a specialist – can be high, especially if you opt for private healthcare. Often, these costs can be recovered.

In compensation claims, it can often be the case that you are able to claim back all of the financial losses that have occurred as the result of your injury. Discuss the matter with a solicitor to discover what can and what cannot be claimed.

How Much Compensation will I get for an Optician Negligence Claim?

Optician negligence

Optician negligence

The amount you can expect to receive from your optician negligence claim is influenced by the severity of your injury. Generally speaking, the more severe the injury, the higher the compensation payout will be. However, trying to provide a single, definitive figure for possible settlement amounts can be difficult, given the unique circumstances which surround every case.

However, we have put together the following table to help you better understand the claims process. It can provide you with a rough estimation of the compensation totals, as well as being able to demonstrate how much the severity of a health condition can influence a compensation claim.

Total BlindnessVery severeComplete and permanent loss of sight in both eyes.£204,250 - £337,700
Loss of Sight in One Eye (with potential future loss of sight in the other)SeverePermanent loss of sight in one eye with potential for deterioration of sight in the other, potentially resulting in total blindness.£48,600 - £150,370
Loss of Sight in One EyeSevereA single eye is affected by total loss of sight.£18,000 - £45,840
Impaired Vision in One or Both EyesModerateAlso includes cases of increased sensitivity to light in one or both eyes.£6,925 - £17,550
Minor Eye InjuriesMinorInitial pain and some interference to vision, which will eventually heal.£3,000 - £7,320
Transient Eye InjuriesMinorVision troubles which will likely heal within a week.£1,675 - £3,300

As illustrated above, the amount that you may be awarded for an optician negligence compensation claim is influenced by the severity of your injury, ranging from minor issues to severe issues.

NHS Optician Negligence Compensation Claims

In making your claim, you might find yourself filing a complaint against the NHS (National Health Service). This means that you will be claiming against the public healthcare body, rather than a private organisation or individual, which can make matters slightly different. For example, the NHS complaints procedure is a separate entity to the legal claims process and is designed to ensure that:

  • complaints are handled efficiently.
  • all complaints are investigated.
  • the individual who makes the complaint is treated with respect.
  • the individual is informed of the ongoing investigation.

However, it is possible to have an open NHS complaint and an ongoing compensation claim at the same time. If you have already launched a complaint, you do not need to wait until it has been resolved until you seek legal advice or assistance.

No Win No Fee Optician Negligence Claims

In filing compensation claims, one of the hardest parts of the process can be finding the funds to fight the case. Many law firms demand that clients pay fees up front and throughout the case. In medical negligence claims – which might take many months to complete, during which time you may not be able to work – this can be particularly damaging. But if you would like to make a claim against your optician, we may have an alternative approach.

We can offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. Put in simple terms, this means that we only charge you in the event that your claim is successful. What’s more, we won’t make any charge until the settlement is made. There is no upfront or ongoing cost, meaning that you can relax while we take care of the legal work.

This approach is also referred to as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ and it allows people to hire legal professionals without the financial risk. If you would like to learn more, you can call our offices today.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service for an Optician Negligence Claim?

If you are making a claim for compensation, you should make sure you have the right professional help. With our years spent in the legal trade, we know how much clients value informed, professional, efficient, and effective legal representation. We do our best to provide the highest quality legal services around, helping you fight for compensation despite any ongoing health concerns.

Our team know how to fight for compensation. We have many years experience in the profession, helping clients win compensation in case of optician negligence, as well as general medical malpractice. As well as being able to offer informed expertise, we can help you in many other ways.

For instance, our clients appreciate the fact that we’re able to offer free legal consultation sessions. In the early days of a claim, when you are unsure whether you are due compensation, having an informed legal opinion can be invaluable. If you call us today, we can arrange such a meeting, free of charge. What’s more, we can arrange for you to visit a local healthcare specialist, providing you with a complete medical evaluation to ensure that every part of your case is covered and compensated. We can offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, too, minimising the financial risk for clients.

If you want the very best in expert legal advice, we are a perfect choice. Our law firm can handle your case throughout the journey towards compensation, providing thoughtful and insightful assistance which can put your mind at ease. When suffering from a case of optician negligence, this peace of mind is essential. If you would like to discover more about what we can do for our clients, get in touch with us today.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

When you want to hire our team, we’re ready and waiting to hear from you. There are two ways to get in touch, either by calling our offices or by filling out the contact form on our website. It only takes a moment and, from there, we can arrange a consultation session, totally free of charge. For the best legal representation, all you need to do is contact us.

So, if you would like to speak with one of our representatives today, just call 0800 073 8804 now. We look forward to hearing from you.

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