Last updated on April 8th, 2022
Visiting your GP usually means having them assess your symptoms, diagnose the problem, and arrange treatment. However, if your GP makes a mistake, it could mean a delay in treatment, the wrong treatment, or no treatment at all. If you suffer as a result, you might be able to claim compensation for your suffering. In this guide to GP negligence claims, we’ll explore the types of negligence that could allow you to claim, what you could claim compensation for, and how much you could receive.
Proving medical negligence against a general practitioner can be difficult. Don’t worry though, we can help you negotiate the claims process. To start, we’ll review your claim against your GP and provide free legal advice. Then, if your claim appears to have a reasonable chance of success, we’ll ask one of our specialists solicitors to discuss it further with you. If you’d like them to represent you, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis. That means you won’t need to pay anything for their work unless you are paid compensation.
We are ready to help if you’re ready to begin a GP negligence claim. To start the claims process right away, please call us on 0800 6524 881. Alternatively, please carry on reading if you’d like to know more about how to sue a doctor for negligence.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A GP Negligence Claim?
- Types Of GP Negligence Claims
- What Negligence Could I Sue A Doctor For?
- Evidence To Support A GP Negligence Claim
- How Much Compensation For GP Negligence?
- Time Limits For GP Negligence Claims
- Using Medical Negligence Solicitors For GP Negligence Cases
It’s important to note that GPs cannot stop patients from suffering all of the time. There are occasions where the patient’s symptoms cannot be cured no matter what action the GP takes. On these occasions, a claim against your doctor will be unlikely. The criteria your solicitor will check before accepting your case are:
- Was your doctor negligent? This means did they act below the level you could reasonably expect from a competent medical professional given the same circumstances?
- Did GP negligence cause you to suffer? This is known as causation. Essentially, you need to prove causation by showing that your doctor’s actions led to any injury or illness you are claiming for.
If you ask the question, “but for my GPs negligence, would I have still got ill?” and the answer is no, you may have the grounds to take action.
In terms of proving negligence, your medical negligence solicitor will use a similarly skilled independent medical expert. They’ll check whether they’d have acted differently to your GP. This is called the Bolam test. If they agree with the way your GP acted, a claim wouldn’t proceed. However, if they believe the doctor’s actions were wrong, your claim could continue.
While no amount of money will make the loss of a loved one better, you might need to claim at some point. As well as claiming on behalf of the deceased’s estate, you might be entitled to a bereavement payment too. Also, claims can be made by those who were financially dependent on the deceased and those who incur costs like funeral expenses because of the GP’s negligence.
If you would like to find out how we could help you claim, please get in touch today.
So, what forms of negligence by your GP could entitle you to claim compensation? Well, some examples include:
- Diagnosis errors. Here you may be able to claim if you suffered because of a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis.
- Prescription errors. If you’re prescribed the wrong medication it could cause suffering in a couple of ways. Firstly, you may suffer an adverse reaction to the drugs. Secondly, your underlying illness could become worse because of a lack of proper treatment.
- Failure to refer for tests. In some cases, GPs need to pass your case onto other specialists for additional testing. For example, if you show some of the symptoms of cancer, you may need additional blood tests to prove the diagnosis. If you’re not referred and your condition gets worse, as a result, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
If you believe that your GP’s negligence has caused you to suffer, please get in touch to find out if we could help you to claim.
Doctors are trained for years so that they have the skills and understand the correct procedures they should use to treat you. If they get that wrong, and you suffer as a result, you are well within your rights to sue a doctor for compensation for your suffering. Importantly, GP negligence claims can be made against both private and NHS doctors.
The reasons you might want to sue a doctor for negligence include:
- You suffered an adverse reaction to a medication you were wrongly prescribed.
- Your cancer became inoperable because of a delay in diagnosis.
- A loved one has died because of GP negligence.
- You suffered an allergic reaction to medication because you were prescribed medicine that contain an allergen listed on your medical records.
Of course, there are many other reasons a patient might want to sue a negligent doctor for that we won’t list here, so please get in touch with our advisors if you have any questions.
During your GP negligence claim, your medical negligence solicitor will try to gather as much evidence to support your claim as possible. This can include:
- Your medical records. These could help establish what treatment you were offered and what suffering was caused if your GP is proven to have been negligent.
- A statement from you. This will make it easier for you to convey how you were affected by the treatment you received.
- Independent expert reports. Most claims require a report from a medical professional in the same field as your GP. Where necessary, you’ll be asked to attend a medical assessment as part of the claims process. This appointment is typically arranged by your solicitor close to your home.
- Photographic evidence. If you have any visible signs of your suffering, it’s a good idea to take photographs as evidence.
- Witness statements. Your solicitor may also ask your friends or family to describe how you’ve been affected by your illness or injuries to help corroborate how you’ve suffered.
Our team of solicitors know what evidence is needed during GP negligence claims. If you’d like us to check whether they could help you to take action, please call today.
There is no two GP negligence claims the same. Therefore, it’s not possible to say what amount of compensation you might receive when a GP has been negligent if your claim is successful.
However, compensation is designed to cover several things (where applicable) including:
- The pain and suffering you had to endure, and loss of amenity (explained further here).
- Any loss of income or future loss of income.
- Care costs (including the value of the time a loved one spent looking after you).
- Travel-related expenses.
- Private remedial medical treatment costs.
- Modifications to your home if the GP’s negligence has left you disabled.
If your claim is taken on by a medical negligence solicitor, they’ll review everything in fine detail. They’ll try to make sure nothing is missed out in an attempt to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible for you.
By law, you’ll need to claim compensation for GP negligence within a 3-year limitation period. After that time, your claim will be statute-barred so it’s important to act quickly. Your time limit will commence from:
- The date your GP treated you negligently; or
- Your date of knowledge. This is the date on which your injuries were diagnosed and linked to your GP’s negligence.
By starting your claim early, you’ll find it easier to explain how you have suffered. Also, you’ll give your solicitor the time needed to prepare your case and gather the evidence before it needs to be filed.
If you’d like to check how long you’ve got left to make your GP negligence claim, please speak to us today.
In our lengthy experience, proving medical negligence against a GP/doctor can be quite tricky and you’ll need quite complex evidence to prove your case. We believe the chances of being compensated fairly might be improved if you have specialist legal representation.
If one of our team of medical negligence solicitors takes your case on, they’ll work hard to secure the evidence needed to prove what happened. They’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis and handle all aspects of the GP negligence claims process for you.
If there are objections regarding liability for your injuries, your solicitor will fight your corner. Where needed, they’ll provide extra evidence to try and counter any arguments. Throughout the claims process, you’ll be given regular updates about the progress of your case.
Are you ready to start your claim today? If so, call our team on 0800 6524 881 right away. An advisor will review your GP negligence claim with you and explain your options for free, with no obligation to proceed.