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First Aid Negligence Claims Guide – How Do I Claim Compensation?

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated March 2024. Have you been harmed because of the negligent administration of first aid? You may be eligible to make a first aid negligence claim for compensation. Whether you were injured because of improper first aid at work, or when you were out in public, you may be able to claim compensation for your avoidable injuries. First aid by definition is immediate help given to a person who has become injured or ill. In some instances, the first aid may be to give the person immediate relief from their symptoms, for example applying a cool compress to a minor burn. In other circumstances, first aid can preserve the person’s life, until they can get medical treatment. For example, giving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to a person who has suffered a cardiac arrest, to keep them alive until the ambulance comes. Unfortunately, there can be instances where a person can experience further injuries because they received first aid. Some injuries are unavoidable and will not qualify for compensation.

First Aid-negligence-claims

First Aid-negligence-claims

However if you have been avoidably injured because of first aid negligence, trust Legal Expert to help you claim compensation. Call us on 0800 073 8804 for your free consultation and if we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim, we will provide you with a solicitor to handle your case. Alternatively, contact us using our online claim form, to see if you are legitimately entitled to claim.

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A Guide To First Aid Negligence Claims

Most people train to get a first-aid certificate, to help others who may be in need of assistance. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires low-risk workplaces, such as a small to medium-sized office to have a member of staff receive first aid training and have a first aid kit on the site. A person may voluntarily train to be their company’s appointed first aider. In other roles, such as working in a gym, or working as a teacher, first aid certifications may be a requirement of the job. First aid can help people in the short term who are suffering from minor injuries, before they are able to see a doctor. In some situations, first aid can save a life, for example, if a person loses consciousness and stops breathing, a first aider can perform CPR before an ambulance arrives. In some cases, the person would have died before the paramedics could reach them if they had not received first aid during the intervening period.

If there are incidents when first aid negligence occurs the injured person’s condition could worsen, or they could receive additional injuries. If you have been injured by someone who breached their duty of care as a first aider, you may be able to make a first aid negligence compensation claim. Contact Legal Expert today, to see if you are eligible to claim. If we can see that you are owed compensation, we can provide you with a solicitor to handle your claim, who will start working on your case as soon as possible.

What Is First Aid Negligence?

If a person chooses to perform first aid on an injured person, they have a duty of care to that person. First aid negligence is when the trained first aider administering first aid, does so in a way that does not meet the appropriate standard of care.

One example of first aid negligence could be a first aider giving CPR to a person who is unconscious but is still breathing, rather than putting them in the recovery position. This can harm the unconscious person, and may not meet the expected standard of care for first aid. Another first aid negligence example would be if the first aider intentionally or unintentionally assaults an injured person, by not gaining consent from the injured person to touch them, without explaining what his/her intentions are or obtaining verbal consent.

When May First Aid Be Required?

A person who is not a medical practitioner can receive first aid training or a first aid certification. First aid allows people to provide immediate assistance to injured or unwell people. In some cases, first aid may be all that is required. Or the injured person may need to go to a doctor’s surgery or hospital, depending on the severity of the injuries.

Examples of when first aid may be required:

  • Minor or major cuts
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • A casualty is choking
  • A casualty has lost consciousness
  • A casualty has stopped breathing or is suffering a heart attack
  • Suspected broken or fractured bones

First Aiders Duty Of Care

If a person with first aid training decides to perform first aid on an injured or ill person, they will owe that person a duty of care. A duty of care is when you are expected to provide a reasonable standard of care for the person you are helping. If you fail to comply with these standards this can be judged as negligence. Of course, a member of the public with a first-aid certificate is not comparable to a qualified medical practitioner such as a doctor or nurse working at a GP surgery or hospital. So a first aider will not be expected to perform to the standard that is expected of a medical practitioner.

If a first aider performs a negligent action or inaction whilst attempting to administer first aid, which results in the casualty’s injuries becoming worse, or injures the casualties in other ways, the first aider could be held liable for the casualties injuries. Therefore the casualty may be able to make a first aid negligence claim.

Negligence Examples – First Aid

In regard to first aid at work, the law states that certain workplaces must have appropriate facilities and personnel available to provide employees with attention immediately if they are taken ill or injured at work. This requirement can be found in the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981.

A first aider has certain responsibilities in the workplace and must carry them out as safely as possible. Here are a few examples of what could be categorised as first aid negligence:

  • Failure to call an ambulance – Whilst the safety of someone who is injured may initially be the responsibility of a first aider, they may not be qualified to handle a more serious incident. If they neglect to ask someone to call an ambulance when one is needed, then the injured person’s injury could be made worse. In some incidents, this could even result in a fatality.
  • Performing unnecessary CPR – For example, if the patient is still breathing but is unconscious. This can damage internal organs and bones, or even disrupt an otherwise healthy heartbeat.

