Visiting an optician is something that many of us do every couple of years. While a checkup by an optician can identify any changes in your vision, it can also help to identify more serious issues such as diabetes. Any form of optician negligence could therefore cause serious vision or health problems. Importantly, if you have suffered any injury because of a misdiagnosis or negligent treatment by an optician, you may be able to claim compensation by making an optician negligence claim.
If you’d like to start a negligence claim against an optician, we can help. Our specially trained advisors provide a free consultation where your claim will be assessed for free and you can ask any questions that you might have. If it appears that you have grounds to proceed, you could be connected with a medical negligence solicitor on our panel. As they provide a No Win No Fee service for any claims they handle, you’ll know from the outset that you won’t pay any legal fees unless a compensation settlement is paid.
To find out more about optician negligence claims, please read on. Otherwise, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your options right away.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make An Optician Negligence Claim?
- Common Types Of Optician Negligence Claims
- How Much Compensation For Optician Negligence?
- Evidence To Support An Optician Negligence Claim
- Optician Negligence Claim Time Limits
- Starting The Optician Negligence Claims Process
An optician negligence claim is a specific type of medical negligence claim. To make a successful optician negligence claim, you must be able to prove that the treatment you received did not meet reasonable standards of care and that your injury was the direct result of this substandard care.
Before a medical negligence lawyer will take on a claim, they’ll want to verify whether the following occurred:
- Negligence: This is where the standard of care provided by the optician didn’t meet the standards you might reasonably expect.
- Causation: As a direct result of the optician’s negligence, you have suffered in some way.
To verify whether your optician has been negligent, your solicitor will need to refer the case to an independent medical expert. They will perform the ‘Bolam test’ to check if they’d have done things differently in the same circumstances. If they conclude your optician acted appropriately, a claim would not be possible. However, if they conclude that the wrong process or procedure was used, your claim could proceed.
If your claim is taken on, it will be based on any suffering you’ve endured. That means you could claim for partial, complete, temporary or permanent loss of sight, migraines, eye trauma, infections, diseases or other eye injuries linked to errors made by an optician.
Importantly, optician negligence claims are possible against private opticians as well as those working for the NHS.
Most people visit an optician for a checkup every couple of years. However, if a doctor suspects you’ve got eye problems, you may be referred for a checkup at a specialist eye hospital. In either case, if a negligent act by a medical professional causes you to suffer, you could claim compensation. This could include medical negligence claims against an optician, optometrist, ophthalmic medical practitioner or ophthalmologist (eye surgeon).
A few examples of why claimants seek compensation against an optician include:
- Inaccurate prescriptions. If the lenses in your glasses are the wrong strength, you could suffer blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes, double vision and other symptoms. Your eyesight could also be permanently damaged.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to identify other conditions. As well as assessing your vision, opticians are trained to spot the signs of diabetes, cataracts and congenital or genetic eye conditions. Failure to do so could result in your health or vision worsening.
- Delayed treatment. Should your optician decide to delay treating an eye condition and their delay causes you to suffer more, you may be able to claim compensation for that suffering.
- Poor hygiene standards. You may be eligible to make an optician negligence claim if your eyesight was temporarily or permanently damaged because of an infection caused by poor hygiene during a checkup.
- Failure to refer. You should be referred to a specialist if your optician suspects conditions such as eye cancer. If you were not referred at the first opportunity and your condition worsened as a result, you may be eligible to sue your optician.
Whatever type of negligence has caused you to suffer following an appointment with an optician, we could help you claim. Please call today if you’d like us to assess your claim for free.
There isn’t a definitive answer to how much compensation you could claim for optician negligence without factoring in every detail. However, your solicitor will aim to claim compensation for general damages (for any suffering you’ve endured) as well as special damages if you have suffered financially as a result of medical negligence.
Each claim is unique but any settlement could cover:
- Any physical pain or suffering you’ve had to deal with.
- Any negative effect your eye problems have on your social life, hobbies and family activities.
- Mental health suffering related to your eye injuries such as distress, anxiety or depression.
- Loss of income.
- Travel expenses.
- Care costs where you needed support with your usual activities. This could cover the time of a friend or family member as well as a professional carer.
- Medical fees if you need treatment at a private hospital.
- Adaptations to your home if you are left with permanent vision problems and the modifications will make it easier to cope.
- Future loss of earnings if reduced vision means you can’t earn as much as before.
If you’re unsure of what general damages and special damages are, the difference between the two is explained on this advice page.
We believe that having a professional medical negligence lawyer on your side will improve your chances of being compensated fully for your suffering. Please contact us to see if a solicitor from our panel could represent you.
As stated above, there isn’t a set settlement amount for optician negligence. However, by using the compensation calculator provided below, you should get some idea of the levels of compensation that can be awarded in personal injury claims relating to general damages (pain and suffering).
If you have a complaint against an optician and would like a free consultation on making an optician negligence claim, and find out how much compensation your claim might be worth, please call our advisors on 0800 6524 881.
When suing an optician for negligence, you will need to prove to their insurer (or NHS Resolution) how you’ve suffered and why the optician was to blame. Doing this isn’t as easy in a medical negligence claim but your solicitor will do all they can to present as strong a case as possible. The types of evidence they’ll try to obtain include:
- Medical records. These can help to show how your vision or health has been affected by the optician’s negligence. They can also be used to check whether you were treated correctly.
- Prescriptions. A copy of your prescription can be checked for errors. The strength of your glasses may also be checked to verify whether the correct strength lenses were dispensed.
- Witness details. In some cases, your solicitor might ask for a statement from anybody who accompanied you during your consultation or optician appointment. They may also be asked to describe how you’ve suffered since your treatment.
- Financial records. To help prove any expenses you are claiming compensation for, your solicitor will ask you to provide bank statements, receipts, wage slips and other financial information.
It’s important to note that you do have the right to complain about your optician through the General Optical Council. Doing so might result in an apology or changes to the way in which the optician operates to avoid similar mistakes being made in the future. However, even if you receive an apology from your optician, this will not result in any form of compensation for your suffering. That said, a complaint response could be used as supporting evidence if you do go on to make an optician negligence claim.
In the UK, a 3-year time limit applies to optician negligence claims. This will start either from the date your optician treated you or at a later date if the problems caused by your optician were not diagnosed straight away.
Optician negligence claims can be settled in around 6 to 9 months when you’ve fully recovered from your injuries and the optician accepts liability. If they contest the claim or your prognosis is not yet fully understood, the claim could take more than a year.
We’re ready to help if you’ve decided to claim compensation for an optician’s negligence. Simply calling 0800 6524 881 could be all it takes to start the ball rolling. We’ll assess your chances for free and provide legal advice on your options.
If your claim is accepted by a solicitor from our team, they’ll represent you using a No Win No Fee agreement. That means there will be no upfront legal fees and nothing to pay should your claim be unsuccessful.
Please use our live chat feature if you have any more questions about making an optician negligence claim.