Healthcare providers including the NHS have put strict procedures in place to prevent the spread of MRSA but failure to follow these guidelines can lead to serious illness. Importantly, if you or a loved one has contracted MRSA because of negligence in a hospital, you could be eligible to make an MRSA claim for compensation for any suffering caused.
To review your chances of being compensated, we offer completely free legal advice during a no-obligation initial consultation. If your MRSA compensation claim is suitable and a medical negligence solicitor from our team agrees to help, your case will proceed on a No Win No Fee basis. As such, no legal fees will need to be paid unless you receive MRSA compensation.
Please get in touch on 0800 6524881 to ask any questions about MRSA claims or read on to learn more before contacting us.
Table of contents
- What Is MRSA?
- Am I Eligible To Make An MRSA Compensation Claim?
- What Types Of Hospital Negligence Can Cause An MRSA Infection?
- How Much Compensation For MRSA Could I Claim?
- Can I Make A Claim On Behalf Of A Loved One Who Has Contracted MRSA?
- What Evidence Will Support An MRSA Claim?
- What’s The Time Limit For Making An MRSA Claim?
- Starting The MRSA Compensation Claims Process
MRSA is short for Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It is a bacterium that lives harmlessly in around a third of people but can harm those with a weakened immune system, those who are ill or those who have recently had surgery. MRSA is resistant to antibiotics that would normally be used to treat Staphylococcus aureus infections. It can be spread in hospitals by skin contact, touching surfaces with MRSA on them, and sharing towels or bedding.
MRSA on your skin will not usually make you ill but when the skin is broken (by a needle for injections, by trauma or during surgery), MRSA bacteria can enter the bloodstream and begin to multiply. This can lead to blood poisoning (septicemia), pneumonia, bone infections (osteomyelitis) and endocarditis (heart valve infections). In more serious cases, these conditions can become life-threatening or cause fatalities.
According to the NHS, some of the early signs of MRSA infection include redness, swelling, warmth, pus and pain affecting the skin. As MRSA gets further into the skin, it can lead to:
- Chills or high temperatures.
- Aches and pains.
MRSA compensation claims might be possible if you or a loved one have contracted this dangerous hospital-acquired infection so please contact us to find out more on your options.
MRSA compensation claims are not always straightforward so a medical negligence solicitor might only be able to help when there is a fair chance of success. Therefore, before accepting your claim, a claims advisor will check for:
- Medical negligence ie. the care provided by the medical professional that treated you was below the standard you could reasonably expect; and
- Causation ie. you contracted MRSA as a direct result of medical negligence.
- Suffering – you must have suffered i.e. been made ill by the MRSA infection.
The complexity of medical negligence claims means we would always suggest that you seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor. Whether your claim is against a private hospital or the NHS, we can help so please get in touch to discuss your MRSA claim.
As hygiene controls play a key role in the prevention of MRSA, you could seek compensation if you or a loved one became ill because a hospital (or another type of care setting) failed to:
- Follow MRSA hygiene procedures (hand sanitisation etc).
- Clean any surfaces that could harbour MRSA bacteria regularly.
- Cover and monitor open wounds.
- Check for MRSA in other patients.
Negligence could also allow you to make an MRSA compensation claim if:
- Your condition was misdiagnosed.
- There was a delay in diagnosing an MRSA infection.
- You received the wrong treatment for an MRSA condition.
In cases involving surgery, if you contracted MRSA after being screened as MRSA-negative, you could also have grounds to sue for any subsequent suffering.
If you believe that you’ve been made ill following an MRSA infection caused by medical negligence, please let us know and we’ll explain your options for free.
Infections caused by MRSA can have a dramatic impact on your long-term well-being as well as your finances so it’s important that any compensation claim reflects all aspects of your suffering.
Therefore, if you make an MRSA compensation claim, you should consider:
- Any physical suffering (pain and discomfort).
- Mental harm (distress, depression, fear for life).
- Earnings lost while you were ill.
- Loss of amenity i.e. the impact MRSA had on your hobbies and usual activities.
- Any medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- The time someone else spent caring for you (including family, friends and professional carers).
- Future reductions in income caused long-term symptoms.
- Modifications to your home if MRSA resulted in long-term disabilities.
If you decide to make an MRSA claim with a medical negligence solicitor from our team, they’ll try to ensure you’re fully compensated by reviewing your claim in detail. As per the personal injury claims process, you will need to prove the extent of your suffering so a medical assessment will be needed.
Therefore, your solicitor will book an appointment with an independent specialist who’ll review your medical records and discuss how MRSA has affected you. The report they file after your meeting will help your solicitor to determine how much compensation for MRSA you could be entitled to.
Yes, you could make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has contracted MRSA if they’re not able to claim compensation without help. This might be the case for children, the elderly or vulnerable patients without the mental capacity to conduct their own legal affairs, or those who are too ill due to the infection.
In these types of cases, it’s possible for a friend, parent or responsible adult to proceed with the claim on behalf of the claimant by becoming their litigation friend. If this is something you’d like us to help with, please get in touch.
We understand that no amount of compensation will help you to get over the loss of a loved one. However, MRSA compensation claims can help if you relied on the deceased financially. They can also help if you’ve incurred costs such as funeral expenses.
If you do feel that you’d like to claim on this basis at some point, please let us know. A friendly and compassionate member of our team will guide you through the process and explain your options for free.
As explained earlier, to receive compensation for suffering caused by MRSA, you’ll need to prove that a) you’ve suffered as a result of MRSA and b) you contracted an infection because of medical negligence. This won’t always be easy but the types of evidence that could be used to support an MRSA compensation claim include:
- Photographs. It can be a good idea to take pictures of any wounds that appear to have been affected.
- Videos. While filming in a care setting or hospital isn’t usually advised, if you have concerns about hygiene standards, it may be worth recording the conditions on your phone.
- Medical records. Your solicitor will obtain your medical notes to help confirm how you were treated, what tests were performed and how you suffered.
- Witness statements. If necessary, your solicitor might ask any witnesses to provide a statement about what they saw while visiting you.
- Complaints. If you raised concerns about your treatment formally, any responses could be used as supporting evidence in an MRSA claim. Therefore, retain copies of any emails or letters you received.
- Financial records. To help you claim back any costs caused by an MRSA infection, try to keep hold of any relevant receipts or other financial documents.
If you’re claiming MRSA compensation on behalf of a loved one, it may be a good idea to keep a diary of how they’ve been affected. This will make it easier to explain their level of suffering to your solicitor.
According to the Limitation Act 1980, medical negligence claims need to be filed within a 3-year time limit. For MRSA claims, this will typically begin from the date your illness was diagnosed and linked to an MRSA infection.
For claims involving children, the time limit does not begin until their 18th birthday and claims can be made by parents at any time prior to that date. Similarly, if claiming for somebody else, there is no time limit until the point at which they regain the mental capacity to deal with the claim themselves.
In cases that result in long-term suffering, you could be awarded interim compensation payments to help you cover lost income and care costs. Therefore, you shouldn’t wait until you’ve fully recovered before starting an MRSA claim.
The easiest way to start the MRSA claims process is to speak to one of our friendly advisors on 0800 6524 881 today. They’ll answer any questions you may have, review your claim and give no-obligation legal advice.
Remember, if a solicitor from our team agrees to help you make an MRSA claim, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis. As such, legal fees will only be payable if you are compensated.
For further information on MRSA compensation claims, please feel free to connect to an online advisor using our live chat service.