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.
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.
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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 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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We’ve claimed an extra £21,000 on average for each client who switched to us from their previous firm. Contact us now to discover the real value of your claim.
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?
How do you prove medical negligence?
How much money can you get for suing a hospital?
How long do you have to sue a hospital for negligence?
What percentage of medical negligence claims are successful in the UK?
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.