How to claim compensation for medical negligence
If you’ve experienced poor treatment, taken unsuitable professional medical advice or have undergone a surgical procedure that has led to pain, life limiting problems or further complications, you may be a victim of medical negligence. Although often rare, medical negligence is caused by incorrect decisions or a lack of care being provided by a healthcare professional, and in some cases, it could lead to major issues that could completely alter the lives of those affected.
However, while more severe cases of medical negligence could cause irreversible pain and suffering, as well as potentially life-long injuries, you could consider making a claim against the people responsible as compensation. In this guide, we explain how you can claim for medical negligence, how much compensation you may be entitled to and how long the process could take.
How to claim for medical negligence
Before you claim for medical negligence, it’s important that you’re aware of the process and any key factors that could impact your claim. For example, you can make a medical negligence claim at any point that you believe you’re being given negligent medical treatment, for any type of condition and at any healthcare facility. This includes a doctor’s surgery, hospital or dentist. Additionally, a claim could be made based on a specific procedure you’ve had or the aftercare you received. However, you must typically seek legal advice within three years of the negligent treatment occurring, or within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’.
You can then begin the process of claiming compensation for medical negligence. This is as follows:
- Seek legal advice from a qualified injury lawyer
- If successful, your case will be accepted and medical negligence experts will be in touch
- The injury lawyer will then request all relevant medical records
- Between evidence you have and evidence the injury lawyer can find themselves, a file will be made which details how you were treated in a negligent way
- The evidence of medical negligence will be sent to the defendants and they will be given the opportunity to admit fault. At this point, the injury lawyer and the lawyer of the defendant can negotiate a suitable settlement
- If fault is not confirmed, or admitted (known as liability) and/or the value of your claim is not agreed, then your solicitor may advise on issuing proceedings on your behalf, where this would be determined by a Judge in court
- Compensation from the claim is paid to you and the case is closed.
How to start a medical negligence claim
Once you’re sure that you want to claim compensation for medical negligence, you should compile every piece of evidence that indicates that the treatment you had was negligent, caused an injury or worsened an existing problem.
You may even want to write a letter to the facility where the negligence took place or directly to the healthcare provider that treated you in an attempt to get an explanation or apology. Although they may not reply and therefore limit your chance of receiving closure, you can use this as evidence that you attempted to speak to them before claiming compensation.
If you didn’t get the closure you wanted from contacting the person that was negligent to you, you can start your medical negligence claim. To do this, all you need to do is go to the Compare Compensation Claims website, go to the section on medical negligence under the list of claims and click ‘Make a Claim’. You can then describe what happened, explain the injuries you sustained, fill in your details and an injury lawyer will be in touch to talk you through the strength of your claim.
How much compensation will I get for medical negligence?
In any compensation claim, the potential settlement figure will be split between two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages accounts for any and all mental, emotional and physical pain caused by the incident, whereas special damages focuses on financial losses caused by the incident, whether that’s a loss of income, the inability to continue in a specific role or industry and any fees that were related to the incident such as changes to your home made to cater to a disability caused by the incident.
While special damages is a quantifiable sum based on the money you’ve lost or would have been unable to earn due to the incident, the amount you’ll receive from general damages is determined by the type and severity of the injury caused.
Below, we’ve included a broad selection of injuries with the estimated settlement you could receive from a successful medical negligence claim:-
Paraplegic paralysis – between £150,000 and £190,000
Quadriplegic paralysis – between £210,000 and £270,000
Psychiatric damage – between £7,500 and £70,000
Head injury – between £1,500 and £275,000
Eye injury – between £2,000 and £260,000
Ear injury – between £12,250 and £75,500
Neck injury – between £1,000 and £95,500
Back injury – between £4,500 and £110,500
Internal organ damage – between £3,000 and £95,000
Arm injury – between £5,500 and £195,000
Wrist injury – between £2,500 and £41,500
Hand injury – between £3,500 and £71,500
Leg injury – between £155,000 and £180,000
Knee injury – between £8,000 and £62,500
Ankle injury – between £8,000 and £45,000
Food injury – between £55,000 and £135,000
How long does a medical negligence claim take?
As with any claim, it can be difficult to determine how long it could take from originally filing it to receiving the settlement. There can be many delays during a compensation claim, and if the person responsible refuses to accept responsibility for the medical negligence claim, it would take longer for the injury lawyer to prove fault on their behalf. However, on average, a compensation claim for medical negligence would typically take somewhere between 12 and 18 months to complete.