What is hospital negligence?
Hospital negligence is when you receive a below standard of care or treatment from medical professionals – such as a doctor, nurse or surgeon. This substandard care, then causes you injury, illness or makes your pre-existing condition worse.
Hospital negligence can occur in both private and NHS hospitals. The impact of which can have a dramatic impact on the patient’s quality of life.
For most people, trips to a hospital, be it for routine or emergency procedures, are safe experiences. Hospital staff are professionals with extensive experience. The level of care, attention and compassion they give is what you would expect.
Unfortunately, in some cases, things go wrong. And clinical negligence happens when you are under hospital care. This is when the care or treatment you expect does not happen. And the impacts of this can be life-changing.
In these situations, it is possible to make compensation claims against the hospital. The purpose of this compensation is to award you financially for any damages for injuries sustained.
What are some examples of medical negligence claims from a hospital?
Medical negligence (or clinical negligence) claims from a hospital typically include:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Delay in treatment
- Incorrect or improper treatment
- Failure to gain a patients consent
Types of hospital negligence claims can come from a range of medical treatment areas. Hospital negligence typically occurs through surgery, amputation errors, birth injury, A&E errors, infections or brain injury.
However, improper medical care that can lead to delay in treatment is also a common cause for a legal claim.
Over the years we have dealt with a range of different types of clinical negligence involving;
- Surgery that has gone wrong
- Birth injuries to mother and child
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure by the medical support services to respond when emergency treatment was required
Can you sue a private hospital for negligence?
It is possible to make hospital negligence claims against a private hospital.
For private hospitals, medical negligence claims for compensation will be against the individual healthcare professional responsible for your injuries. A healthcare professional could be a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or another healthcare practitioner.
This means that the initial part of any medical negligence investigation will need to identify the individual responsible for your negligent treatment.
The individual against who your clinical negligence claim is made should have insurance that will cover any compensation.
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Can you sue the NHS for negligence?
It is possible to make hospital negligence claims against an NHS hospital.
When making a compensation claim against the NHS, it will be made against the NHS Trust who was responsible. It will not be made against any individual healthcare professional.
The NHS does have a procedure to claim compensation. If you are thinking about making a claim, it is recommended to seek legal advice.
Medical Negligence Solicitors will be able to help you gather all the necessary evidence needed to make a claim. This can help reduce the chance of your claim being rejected.
Why should I make a claim against a hospital?
You may feel unethical when you make a claim against a hospital. However, if you have received negligent medical care, and if that negligence has impacted your quality of life, then it is fair to claim compensation.
Any compensation award is designed towards putting your quality of life back to what it was before the negligence, or as close as possible. It is not awarded so that you can benefit financially from the negligence.
Additionally, by starting a hospital negligence claim, you highlight the lack of medical care you received. This means that hospitals can act to reduce the risk of it happening to someone else.
As a result, making a claim against a hospital can do more good than bad. By ensuring you get the support you need from your injury, and to help prevent anyone else from suffering.
Who pays for hospital negligence claims?
Depending on whether your claim is against a private hospital or an NHS hospital, the compensation will be paid from different sources.
For a private hospital, your compensation will be paid for from the insurance of the individual healthcare professional responsible for the negligence.
For an NHS hospital, claims will be made against the NHS Trust that is responsible. The compensation itself will be awarded by NHS Resolution on behalf of the Trust that is responsible.
Should you opt for a No Win No Fee agreement, any legal costs and legal expenses will also be paid by the person or body you have made a claim against.
Am I eligible to make a hospital negligence claim?
Eligibility to make a hospital negligence claim depends on many factors. This include:
- circumstances of negligence
- who is responsible for the negligence
- when the negligence took place
If you think you may have a hospital negligence claim due to the treatment you received, you can get a free initial consultation with our medical negligence solicitors. They will be able to tell you whether you have a compensation claim.
Can I make a claim on behalf of my child?
It is possible to make hospital negligence claims on behalf of someone else, including a child, for the treatment they have received.
To make injury claims on behalf of someone else, you will need to provide evidence that you are the primary career for the injured person.
Are there time limits for hospital negligence claims?
Hospital negligence claims fall under the same time limit as personal injury claims.
Claims have to be made within three years from the date the negligence occurred, or from the date the injury was first noticed.
There are exceptions to this time limit, however.
