When you are scheduled for a hospital visit, it’s only natural to have that little nagging thought at the back of your mind, ‘What if something goes wrong? Thankfully, most times, patients receive the highest standard of care in hospitals across the UK. Though rare, some patients may have a more unfortunate experience resulting from the negligence of the health care professionals responsible for their care. If the treatment you received at a hospital fell short of the acceptable standard, you should speak to a medical negligence solicitor to determine if you are eligible to file a hospital negligence claim.
What Is Hospital Negligence?
We’d like to first clarify when it is NOT negligence. A negative outcome does not mean a patient has experienced negligence. It would however be considered hospital negligence when a healthcare professional at the hospital causes an injury to the patient through a negligent act. Negligent acts may range from delayed or wrongful diagnoses to treatment errors or inadequate aftercare.
Hospital negligence is also referred to as clinical negligence or medical malpractice.
These are some of the situations that are considered hospital negligence and may lead to a hospital negligence claim for compensation being made:
- Failure to diagnose
- Delay in diagnosing
- Being prescribed the wrong medication
- Being prescribed the wrong dose of medication
- Negligence during surgery
- Anaesthetic complications
- Failure to inform the patient of known risks
- Needle related injuries
- Negligent care during childbirth resulting in birth injuries
- Contracting an infection or disease during the hospital stay
Depending on the circumstances of the negligence and the resultant injuries, you may also be able to pursue a more specific hospital negligence claim. Some examples include:
- Accident and emergency claims
- Surgical error claims
- Meningitis claims
- Birth injury claims
- Anaesthetic error claims
- Needlestick injury claims
- Amputee claims
Will Your Hospital Negligence Claim Be Successful?
For a hospital negligence claim to be successful, you will need to be able to prove that:
- A hospital-patient relationship existed – You must be able to show that you were a patient of the hospital and under the care of the hospital staff when you experienced negligence.
- The hospital was negligent –You have to be able to prove that the hospital caused you harm in some way and that the outcome would have been different if the negligence had not happened. This means you cannot file a hospital negligence claim simply because you were unhappy with the outcome of your treatment.
- Your injuries were caused by hospital negligence – This is one of the most challenging aspects of a hospital negligence claim. Some outcomes are simply inevitable. You have to show that your worsening condition was caused due to hospital negligence and not by your condition itself. This can require the testimony of a medical expert.
- The injury caused specific damages – You must show that you suffered from a specific type of harm. This could be physical pain, mental anguish, loss of income, lost earning capacity or additional hospital bills. Even if you can prove negligence but you did not actually suffer from any harm, you may not be able to pursue a compensation claim.
There are several legalities involved in pursuing a hospital negligence claim. Having a medical negligence solicitor represent you should give you the best chance of winning the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Starting A Hospital Negligence Claim
Most medical negligence solicitors offer prospective clients a complementary, obligation-free consultation. This allows you to get legal advice regarding your hospital negligence claim. The solicitor will assess the merits of your claim and give you expert advice as to how to proceed.
If the medical negligence solicitor concludes that you are a victim of hospital negligence and are entitled to compensation, they will advise you to proceed with filing a claim, almost certainly by way of a No Win No Fee contract. Put simply, this means your solicitor/law firm would cover all legal fees associated with your claim going forward. In our case this means you would not have to pay any money upfront or at any time while the claim is in progress. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay any legal fees at all. You only pay if your hospital negligence claim is successful.
The amount you will have to pay on a successful outcome is calculated as a percentage of the amount awarded. The exact terms would be laid out in the agreement and as it’s legally binding and may vary somewhat from law firm to law firm, you should read it carefully before signing so you know exactly what you would be charged.
How Much Hospital Negligence Compensation Could You Claim?
How much hospital negligence compensation you might receive will depend upon your own unique situation. Put briefly, your medical negligence solicitor would claim for everything you’re entitled too such as the cost of diagnostic tests, prescription medicines, cost of treatment and other hospital fees. If you require long term remedial treatment, your solicitor will claim for the potential total cost of this extended treatment. The cost of traveling back and forth to the hospital for your treatment will also be added to your claim.
You can also claim compensation for the pain and trauma you suffered as a result of the negligence. Use our compensation calculator below to find out what the advised levels of compensation are for various physical and mental injuries.
You could also receive compensation for loss of income from being unable to go to work and cost of home care.
Your solicitor will build a strong case on your behalf and claim for the maximum amount of compensation due to you for your hospital negligence injuries.
If you would like to talk with a medical negligence solicitor about a hospital negligence claim then please call us today on 0800 6524 881, or fill in our call back form on this page to have us call you at a convenient time.