Reach out today for more examples. Our advisors can also answer questions such as “do you need a first aider at work by law?”.

What Happens If A First Aider Causes Injuries To The Casualty?

If first aid is administered in an incorrect or inappropriate manner, it may exacerbate the casualty’s existing injuries, or cause additional injuries. This may happen because a well-intentioned member of the public who has not had first aid training tries to help the casualty and causes harm. Similarly, a person who is first aid qualified may make an error.

Under a very particular set of circumstances, it may be a necessary evil to injure a person in order to apply effective first aid. For example, when a person is giving CPR they could break the casualty’s ribs or damage an internal organ. If a person is suffering a cardiac arrest or has stopped breathing, their life is at immediate risk, so a broken rib would be seen as an unfortunate consequence of this life-saving procedure. As such, this would not be an example of first aid negligence.

Similarly, a person can suffer burns if the first aider has to use a defibrillator. However, a defibrillator is only used if there is a cardiac arrest, an abnormal heartbeat, a ventricular tachycardia (abnormally fast heartbeat) or ventricular fibrillation, a chaotic heartbeat, cutting off blood flow to the rest of the body. Using a defibrillator is a lifesaving procedure, so you would not be able to sue if you were burned by a defibrillator.

What If The First Aider Does Not Obtain Consent?

Under the Mental Capacity Act, 2008, it is stated that unless evidence is provided to the contrary, a person administering first aid must obtain consent from a casualty to treat them. Under this act, the casualty has the right to refuse treatment from a person administering first aid.

If a casualty refuses treatment, ask the following questions:

  1. Does the casualty understand the seriousness of the situation?
  2. Would the casualty accept treatment from another person? Maybe the casualty wants to be treated by someone who is of the same gender, or someone they know personally.
  3. Can the casualty treat themselves? For example, a casualty may be able to apply a cold compress to a burn, or a plaster or a cut, without someone else touching them.

Rules around consent exist to protect the first aider and the person being treated. By explaining their intentions and asking for consent the first aider is protecting themselves and the patient.

Consent And Unconscious Victims

A first aider must only perform an act of first aid on a victim if they have given consent prior to the casualty losing consciousness, or if it is a lifesaving procedure. If a first aider finds an unconscious casualty and needs to check to see if they need first aid (for example checking their pulse, whether or not they are breathing, or signs that they have injected themselves with drugs) the first aid administrator should explain what they are doing and why in case the person can hear them. It is also acceptable to put an unconscious person in the recovery position, as they could potentially choke to death if they are lying on their back and vomit.

First Aider Best Practices

Taking a first aid course is a great thing to do. You never know when you may need to administer first aid and it could even save a person’s life. However, to avoid legal issues in first aid and to make sure you don’t cause further injury, it is important not to administer first aid if you are unsure of the right thing to do. To implement best practices when applying first aid procedures, make sure you take an accredited first aid course and renew your certification when necessary. You can always revise what you know from time to time or take additional training to expand your knowledge.

Negligent First Aid In The Workplace

Workplaces must abide by the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, 1981. This act emphasises the importance of first aid at work and states that employers should provide adequate first aid first aid facilities, personnel and equipment. Workplaces should ensure that there are staff on their workforce who have received first aid training to help their colleagues if necessary.

As well as adequately trained personnel, workplaces should have first aid equipment, such as the tools on this HSE first aid kit contents list:

  1. Sterile plasters of assorted sizes that are individually wrapped
  2. Sterile eye pads
  3. Safety pins
  4. Disposable gloves
  5. Individually wrapped sterile triangular bandages
  6. Individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings of large and medium sizes.

This is not an exhaustive list. Your first aid kit should be maintained and items that have been used should be replaced.

If you were harmed due to first aid negligence at work, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim for first aid at work injury. To learn more about legal issues in first aid, contact our team of advisors today. They can provide free legal advice and expert help.

First Aid Law – How Long Do I Have To Claim?

In the workplace, employers owe you a duty of care. First aid regulations, such as the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, outline the requirements of employers to provide adequate personnel, facilities and equipment for the administration of first aid in the workplace.

If this duty of care is breached, and you were injured or your condition worsened as a result, you may be able to claim. However, it is important that you start a claim within the time limit.

The time limit to start a medical negligence claim is generally three years from the date you were injured, or three years from when you became aware that your injury was caused by negligence. However, there are exceptions. For example:

  • Children – If first aid duties were neglected, resulting in an injury to a child, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th
  • Mental disability – If a claimant lacks mental capacity, the time limit would not begin until they are deemed to have recovered, if this applies.

In both cases, the time limit is suspended until they can represent themselves in legal proceedings. However, a litigation friend is able to claim on their behalf at any point during this suspended period.

