Have you suffered an injury due to a breach of duty of care in healthcare? Are you wondering if you can sue your doctor for negligence? Suffering medical negligence can have a lasting impact on your day-to-day life.

It could cause you to sustain an injury or a new condition. Alternatively, it could make a condition that you were already suffering from worse than it would have been if you’d not experienced negligence.

Can i sue my doctor for negligence
Can I sue my doctor for negligence? A guide

This guide goes over what you can do if you have suffered harm because of medical negligence and when you could be eligible to make a claim. We’ll also look at whether a No Win No Fee agreement could be beneficial to you in pursuing legal representation.

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Choose A Section

  1. Can I Sue My Doctor For Negligence?
  2. Compensation For A Medical Negligence Claim
  3. Examples Of Clinical Negligence
  4. How Do You Prove A Doctor Was Negligent?
  5. Should I Work With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
  6. Find Out If You Can Sue Your Doctor For Negligence

Can I Sue My Doctor For Negligence?

All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients; the duties of a doctor are outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC). All medical professionals need to provide a minimum standard of care to all of their patients.

Medical negligence is the term used to describe when substandard care has been provided by a medical professional to a person in their care. This care could have caused an injury, a new condition or the worsening of an already existing condition.

Not all instances of you being harmed by medical care will be the result of negligence. Sometimes, harm is required in the course of your treatment. An example of this is if you need to have a badly crushed limb amputated- this causes you harm but is ultimately necessary and falls within the duty of care.

To find out if you can sue your doctor for negligence, contact our advisors. They offer free legal advice and can answer any questions you may have about the claims process.

Time Limits For Making A Medical Negligence Claim

With most personal injury claims, there is usually a three year period from when the incident occurred or from the date you were made aware that negligence led to your injury, illness or worsening symptoms. The latter is called the “date of knowledge”.

This time limit is established in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are exceptions to this rule; get in touch with us for more information.

The Latest Medical Negligence Statistics

The NHS Resolution Annual Report provides statistics from the NHS relating to clinical negligence claims, and the most recent report shows the following:

  • In the year 2020/21 there were a total of 12,629 new clinical negligence claims made against the NHS
  • In the same year, there were 15,640 claims that were settled
  • 15,397 claims were closed in 2020/21.

Compensation For A Medical Negligence Claim

The Judicial College provide guideline compensation brackets for settlement awards based on previously settled claims. Many different factors determine how much compensation you could be awarded, including the severity of the injury, how long you have suffered, and the effects the injury has had on your day-to-day life.

Your personal injury solicitor could use these guidelines as a reference point when valuing your claim. However, it’s important to remember that these aren’t guaranteed, and the amount of compensation you receive could differ.

Types of Injuries How Much? Description
Arm Amputated at the Shoulder Not less than £128,710The arm has been amputated at the shoulder
Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye£46,240 to £51,460 An injury that has lead to the loss of sight in one eye
Total Loss of Hearing in One Ear £29,380 to £42,730 Involving problems such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
Amputation of One Foot£78,800 to £102,890Valued similarly to a below the knee amputation due to loss of the ankle joint.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder£56,180 to £94,470Having a permanent effect on the injured person, preventing them from working and impacting their daily life
Ankle Injuries: Very Severe£46,980 to £65,420Extensive damage to the soft-tissue that has resulted in a deformity, with a risk of future injury
Total and Partial Loss of Index Finger£11,420 to £17,590Injury to the index finger leading to disfigurement and/or impairment of grip.
Amputation of the Great ToeIn the region of £29,380The amputation of the big toe
Bowels Up to £140,870

Where bowel function is totally lost and claimant is dependent on colostomy
Spleen£19,510 to £24,680Where the spleen has been lost, resulting in an ongoing risk of internal infection and disorders.
General damages relate to the pain and suffering that you experience because of your injuries; this is the part of your claim illustrated in the table above. This also includes any notable lifestyle changes that you have been made to endure as a result of the injury. General damages can cover both physical and psychological injuries.
You may need to attend a medical assessment in order to determine the severity of your injuries. This will be done by an independent medical professional, who once the assessment has been completed, will make a report on their findings. This report can be used as another form of evidence to help strengthen your case.
If you choose to work with a lawyer from our panel, they could arrange this assessment for you in your local area to reduce travel time. Get in touch for more information.

Special Damages

Special damages, on the other hand, compensate you for the financial impact the injury has caused. This could include both past and futures losses, provided that you have evidence. For example, you could use receipts to show the money you’ve spent on prescriptions or mobility aids that you need because of your injuries.

Other types of financial losses that could be considered special damages include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Childcare costs
  • Loss of deposit, for example from a holiday that you have paid for and can no longer attend

For an assessment of your individual circumstances and eligibility to sue your doctor for negligence, speak with one of our advisors today.

Examples Of Clinical Negligence

There are a number of ways that clinical negligence can happen. Examples of incidents that could be caused by medical negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosis – If a doctor has given you the wrong diagnosis or delayed giving you a diagnosis, it could lead to complications or being treated for the wrong illness. If this happened because of negligence (for example, because they ignored your account of your symptoms) then you could claim.
  • Prescription errors – Your doctor might mistakenly prescribe you with too low a dose of medication, causing your symptoms to get worse as they’re not being effectively treated. If this happened because of negligence, you may have grounds to claim.
  • Infection – If you contract an infection while you are staying in the hospital and it leads to a further illness or prolonged treatment, this could impact your day-to-day life. If this happened because, for example, a doctor failed to wash their hands before examining you, you could be owed compensation.

This is not a full list of the ways that clinical negligence can occur. For more information on whether your worsening health was caused by a doctor’s negligence, and how much compensation you could be entitled to if you sue your doctor for negligence, contact us.

How Do You Prove A Doctor Was Negligent?

When you’re preparing your claim, it’s a good idea to gather information and evidence. There are different forms of evidence you could gather in support of your case, including:

  • Medical records to show the treatment you received and how the negligence affected you
  • Prescriptions if, for example, you were harmed by a prescription error
  • A diary of symptoms to show how your condition progressed

While it is not mandatory, it can also be helpful to get legal advice while you are preparing to claim. They can explain the process of claiming to you in clear- easy-to-understand terminology. Furthermore, they can offer you support and guidance which could be very valuable in the process of claiming.

Our advisors can answer any questions that you may have on if you can sue your doctor for negligence, as well as offer free legal advice. If you have a valid claim, they may be able to put you in touch with our panel of personal injury lawyers.

Should I Work With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) are a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. It establishes the terms and conditions you need to fulfil before they acquire payment. If your claim is unsuccessful, then you won’t have to pay anything to your solicitors.

You also won’t pay them anything up front or as the claim is being worked on. You will pay a success fee taken from your compensation if your case is successful. However, the success fee is capped by law, so you cannot be overcharged.

Our advisors can put you in contact with our panel of personal injury lawyers, provided you have a valid claim. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get in touch today for more information.

Find Out If You Can Sue Your Doctor For Negligence

After reading through this guide, you should have a clearer understanding of whether you can sue your doctor for negligence, as well as how you could make a claim if you have suffered harm because of medical negligence.

If you are still concerned about whether you are eligible to make a claim for compensation, then contact us by:

  • Using our live chat feature
  • Calling us on the number at the top of the page
  • Contacting us through our website

Learn More About How To Sue Your Doctor For Negligence

Here is a collection of resources that could be useful and interesting to you.

For any further information on whether you can sue your doctor for negligence, please get in touch today.

Writer Lizzie Watts

Publisher Fern Sykes