If the injured person is under 18 years old, claims can be made any time before their 18th birthday.
Or, if the injured person has suffered mental capacity as the result of the negligent treatment, the time limit does not apply until, or if, their mental capacity returns.
If you are unsure if these time limits apply to your case, or you think the negligence happened after three years, you can still get a free initial consultation with our legal team. They will be able to talk through your personal injury and identify whether you have a claim.
How long does a hospital negligence claim take?
As with other personal injury or medical negligence claims, hospital negligence claims have to be completed within three years of the date of the negligence, or from the date that any injury was first noticed.
Making a claim for hospital negligence involves gathering evidence to support a case. This includes getting independent medical reports, investigate witness statements and identifying best practices for treatment from other healthcare professionals.
This evidence gathering period can take a substantial amount of time. However, the more evidence that is gathered, and time spent to investigate it, the stronger your claim will be for a successful compensation award.
For this reason, it is important to contact us for legal advice as soon as possible. After your free initial consultation, and should you wish to instruct us to represent you, we will be able to begin building your evidence quickly.
How do I start a hospital negligence claim?
Making a hospital negligence compensation claim is easy. The first step is to contact our hospital negligence solicitors. You can do this either by:
- Call us on 0333 3580 393
- Write us to using the contact form
- Or, talk to us on live chat
Simply leave your name and phone number and a medical negligence solicitor will call you back.
Will I need to go to court?
It is very unlikely that you will need to go to court for your clinical negligence case. Most cases are resolved and negotiated out of court between your solicitor and the defendants’ legal team. This means that a decision from a judge is usually not needed.
However, if the negotiations fail, it may be required to bring the case to the courts. Should this be the case, your solicitor will work with you to make sure that you are fully prepared.
Regardless of whether your case goes to court or not though, you will still be able to tell your story. You will be invited to provide a written account of your personal injury and the pain and suffering the negligence has caused you.
Can I get Legal Aid for medical negligence cases?
Legal aid is not currently available for personal injury cases. This means that it is not possible to apply for legal aid for cases concerning medical negligence, hospital negligence or clinical negligence.
Depending on the circumstances of your medical negligence claim, we may be willing to offer a no win no fee agreement.
A case that is conducted on a no win no fee basis means that if you lose, you will not have to pay for your legal costs. Instead, they are collected from the defendant.
Call us today and speak to our medical negligence team to find out more about no win no fee or other fee agreements available.
What does the compensation cover?
Compensation is designed to help return your quality of life back to how it was before the medical negligence occurred, or as close as possible.
A personal injury compensation claim is usually made up of three parts. These are:
This area covers compensation for any pain or suffering sustained from the negligent action. It will also take into account any impact on quality of life. For example, if a keen sports player is unable to play as a result of their injury.
This will often calculate this based on previous cases.
Special Damages for Past Losses
This area aims to provide compensation for any financial losses that occurred since the medical negligence took place. For example; travel expenses, medical treatment, changes to the property, cost of any additional healthcare.
This will be calculated as expenses already sustained.
Special Damages for Future Losses
This area looks at the long term future financial impact of the result of the injuries. For example, it could explore any future income losses that might happen if the injured person could not perform the same job as previous.
This could include any future job promotions or careers opportunities that are now lost. It could also cover any future healthcare provisions that will be required.
This is calculated on many factors including the claimants’ ability to work.
How much compensation will I get?
Each medical negligence claim is different. With different circumstances, different injuries and different type of pain and suffering. For this reason, it is challenging to give an estimate of how much compensation a person would receive without all the individual facts.
The scale you could be award depends heavily on the type of injuries and effects of the injuries. For example, in cases with minor medical negligence injuries, our law firm has secured compensation in the thousands of pounds. Meanwhile, for serious life-changing injuries, we have secured much larger claims.
To get an accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you could be awarded, request a call back from our medical negligence team for a free consultation.
How can Ringrose Law help me?
Ringrose Law has successful experience in making hospital negligence cases. You will be supported by a knowledgeable and dedicated medical negligence team. Their job will be to help support you through your claim, in gathering evidence, investigating what happened and negotiating your compensation award.
The medical negligence team at Ringrose Law can also help you secure initial payments to help support your whilst your claim is being processed. This is to help support you through any additional medical treatment, adaptations to your home or pay for healthcare support workers if needed.
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