UK Hospital Negligence Compensation
Hospital negligence claims in the UK are made when a patient is injured as a result of negligence on the part of a medical or one of their support team. This negligence can take many forms, but it is defined by an error or an otherwise breach of the ‘duty of care’ by the medical professional with the duty to protect the health and wellbeing of patients. This conduct, when found to have been avoidable and brings harm to the patient, is considered negligent. The claim then arises to seek compensation for the injury sustained as a result of this negligence.
What if negligence on the part of a doctor almost resulted in a serious illness?
There are cases where one is a victim of gross negligence but no injury has occurred., When it comes to civil law you can only claim compensation for a personal injury, loss, or damage that was sustained. In order to win a hospital negligence claim in the UK, negligence must pass through a so-called ‘balance of probabilities’, i.e. that it was more probable that the action – or lack of action —resulted in an injury that was avoidable at that time and in those circumstances.
When I make a hospital negligence claim in the UK, will I be suing the doctor in charge?
No, you will not be suing the doctor or medical practitioner directly. When you make a hospital negligence case in the UK, you will be suing the health authority that is the employer of the negligent party. The National Health Service Trusts and Health Authorities (NHSTHA) are the liable parties, rather than individual health practitioners.
What would be considered an act of hospital negligence?
An act of negligence in a hospital could have involved the likes of:
- a diagnostic error or delay in detecting an illness or injury
- a performance error in an operation
- an administering drugs error
- a failure to assess or reveal risks of performing certain procedures
There are many situations to which negligence could be applied, where the level of care provided is found to be substandard and results in harm to the patient. This is then the basis of a hospital negligence claim in the UK.
Is it difficult to prove negligence?
It is not easy to prove that a medical professional acted negligently with the treatment of a patient. A court will seek to determine whether the act in question was in accordance with the standard practices of the profession, i.e. whether the act was reasonable as found by other medical professionals facing the same circumstances. As such, even if an injury resulted from the actions of a physician, the act will only be considered negligent if found so by other medical professionals. However, a judge can still find an act negligent if it doesn’t stand up to logical scrutiny.
If you have recently suffered an injury or contracted an illness due to hospital negligence, and feel you have a potential claim, we suggest that you speak to a solicitor at the earliest opportunity. When you call our free advice service, you will be discussing your particular case with an experienced solicitor who is thoroughly familiar with the process of making a hospital negligence case in the UK. He or she will offer free, impartial advice — with no pressure on you to proceed with a claim.
I am on a low income. What kind of funding is available for a hospital negligence claim in the UK?
Legal aid is available for people with low incomes who wish make a hospital negligence claim in the UK. This is a way to fund your claim from public money. To obtain legal aid, a solicitor must make an application on your behalf, and the process will go through various stages. You can also enter into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement with your solicitor, in which case your solicitor will only get paid if you do. However, there will be costs associated with making a claim, which you may be able to recover through your household or car insurance.
Can I claim for negligence for slipping and falling in the hospital?
There is a difference between claims for hospital negligence and those for personal accidents that occur in hospital premises. As such, not all injuries sustained in the hospital premises will fall under hospital negligence, i.e. in the case of trips or falls due to a failure of health and safety procedures which would rather be defined as a personal injury case. If this is the case, a solicitor would pursue a personal injury claim.
Talk to a solicitor
In addition to “general damages” compensation for the actual pain and suffering of the injury, a hospital negligence claim in the UK should also seek an amount of ‘special damages’ to reflect the impact of any loss of earnings, as well as the cost of travelling to receive medical treatment and other expenses brought upon by the injury. You may also be able to include in a hospital negligence claim in the UK compensation for “loss of amenity” (being unable to pursue everyday hobbies and activities which consequently affects your quality of life) and any psychological impact of your injury on your emotional state.
Since every hospital negligence claim in the UK is different, there is no substitute for picking up the phone and calling us. (You could also request a call back through our form.) Your free call will be answered by an experienced solicitor familiar with the process of seeking compensation for hospital and medical negligence in the UK, who will answer any questions you may have about your entitlement to claim, the process involved in making a claim and whether you have a claim for hospital negligence compensation which is worth your while to pursue.
Our advice is totally free and you are under no obligation to proceed with a hospital negligence claim once you have spoken with us. All calls to our free claims advice service are naturally confidential, and our aim is to provide you with a helpful and courteous service which will enable you to make an informed decision about future legal action and then focus on making a recovery from your injury.
This is a UK hospital medical negligence site. Please click here for information about Irish hospital negligence claims.