Last updated on April 14th, 2022
Any form of illness or injury in a care home can be very traumatic. Whether it’s you or a loved one who’s been injured, you may be able to claim compensation if care home negligence caused you to suffer.
In this guide to claiming compensation for care home negligence, we’ll review what forms of negligence could entitle you to claim compensation. Whether suffering has been caused by a fall in a care home, medication errors, malnutrition, or care home neglect, we could help you to seek compensation. As well as explaining when a compensation claim might be possible, we’ll also look at what level of compensation award might be offered for a range of different injuries.
We provide free legal advice about the care home claims process during an initial telephone consultation. You don’t have to make a claim after the call but, if you do and your case is accepted, we could partner you with one of our personal injury solicitors. They specialise in personal injury claims and provide a No Win No Fee service for all accepted care home negligence claims. Furthermore, you won’t need to pay them a penny upfront either. That means you should find the claims process a lot less stressful.
Please continue to read the rest of this guide if you’d like more information on claiming compensation for care home negligence. If you’d rather get started right away, you can call us on 0800 6524 881 to discuss the claims process today.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Care Home Negligence Claim?
- Negligence That Could Lead To Care Home Claims
- Care Home Neglect Resulting In Death
- Evidence To Support Claims Of Negligence In A Care Home
- How Much Compensation For Care Home Neglect Could I Claim?
- Care Home Claims Time Limits
- Using Personal Injury Solicitors For Suing A Care Home For Neglect
- No Win No Fee Care Home Negligence Claims
To claim compensation for care home negligence, you will need to show that:
- The care home’s duty of care was breached by an act of negligence; and
- The claimant was injured or made ill as a result of that negligence.
Care workers have a legal obligation to:
- Act in the best interests of the care home resident.
- Not fail to act, or act in a way that causes harm.
- Not take on anything they are not competent in or cannot carry out safely.
The statements above form their duty of care. Care home providers will also have a duty of care to try and protect the wellbeing of their residents as best they can. Any form of negligence that breaches the duty of care could entitle the resident to be compensated for any suffering that results.
Regulations covering care homes have been tightened in recent years and inspections are now more regular. The managers of care homes and residential facilities not only have a duty of care to their clients but they also have a duty of care to their staff. Some of the more common issues reported by regulators include:
- Inadequate reporting of care home accidents;
- Poor monitoring of residents;
- Ill maintained equipment;
- Substandard levels of staff training;
- Inadequate risk assessments;
- Substandard levels of investment in necessary equipment;
- Use of inexperienced staff for inappropriate activities.
Improved training and investment in equipment in care homes, such as lifting machinery, not only assists staff in carrying out their activities but also improves the level of care for residents.
Before we look at what evidence you could use for a care home claim, let’s look at what forms of negligence could lead to suffering in a care home. They include:
- Falls in care homes. Extra protection should be in place to prevent care home residents from falling. This is particularly true for frail residents or those with impaired vision. If they slip, trip or fall and injure themselves because of hazards that were difficult to see, slipped and fell on a wet floor, or because they weren’t supported while getting out of bed, a claim might be possible. One issue often overlooked is the deterioration in eyesight that many older residents will suffer meaning their vision is impaired. It is therefore imperative that floors are kept clean and tidy, all essential equipment is to hand and assistance is available.
- Lifting procedures. Staff in care homes should be trained in lifting residents in and out of bed where needed. If they’ve failed to follow the correct procedures and you or a loved one has been injured, you could seek damages for your suffering.
- Medication errors. Many residents in care homes rely on medication to manage ongoing conditions. It is imperative that the prescribed dosage is given at the correct time. Any prescription error in a care home that causes suffering might mean compensation could be sought.
- Bed or pressure sores can result if a care home resident is left in the same position for too long. Staff should therefore move patients who are bed-bound or sat in the same position regularly. If a loved one is suffering from bedsores, please get in touch to check your options.
- Care home neglect. It is fair to say that neglect in the care home industry receives significant media attention perhaps giving an unfair representation of treatment on the ground. However, unfortunately, there are situations where care home residents are neglected for a whole host of reasons including inexperienced staff, staff shortages and inappropriate actions. There are various regulatory bodies that monitor care homes with regular visits to ensure that standards are being maintained. Where they are not checked on regularly, fed properly or they’re left dehydrated, a care home negligence claim may be possible.
