Hip replacements are used to reduce pain in those suffering from hip fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, bone dysplasias and septic arthritis. They aim to reduce the amount of pain the patient suffers by replacing the old hip joint with a plastic hip joint. For many, the short-term impact of surgery is far outweighed by the benefits of a new hip joint. While that’s the case, some people suffer avoidable harm from hip replacement surgery.
In this guide to claiming compensation for a negligent hip replacement, we’ll explain what forms of medical negligence could lead to a claim, how much compensation for hip replacement negligence might be awarded, and how the claims process works if you’re eligible.
Proving medical negligence can be a complex process. That’s why it’s often a good idea to seek legal representation. A quick call to our claims advisors might be all it takes to find out if a medical negligence solicitor could help you. During your initial consultation, you’ll receive free legal advice about the merits of your claim. If the solicitor agrees to work on your case, they’ll provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis. Our experience shows that most claimants find everything a lot less stressful as a result.
To find out more about claiming hip replacement compensation, please read through this guide. If you already know that you’d like to take action, please call 0800 6524 881 to get in touch.
Table of contents
- How Hip Replacement Negligence Can Lead To Compensation Claims
- Eligibility To Claim Compensation For Hip Replacement Negligence
- Types Of Medical Negligence Leading To Compensation For A Hip Replacement
- How Is Surgical Negligence Proven In Hip Replacement Compensation Claims?
- Time Limits For Hip Replacement Claims
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Hip Replacement?
- Using A Medical Negligence Solicitor To Claim Hip Replacement Compensation
Negligence during hip replacement is quite rare but can happen. It can also happen if you need secondary surgery to correct a problem resulting from your first surgery. Some examples of why secondary surgery might be needed include:
- Where the femur or thigh bone was fractured while it was attached to the hip implant.
- If the wrong size implant was fitted.
- Where the hip was not positioned correctly.
- Where foot drop occurs because of nerve damage.
- If the nerves were compressed by retractors used during surgery.
- If scalpels or other surgical instruments were used negligently and damaged nerves or tissues.
- Where an infection or blood clot was not diagnosed and treated properly.
Importantly, there are times when injuries are unavoidable and are known risks in hip replacement surgery. In these cases, if the surgeon acted appropriately, you wouldn’t be able to claim.
Foot drop is where reduced sensory function means it’s difficult (or impossible) for the patient to move their foot in an upwards motion. During a hip replacement, the surgeon needs to work in close proximity to the sciatic nerve. If this is compressed or damaged, it can lead to foot drop.
The condition can make it difficult for the patient to drive and they may need to rely on walking aids. Some ankle and foot functions may return over time but there will still be some permanent disability.
Foot drop and nerve damage are risk factors in hip replacement surgery. However, some injuries can be caused by medical negligence during surgery. The way in which instruments are used or how the joint is manipulated into place could both be considered if you decide to seek compensation for medical negligence.
If you’d like us to review your chances of receiving compensation, please call our team today.
To be eligible to claim hip replacement compensation for medical negligence, you’ll need to show that:
- The treatment performed by the surgeon or doctor fell below what could be reasonably expected by a competent medical professional [breach of duty or negligence].
- As a direct result of negligence, you suffered nerve damage or other injuries [causation].
To make a successful claim, both negligence and causation must be proven. That means that you couldn’t claim if the doctor was found to have acted correctly during surgery. Similarly, you couldn’t claim if the doctor’s negligence didn’t result in any problems.
As you need to prove a hip replacement caused you to suffer unnecessarily, let’s look at some forms of negligence that could lead to a claim. They include:
- Where the surgeon did not explain the risks of hip replacement surgery prior to treatment. Factors such as age, smoking, obesity, previous hip surgery and other medical conditions should all be considered at this point.
- If pre-operative checks were not carried out before surgery commenced. For example, checks should be performed with your GP if you have a heart condition, take steroids, or are prescribed warfarin or other anti-clotting drugs.
- Where the surgeon failed to perform adequate tests before carrying out the hip replacement. For example, other less intrusive treatment options should be considered to see if you’d benefit without surgery.
- If the incorrect procedures were used during surgery.
- Where the wrong type or wrong size of hip joint was used.
It is possible for some complications to be rectified by further treatment. However, this can be risky. Other surgical errors can cause long-term problems and life-long disabilities along with continuing pain.
If you’ve suffered after hip replacement surgery, call us to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Solicitors specialise in legal matters and cannot say when a surgeon has been negligent as they do not have the same skills. Instead, when surgical negligence is alleged for a hip replacement, the Bolam test is applied.
This is where a panel of similarly skilled medical professionals look at what the defendant did. If they agree that the defendant acted, in the same way, they would have done in the same situation, a claim will not be possible. However, if they determine that the wrong procedures were followed or that they’d have done things differently, a compensation claim could be made against the defendant.
Our team of medical negligence solicitors have been helping clients to claim damages for many years. To see if they could help you, please get in touch today.
Hip replacement claims for medical negligence must be made within a 3-year time limit. Usually, this will start from the date you were treated. However, if problems linked to negligent surgery were not identified until later on, the date of knowledge could be your starting point.
If you would like to claim on behalf of a loved one, that’s something we could help with. If they are unable to represent themselves, you could become their litigation friend and deal with the claim for them.
Our advice is to start the hip replacement claims process as soon as it’s possible to do so. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, you’ll give your solicitor ample time to collect evidence and reports to substantiate your claim. Secondly, if negligence is admitted, your solicitor could ask for the cost of private medical treatment to be paid for to support a faster recovery.
Please get in touch when you’re ready to claim.
The amount of compensation you could get for a hip replacement is mainly determined by how much pain and suffering you’ve gone through (general damages).
We have provided some payout amounts below for general damages and hip injuries to give you some idea about potential compensation amounts. No two claims are the same, though, so please use these figures as guidance at this point.
- Up to £3,710 compensation for injuries to the soft tissues that will heal entirely.
- £3,710 – £11,820 compensation for hip injuries that may have resulted in temporary or permanent incapacity.
- £11,820 – £24,950 compensation where there are continued symptoms deemed more severe than minor after hip surgery or hip replacement.
- £24,950 – £36,770 compensation where a severe hip injury has occurred, although any resulting disability is minor.
- £36,770 – £122,860 compensation for the most severe injuries.
As you can see, the level of injury you’ve sustained is an important factor in determining compensation levels. Therefore, a medical assessment will be needed for your hip replacement claim. This can usually be arranged locally by your solicitor so you won’t need to travel too far.
In addition to compensation for your injuries, it’s also possible to claim for any expenses or financial losses caused by hip replacement surgery negligence. For example, if you’ve not been able to work, you could claim back any lost income. Similarly, if you’ve needed help with everyday tasks, care costs might be claimable.
Your solicitor will explain what amount of compensation you’ll claim once they’ve reviewed everything fully.
If you do decide to claim hip replacement compensation, your claim is likely to be processed by NHS Resolution or a private insurance company. The process can be tricky and require complex medical and legal evidence.
We believe a medical negligence solicitor can improve your chances of a) winning your claim and b) being properly compensated. If your claim is accepted by our team, they’ll use their legal skills and experience, they’ll fight your corner to try and ensure you’re compensated fairly.
To start a claim right away or to discuss your options, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today. We’ll let you know your chances of being compensated following your free case review, and how much hip replacement compensation you could be eligible to claim.