If you believe you have been injured or harmed in some way as a result of negligent medical care, you might be able to claim medical negligence compensation. You could also claim compensation for medical negligence if you are the next of kin of someone who has died due to negligent care by a GP (general practitioner) or one who can’t claim compensation themselves as a result of their limited capacity.
The number of medical negligence complaints against doctors has continued to rise since 2009. In these situations, negligence can exacerbate an already existing condition or even lead to a new, more worrying condition. GP negligence can even result in death. Whether a GP has acted wrongly on test results, has prescribed the wrong medication/procedure, failed to approve the referral of a patient to a specialist or has misdiagnosed a medical condition, negligent care can be damaging. It not only affects the individual directly involved, but can harm the home life, finances and family of such one.
Considering the rules that regulate medical care, you may be wondering, “can I file a GP negligence case?” Determining the answer to this question can be really tricky. As you will soon find out, there are many factors you must consider.
This guide examines the different definitions of a GP negligence case, how long such claim can take to complete and how much compensation you can expect. While every medical negligence case is unique, this guide is designed to equip you with the information you need to make a claim if you believe your GP acted in a negligent manner.
What Is A Doctor Or GP Negligence Claim?
A GP negligence claim generally refers to a situation where a GP has failed in offering the required medical care. Once this negligence is filed in a legal environment, and it can be proven that the medical personnel has acted in a negligent manner, then you have a great chance of success. Following your demonstration of medical negligence against your GP, you can now attempt to claim compensation.
This compensation will help you address your losses which could include expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and travel costs. It can also include abstract damages which includes compensation for the pain you’ve had to deal with due to the negligence.
However, you must abide by the set rules that guide a medical negligence case to successfully make a claim. For instance, a GP negligence claim must be filed within a 3-year time limit from the time of the incident. But there is an exception to this rule: if the affected patient was under the age of 18 at the time of the medical malpractice, the time limit begins on their 18th birthday. In addition, it is also important to consider the evidence you are providing to support your claim, as well as the medical negligence solicitors best placed to assist you.
NHS Duty Of Care
Like the GP, the National Health Service (NHS) is responsible for patients’ prescriptions, routine screenings, treatments, surgery and end of life care. It is the duty of the NHS to exercise skill when providing medical care. However, due to the number of patients under their care, it may impossible for the NHS to provide premium quality care to all patients. If you have been harmed or injured as a result of NHS GP negligence, you can make a claim.
Like other compensation claims, NHS GP negligence claims have a 3-year limit. Good news is, the NHS provides patients with a channel through which complaints can be filed and solutions provided, before you may decide to resort to legal action. However, it is possible to seek legal help even after making a complaint that has not been resolved at the NHS, as both options are not mutually exclusive.
What Compensation Can You Claim For GP Negligence?
In order to calculate the value of your compensation effectively, the damages incurred must be broken down into two broad areas: general damages and special damages.
- General Damages
This compensation covers the pain and suffering the victim has endured as a result of the negligent act. It considers how much injury the victim has suffered, and how this injury has impacted their quality of life. However, you would need to take the relevant medical records along, as well as unbiased medical experts to successfully prove such injury. A compensation calculator can be invaluable in helping you determine the value of your compensation.
- Special Damages
This compensation covers out of pocket expenses that have been incurred due to the negligent act. These expenses include those experienced from the date of the incident and any potential losses that may occur in future. Special damages include but are not limited to medication and treatment costs, loss of earning, travel costs, care needed, specialist equipment and parking expenses. It is best to keep any relevant receipts as such losses would need to be proved.
What Is The Average Payout For Medical Negligence?
