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Hospital negligence claims

Hospital negligence claims affect 11,000 people each year in England alone. If your healthcare provider has been negligent and you’ve suffered an injury, speak to our specialist hospital negligence solicitors today.

Last Updated November 8th, 2023.

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Key points for making an injury claim

The most important things to remember when making a hospital negligence claim:

  • Your healthcare provider has strict safety standards to meet
  • You can claim against the NHS or a private healthcare provider
  • You can claim on a no win, no fee basis
  • You generally have three years from the date of injury to claim
  • You can claim on behalf of yourself or a person under 18.

What are hospital negligence compensation claims?

Hospital negligence claims are a kind of clinical negligence complaint that affect people who have stayed in hospital.

If you’ve been in hospital and suffered any kind of injury or illness that was not your fault, this could be an example of medical negligence.

Unfortunately, hospital negligence claims are at an all-time high in the NHS, with over 11 thousand reported in 2019/20 – the highest level since 2015.

The NHS continues to face struggles which can lead to surgical, diagnostic or administrative mistakes.

Private hospitals are not without fault either, and any healthcare provider who fails in their duty of care could be liable.

If your healthcare provider has been negligent and you’ve suffered an injury, contact our no win no fee solicitors today. We’ll listen to your story and help you gather evidence to support your compensation claim.

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What are the average hospital negligence claims pay-outs?

There are no set compensation pay-outs for hospital negligence claims as every injury is different. When our medical negligence solicitors calculate your claim, they are looking at two factors:

1. General damages – the physical and mental injuries you’ve suffered
2. Special damages – any financial losses you’ve incurred, such as medical treatment.

We’ll also look at the ongoing impacts on your life, for example, if you need rehabilitation. While every case is different, the average NHS negligence pay-out is £50,000, according to the National Health Service Authority. Of course, this all depends on the injury itself – for example, an injury leading to long-term brain damage will attract a larger sum than short-term fractures.

What are the different types of medical negligence claims in the hospital?

There are many types of medical negligence claims that can arise from a hospital stay. Unlike GP surgeries, hospitals pose many more risks including surgical errors and infection outbreaks. Similar to other medical practices, hospitals run the risk of human error, where doctors may fail to spot symptoms, misdiagnose, or delay treatments.

Common cases for suing the NHS or private hospitals include:

Hospital infection claims

Hospital infection claims are thankfully on the decline after it was made mandatory to control MRSA in the early 2000s. However, outbreaks still happen, with new viruses such as COVID-19 posing new threats. If hospitals do not meet strict hygiene standards, patients could catch potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Surgical negligence claims

Surgical negligence claims can arise for a number of reasons, from operating on the wrong body part to damaging organs or failing to sterilise instruments. These can result in life-changing conditions, or in some cases, death.

Misdiagnosis claims

Misdiagnosis claims can vary from minor mistakes in diagnoses to life-changing circumstances. For example, if a doctor fails to spot symptoms of cancer and mistakes it for a less serious disease, this could progress and impact a patient’s life expectancy.

Delayed treatment claims

Delayed treatment claims may lead to devastating outcomes, particularly for those with infections or diseases such as cancer. If a doctor misses a crucial symptom or result, this could give infections or cancers the chance to spread, causing more harm to the patient.

Premature discharge claims

Premature discharge claims affect those who have been let out of hospital too early. If the patient is discharged before they have time to recover, this kind of medical negligence could lead to infections, prolonged pain or even a return to hospital for more serious treatment.

Accident and emergency claims

Accident and emergency claims may refer to misdiagnosis, failure to spot symptoms, or infections that arise from delayed treatment. All of these could cause the patient’s health to suffer more, with potentially life-changing results.

Whatever your hospital negligence claim, our trained medical negligence solicitors are here to listen to your story and get you the no win, no fee compensation you deserve.

How to claim for medical negligence

Want to know more about claiming for medical or clinical negligence. Jargon free, we’ll explain your legal rights, letting you know everything you need to know about claiming.

How much compensation can I claim for medical negligence?

Read our medical negligence legal guides to understand your legal rights and how much compensation you may be able to claim.

Can I sue the NHS?

You can sue the NHS if you have been injured due to hospital negligence. When you make a compensation claim with our personal injury solicitors, we will gather necessary evidence such as medical records and witness statements to build your case.

We’ll then send a letter of claim to the NHS. By law, the NHS has a minimum of four months to reply, so we can prepare a proposed compensation amount while we’re waiting. There is no need to worry about suing the NHS – it will not affect your future treatment and it will not take much-needed funds away from it.