- Care home abuse. Any form of elder abuse in a care home is likely to result in a police investigation. A compensation claim may also be possible for the resulting suffering.
We can help with care home negligence claims. If you’d like a free review of your case, please call one of our specialists today.
While no amount of compensation is going to make you feel better, you could claim compensation if a loved one has died in a care home because of neglect. Initially, a claim could be made by the estate of your loved one to claim for their death and any associated pain and suffering. Additionally, any dependents could also be compensated as well.
To claim compensation in this situation, you’ll need to show how your loved one died because they received a lower standard of care than you could reasonably expect. For example, a claim might be possible if they died because they:
- Weren’t given their prescribed medication.
- Fell because incorrect lifting techniques were attempted.
- Were malnourished.
- Were dehydrated.
If you believe your loved one was not treated correctly in a care home and this led to their death, please get in touch for free legal advice. Our team will deal with your call compassionately and you won’t be under any obligation to take action. If you do decide to proceed, though, we could ask one of our experienced solicitors to work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.
It is important to provide evidence that corroborates your accusation of care home neglect. What evidence you can use will vary from case to case but could include:
- Medical records. These can be used to show what injuries have been recorded. They may include x-rays of any fractured bones. To support these, you could provide photographs of any visible injuries such as bruising or pressure sores.
- Your care home contract. This could be used to demonstrate what level of care you should have received contractually.
- Correspondence. If you’ve written to the care home to raise your concerns formally, any emails or letters you’ve sent or received could support your case.
- A diary. Additionally, if you’ve raised concerns informally, it’s a good idea to diarise your conversations. You should record the date, time, and who you spoke to.
- Evidence of expenses. To help prove any costs you’ve incurred because of care home negligence, it’s a good idea to keep hold of any relevant receipts or invoices.
- CCTV footage. Where an accident in a care home is captured by CCTV security cameras, you should request a copy. This footage is often deleted quickly, though, so it’s a good idea to act swiftly here.
If you’d like support with making a care home negligence claim, give our claims advisors a call and they will review your evidence for free.
Your solicitor will use two heads of loss to assess how much compensation for care home neglect you’ll claim:
- General damages. These cover the pain and suffering that has been caused by your injuries. They can include psychological damage and physical suffering, and also compensation for any loss of amenity.
- Special damages. This is where any costs, expenses or financial losses linked to your injuries will be claimed back.
As each care home claim is unique, so is any settlement amount. For a personal injury solicitor to accurately calculate how much compensation could be claimed, they would have to examine every detail.
Find out more on the above types of damages here.
Generally, personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit that begins from either the date the claimant was injured or from when their condition was diagnosed.
An exception to that rule is if the claimant doesn’t have the mental capacity to take action. In these cases, the 3-year time limit will not apply while that’s still the case and a relative or friend could claim on their behalf at any point as a litigation friend. This is something we can help with. If your loved one is unable to manage their own affairs, any compensation will be managed by a court trust fund and you could request a withdrawal when it will benefit the claimant.
If you’d like us to verify how long you’ve got to make a care home claim, or would like expert advice on becoming a litigation friend, please get in touch today.
Having legal representation when suing a care home for neglect could improve your chances of success. It could also mean you’ll receive a fair settlement amount.
Our team of solicitors have many years of experience handling claims and could help you as well. If your case is accepted, your solicitor will manage the whole process for you.
As a result, you won’t need to answer any legal or medical questions from the defendant yourself as your solicitor will do this for you. Furthermore, they’ll use the experience and training to try and overcome any objections regarding liability that are raised.
Throughout the care home claims process, you’ll receive regular updates about how the case is progressing. Should a settlement offer be made, it will be reviewed with you before it’s accepted to ensure it is a fair amount.
If your care home negligence claim is taken on by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When using a CFA, you don’t pay your solicitor for their work upfront.
Instead, you’ll pay them a success fee if compensation is awarded. This is a set percentage of any settlement that’s paid to you. By law, success fees are currently capped at 25% of any compensation when using CFAs.
Are you ready to start your claim today? If so, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881 to start the ball rolling. There’s no risk in calling as we’ll provide free advice about care home negligence claims and your options whatever you choose to do.