It is impossible to say just how much reward a person can receive as each medical negligence case is completely unique, and affects the victim differently. Medical negligence cases can range from £1000 to over £200,000, depending on the severity of the case.
|Injury||Severity||Average Amount Awarded||Description|
|Foot Injury||Mild||£10,450||Short term foot damage and pain due to injury.|
|Foot Injury||Moderate||£10,450 to 19,000||Long lasting loss of function of one or both feet.|
|Foot Injury||Severe||£31,900 to £53,200||Amputation of one or both feet|
|Head Injury||Severe||£185,000||Severe brain damage|
|Psychiatric Damage||Severe||£30,000||PTSD, depression or chronic fatigue|
|Eye Injury||Severe||£180,000||Total blindness|
|Ear Injury||Severe||£75,000||Total deafness|
|Internal Organs Injury||Severe||£42,200 to £95,000||Lifetime disabilities, persistent scarring and pain|
|Orthopedic Injuries||Severe||£15,000 to £95,000||Severe neck injuries; little to no neck movement|
|Ankle Injury||Severe||£29,200||Loss of ankle function, long lasting pain; may require correctional surgery.|
|Knee Injury||Severe||£19,000 to £73,125||Permanent loss of function in one or both knees.|
|Leg Injury||Severe||£21,100 to £29,800||Loss of function to one or both legs|
|Achilles||Moderate||£9,575 to £16,000||Long term loss of function of the ankle; high possibility of long-term pain.|
How To Make A GP Negligence Claim?
Hiring a legal professional is the easiest way to begin a GP negligence claim. A medical negligence solicitor can help you get started by setting up a consultation session for you, where expert opinions will be provided concerning the merits of your case.
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The evidence you provide will be examined in great detail by the solicitors to ensure you are ready to make a compensation claim. A professional medical negligence solicitor should ensure you can prove that a GP acted owed medical care, acted in a negligent manner and you suffered injury as a direct result of this negligence.
If the medical negligence solicitor believes you have a viable claim, you will be guided all the way to the next step. Fact-finding can be launched to gather more evidence, a medical assessment may also be arranged with a doctor, and a No Win No Fee agreement may be discussed to help you.
Can I Claim GP Negligence for Another Person?
If GP negligence makes the person (s) affected unable to make claim for compensation or in cases where negligent care leads to the death of a loved one, a third party can make claim for compensation on their behalf. Yes, you can file for what is known as bereavement award if you are able to prove GP negligence on either a spouse, parent or civil partner.
This claim can be made through the victim’s estate, and the current value is just under £13,000. It is also possible to make claim for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased person, as well as the funeral costs.
If you are making compensation claim for a spouse or civil partner, you can file a dependency claim if you were financially dependent on the deceased. This compensation will ensure you do not suffer financial setbacks due to GP negligence. Parents can also make compensation claims for their deceased children, provided the child was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident.
Is it Right To Claim GP Negligence Compensation?
Medical negligence victims make claims for varying reasons. Some would be fine with a simple apology and admission that they received below standard care, as well as agreement that such negligence will not happen again. Those in this category can file a complaint via the complaints department to receive such information.
There is a second category of victims who believe that injury has been sustained and their life has been disrupted through no fault of their own and need the compensation to get their life back to its original state.
There are also medical negligence victims who are left with no other choice than to file a claim for compensation as the aftercare required will be far above the means of anyone. Finally, there are victims who suffer little to no quality of life, can no longer work, and the compensation awarded to live comfortably.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a GP Negligence Claim?
The average length of time is eight months, but the nature and severity of your GP negligence will determine how long it takes to complete. However, due to the unique nature of each claim, some cases could be fought over a much longer period of time.
No Win No Fee GP Negligence Claims
Managing the finances is probably the most difficult part of making a compensation claim. Following the health scare or even loss of life, trying to make a claim can be daunting. This is especially the case if you’ve taken time off work or have had to hire private medical care or purchase expensive equipment for medical care.
A No Win No Fee agreement is designed to help clients through the case without having to worry about their financial standing. The cost of the legal assistance is simply taken from the final compensation amount, and this only happens if the case ends up successfully. Also known as Conditional Fee Agreement, this arrangement can be of great help when you are making a compensation claim.