What is NHS Resolution?

The NHS is protected by a scheme called NHS Resolution. This is a government-backed insurance scheme that is paid for by individual NHS Trusts, which are funded by the taxpayer. This helps to cover medical negligence claims against the NHS. Our hospital claims solicitors will file a case against NHS Resolution, rather than the NHS itself or any individual doctors.

Can I make a hospital negligence claim against a private healthcare provider?

You can make a hospital negligence claim against a private healthcare provider. In this case, we would send a letter of claim to the private hospital’s insurance provider. Your hospital negligence compensation would come out of their public liability insurance.

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What evidence do I need for my hospital negligence claim?

When you speak to our hospital negligence solicitors, we will help you to gather evidence to start your claim. We may ask one of our trusted medical professionals to give you a medical and assess your injuries, but we will make this as quick and comfortable as possible.

Examples of evidence that we will help you gather include:

  • Medical records
  • Doctors’ notes
  • Incident records
  • Notes from schemes such as NHS Early Notification (for babies injured in childbirth)
  • Photographs where appropriate
  • Witness statements.

Can I make a hospital negligence claim for someone else?

You can make a hospital negligence on behalf of somebody else if they are under 18 at the time. This is called being a ‘litigation friend’. You can also claim on behalf of somebody who is ‘mentally incapacitated’, for example, somebody who suffers severe brain damage.

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Is there a hospital negligence claim time limit?

There is generally a time limit of three years for hospital negligence claims, dated from the day of your injury. However, sometimes injuries do not always show up straight away. If you can give the medical evidence to prove that hospital negligence caused your injury, then you could technically claim for up to three years after this diagnosis.

There are two exceptions to the hospital negligence claim time limit. The first is age. Minors under the age of 18 can have a ‘litigation friend’ claim for them up until their 18th birthday. They can also claim for themselves for up to three years after their 18th birthday. If somebody has been mentally incapacitated, for example, with severe brain damage, then there is no time limit.

How long do hospital negligence claims take?

Hospital negligence claims can take anything from a few months to a few years to settle, depending on the complexity of the case. At Express Solicitors, we aim to settle your no win, no fee claim as soon as possible, but it may take longer as we are always going above and beyond to get you the biggest settlement possible.

NHS claims have a minimum of four months to respond to our letter, so you should see this as a minimum for your claim time. We will keep you informed throughout the process and may be able to offer early compensation payments to cover any immediate costs.

Frequently asked question about hospital negligence claims

What can you sue a hospital for?

You can sue a hospital if you suffered physical harm as a result of your treatment. You need to be able to prove that your healthcare provider was negligent, which we can help you with. Common examples of medical negligence include failure to sterilise equipment, misdiagnosis, giving the wrong prescriptions or discharging a patient too early. These can result in anything from minor injuries to life-changing conditions.

How do you prove medical negligence?

To prove medical negligence, you need to be able to demonstrate “causation” and “breach of duty”. Causation is the injury you’ve suffered, whereas breach of duty is the healthcare provider’s negligence. Our experienced personal injury solicitors can do this for you by looking at your medical records, witness statements, photographs and other appropriate evidence.

How much money can you get for suing a hospital?

There are no set compensation amounts for suing a hospital. It depends on the seriousness of your injury, the financial losses you suffered, and any long-term impacts on your life. According to the NHS Litigation Authority, the average pay-out for NHS negligence claims is £50,000.

How long do you have to sue a hospital for negligence?

You generally have three years from the date of your injury to make a claim for hospital negligence. However, in some cases, you may not discover your injury until after this. For example, you may be diagnosed with something that was related to your medical treatment. In this case, you would have three years from the date of your diagnosis. If you were under 18 at the time, you can have a representative or ‘litigation friend’ claim on your behalf, or you can claim for yourself between your 18th and 21st birthday. Those who were mentally incapacitated, for example, those who suffered brain damage, have no time limit.

What percentage of medical negligence claims are successful in the UK?

There is a high success rate for medical negligence claims in the UK, with around seven in 10 NHS cases being resolved out of court. At Express Solicitors, we go above and beyond to fight your corner and get you the compensation you deserve.

Why choose Express Solicitors?

At Express, our hospital negligence solicitors offer decades of experience settling compensation claims just like yours. We handle the majority of our cases on a no win, no fee basis, which means you won’t pay anything unless we win the case. In the unlikely event that we cannot offer this, we may also be able to help with Legal Aid to cover your fees.

We understand how devastating the effects of hospital negligence can be. To get your life back on track and look after your loved ones, contact our expert solicitor team today.

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