Last updated on April 8th, 2022
If you need to go to the hospital, you’ll need to put faith in the medical professionals who treat you. In most cases, that trust is well-founded and you’ll leave the hospital happy with the outcome of your treatment. However, where medical professionals like nurses, doctors and surgeons make mistakes, it can lead to avoidable suffering. In this guide on hospital negligence claims, we’ll look at what types of negligence in a hospital could result in a compensation claim and how the claims process works.
Our specialists can help you if you would like to claim compensation against a hospital for negligence. They’ll start by offering free legal advice during your no-obligation consultation. If they believe your claim is good to go, they’ll ask a medical negligence solicitor to investigate. If they agree to represent you, they’ll act on a No Win No Fee basis to reduce your financial risk. As a result, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor unless they win your claim. We can help with claims against NHS hospitals and private hospitals.
If you or a loved one has been affected by hospital negligence, you can call our team on 0800 6524 881 to begin a claim. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about your options.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Hospital Negligence Claim?
- Types Of Hospital Negligence You Could Claim Compensation For
- Claiming Compensation For NHS Never Events
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For Hospital Negligence?
- Making A Negligence Claim On Behalf Of A Loved One
- Time Limits For Hospital Negligence Claims
- Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor For Hospital Negligence Claims
The medical negligence lawyers on our panel will always try to help with claims that have a reasonable chance of success. To check if your hospital negligence claim is suitable, they’ll try to ascertain whether:
- The standard of care provided fell below what could have been reasonably expected by a competent medical professional (negligence or breach of duty); and
- As a direct result of that negligence, you were made ill or sustained injuries (causation).
It’s important to point out that both of the criteria above must be met before you’ll be compensated. That means that even if a surgeon, for example, made a mistake, you couldn’t claim if there was no adverse effect on your wellbeing. Similarly, you may not be able to claim if your injuries were unavoidable.
As solicitors are not medically trained, they will use suitably skilled independent experts to check for medical negligence. If they believe that they would’ve acted differently to the defendant in the same situation, your solicitor may agree to take your claim forwards.
If you’d like to check whether you could make a hospital negligence claim, call our team today.
There are various ways that a hospital could be deemed negligent so we won’t list them all here. However, some of the most common that lead to hospital negligence claims include:
Again, on their own, these acts of hospital negligence will not entitle you to start a compensation claim. However, if they have caused you to suffer in some way, you could be compensated.
Usually, hospital negligence claims are made against the NHS Trust or the company that runs the hospital rather than the individual who was negligent. However, in gross negligence cases where the medical professional disregarded your safety, the claim could be against them directly. Your solicitor will explain how your claim will proceed if it is taken on.
The NHS maintains a list of Never Events. This is the name given to events that simply shouldn’t happen because there are procedures and practices in place to prevent them.
If you’re the victim of a never event in hospital, we could help you claim compensation for the suffering caused. Some examples of NHS never events that could lead to hospital negligence claims include:
- Wrong-site surgery.
- Amputation of the wrong limb.
- Retained foreign objects after surgery.
- Administering medication through the wrong route.
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient.
- Using the wrong type of implant or prosthesis.
If you want us to check whether you’re entitled to compensation, please call our team today.
If your hospital negligence claim proceeds, you’ll usually base compensation claimed on two types of damages:
- General damages. This element accounts for the amount of pain and suffering the hospitals’ negligence has caused. It can also factor in any loss of amenity if you’re unable to partake in hobbies and suchlike as you used to due to your suffering.
- Special damages. This element accounts for any expenses/losses the hospitals’ negligence has caused. Some examples are care costs, lost income and travel costs linked to their negligence.
During your claim, you’ll also need an independent medical assessment to try and determine the extent of your injuries for calculating your settlement. This is where a medical expert will review your injuries and medical records then discuss how you’ve been affected. Their report will detail your injuries and offer a prognosis for the future.
We can’t say with accuracy how much you might receive as compensation until we’ve reviewed your claim for you. However, if your claim is accepted by a medical negligence solicitor from our team, they’ll work to establish the full facts of your case to try and make sure you’re compensated correctly.
In some cases, you may wish to take action as a litigation friend on behalf of a loved one who’s suffered because of hospital negligence. This is something our solicitors can help with if your loved one:
- Doesn’t have the mental capacity to register their own claim; or
- Is under 18 years of age; or
- Has died because of hospital negligence.
Any claim on behalf of your loved one would be based on the pain and suffering they’ve endured whilst in the hospital because of negligence.
Additionally, if your loved one has died because of the hospital’s negligence, you could claim compensation if you were financially dependent on their income, pension or benefits. You could also claim for any costs their death has caused such as funeral expenses.
Any type of medical negligence claim has a time limit. That means that you could miss out on any compensation if you don’t begin your claim on time. The time limit for hospital negligence claims is 3-years from:
- The date you received negligent treatment; or
- The date you found out about the injuries caused by negligence.
The latter might apply in misdiagnosis claims. For example, if you’re suing a doctor who failed to diagnose cancer at your first appointment despite the signs being there. However, you might not have found out about their misdiagnosis until you attended subsequent appointments.
Rather than leaving your claim to the last minute, our advice is to take action as soon as possible. By doing so, you’ll have plenty of time to work with your solicitor and for them to secure the evidence needed to support your claim. Furthermore, they could request an interim payment to pay the cost of private medical treatment if it will improve your recovery time.
The time it takes for your claim to be processed will be based on a) whether the hospital admits liability and b) whether the impact of your injuries has been agreed upon. In some cases, claims can be settled swiftly and take no more than a year. However, more complex claims can take considerably longer. In these cases, interim payments might be paid to help you deal with any immediate costs.
We believe that having a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence on your side can improve your chances of being compensated fairly. Importantly, our team offer a No Win No Fee service for any accepted claim. That means you’ll only have to pay a set percentage of your compensation to cover your solicitor’s work if you are awarded compensation. If the claim fails, you won’t pay your solicitor a penny.
The easiest way to find out if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis is to call our team on 0800 6524 881. They’ll review your options with you and offer free legal advice about your chances of being compensated.
Please use live chat or give us a call if you have any further questions on making a hospital negligence claim.