We would advise that you begin a claim as soon as possible if your injuries were caused because you were not provided with first aid. The law, under the Limitation Act 1980, bars claimants from pursuing a claim if it is not formally started within the limitation period.

To find out your eligibility, or to find out if you’re still within your time limit, our advisors offer a free consultation with no obligation to claim with us after.

First Aid Negligence Compensation Calculator

Personal injury/medical negligence compensation awards include; general damages and special damages. General damages is compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity, caused by the claimant’s injuries. Special damages is reimbursement for any expenses or financial losses caused by the claimant’s injuries, such as medical expenses.

You can use our claims calculator to estimate how much your first aid negligence claim could be worth. These figures have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document used by legal professionals to help value potential claims. These figures are only guidelines, and the actual amount of compensation you may receive can vary.

Injury Sustained Comments Settlement Award
Chest Injury – Category (B) Including traumatic injuries affecting the internal organs of the chest. May present as injuries to the heart or lungs. Those injuries may cause permanent injury and could impair function of these organs. £65,740 to £100,670
Chest Injury – Category (C) Damage or injury to the chest or the lungs. There is some level of disability which may continue. £31,310 to £54,830
Chest Injury – Category (G) Rib fractures or soft tissue injuries which result in pain for several weeks. There may be some disability in the short term. Up to £3,950
Chest Injury – Category (F) Chest injuries which could lead to a collapsed lung. The claimant should make a a full recovery which is uncomplicated. £2,190 to £5,320
Hernia – (A) Hernia injuries which cause continuing pain and which limit physical activity such as sport or limits the ability to work. £14,900 to £24,170
Hernia – (B) Inguinal hernia injuries where they was not any prior weakness but where they is a risk of it reoccuring. £7,010 to £9.,110
Hernia – (C) Indirect and uncomplicated inguinal hernia’s. May be repaired. No associated injuries to the abdomninal area. £3,390 to £7,230
Neck Injury – Moderate (iii) Neck injuries which have exacerbated an existing condition. £7,890 to £13,740
Ankle Injury – Severe More severe injuries may require a longer period of time to treat and you may need to wear a plaster cast or need to have pins in the joint. £31,310 to £50,060
Wrist Injury – (A) Functional usage of the wrist has been lost. £47,620 to £59,860

Please note, this calculator only estimates how much you could claim in compensation for general damages, not special damages. For an accurate estimation based on your personal situation, call us today to speak to an advisor.

Special Damages If Harmed By Negligent First Aid

Special Damages – These will reimburse you for any financial losses or expenses that you have experienced, as a result of your injuries. These can include travel expenses, medical expenses, at-home care expenses, home adaptation expenses or loss of income if your injuries forced you to take time off work.

No Win No Fee First Aid Negligence Claims

At Legal Expert, we understand that being injured, or having your injuries worsened when receiving first aid can be a stressful experience. Being injured can also have a negative impact on your finances, especially if you have had to take time off work as a result. This is why we give our clients the option to make a no win no fee claim, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

With a no win no fee claim you will not have to pay an upfront solicitors fee. Instead, your fee is deducted from your compensation package, if you win your claim. If your case is unsuccessful and you don’t win your claim, you will not be charged a solicitors fee. For many of our clients, this is the less stressful way to claim.

Read our online guide to making a no win no fee claim, to find out more. Or, get in touch with our team of advisors to find out if you could start your claim today. They can offer free legal advice and more information surrounding legal issues in first aid.

Start Your Claim

There are some great benefits to making a personal injury/medical negligence claim with Legal Expert.

  • We can provide you with an excellent solicitor to handle your claim, with years of experience handling cases like yours.
  • We promise we will push to win you the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to claim.
  • You will have the option to make a no win no fee claim, so there is less stress involved.

To begin your claim for injuries caused by first aid negligence, call us on 0800 073 8804 to speak to us about claiming compensation today. Alternatively, you can start your claim online. Contact us today, we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Essential References

Medical Negligence Claims – How much compensation could I claim?

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Misdiagnosis? – Medical misdiagnosis claims guide.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Birth Injury? – A birth injury medical negligence claims guide.

Broken Rib Injury Claims Guide – A guide to claiming for a broken rib.

Warehouse Accident Claims  – A guide to making a claim after suffering an injury in a warehouse.

Injury Claims Against Another Employee or Colleague – A guide to making a personal injury claim against another employee.

Would I Need To See A Doctor When Claiming For A Personal Injury? – Information on if you need to see a doctor when you make a personal injury claim.

Neck Injury Compensation Claims – A guide on making a compensation claim following a neck injury.


External References

An HSE Guide To First Aid At Work

An HSE Guide To First Aid

Written by Chelache

Edited by Melissa.

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