Last updated on February 15th, 2023 at 12:29 pm
- Who can I claim against?
- How much is my claim worth?
- Will I have to go to court?
- If I claim against my GP or hospital will if affect my future care?
- What if I just want an explanation and an apology?
Who can I claim against?
You can make a claim against any healthcare provider who has caused you an injury or provided negligent diagnosis, care or treatment.
- Private healthcare providers
- Health visitors
- The ambulance service
How much is my claim worth?
The value of your claim will depend on a number of factors including:
- The nature of the injury
- Whether you recover fully from the injury or if it has a long term effect on your health and wellbeing
- The amount of any losses you incur as a result of the injury
You can claim compensation for the following things if they are a result of your injury:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Loss of earnings
- Medical and nursing care costs
- Special equipment needed to carry out daily activities and any costs involved in adapting your home
- Other expenses incurred as a result of your injury, for example, travel expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment.
What if someone has died?
If a family member has died you may be able to bring a claim depending on your relationship to the deceased. Only one action can be brought so it will often be on behalf of a number of people, for instance a surviving wife and children together.
In a case where someone has died, as in other cases, we have to prove breach of duty and causation, so much of the process of making such a claim is similar.
There is a statutory award for bereavement of £12,980 (for deaths after 1.4.13). You may also be able to claim for other things such as loss of dependency if you were financially dependent on the person who has died. The amount of these damages will depend on the age of the person and their future earnings potential, as well as other factors.
Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of claims do not get as far as a trial. In most cases a settlement is negotiated and damages are paid prior to going to court.
If I claim against my GP or hospital will if affect my future care?
Neither your GP nor the hospital has the right to refuse to treat you simply because you have brought a claim against them.
In practice however you may feel more comfortable in seeking an alternative health care provider.
In the case of a GP it can be a simple process of changing practice or simply seeing a different doctor within the same practice. At a hospital you can ask to be treated by a different doctor or you can be referred elsewhere.
What if I just want an explanation and an apology?
You may not be seeking compensation but want an apology for the mistake that was made and an explanation about why it happened.
The NHS has a complaints procedure which can be used to try to get an explanation about what went wrong, and possibly an apology.