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Home > Personal Injury > Medical negligence

Medical negligence

Experts in medical negligence

Unlike many countries, the UK has a reputation for providing a high standard of medical and nursing treatment and most healthcare providers, hospitals and other medical establishments are dedicated professionals working to tight deadlines and budgets to deliver the best care possible.

Nevertheless not everything always goes well and mistakes do happen.

Our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors can advise on the best route to the solution you desire - be it an apology, investigation or compensation. We have unrivalled expertise and run thousands of medical negligence cases every year. Our dedicated Medical Negligence Unit has a wealth of experience in handling complex and high-value claims.

Diabetic patient suffers pressure sores because of poor hospital care

In this compensation claim for medical negligence our client underwent emergency surgery for a below the knee amputation following complications caused by diabetes.

As if this were not traumatic enough, the poor treatment he received in hospital whilst recovering from his surgery, resulted in his developing horrific pressure sores.
More about Diabetic patient suffers pressure sores because of poor hospital care

More medical negligence news

Medical negligence client comments

Below are a number of client comments from customers who successfully lodged medical negligence compensation claims with Clear Answers' expert medical negligence solicitors:

"Thank you for the work you have carried out on behalf of my mother. Whilst the money cannot bring her life back to the level she once enjoyed, it will help make the rest of her life a little more comfortable."

"I wish to thank you for all the excellent service I have received from you. It has been a pleasure dealing with you and your company and if I ever need assistance in the future it will be my pleasure to contact you"

"I can categorically say that I have been very pleased with the way my case has been conducted by yourself and your team and I think handled very professionally."

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Before taking legal action

If you think that you or a family member has been affected as a result of medical negligence, it is best to start with a letter of complaint to the medical establishment involved asking for an explanation. If people don't tell hospital managers that medical negligence has occurred, misdiagnosis and other forms of hospital negligence will go unnoticed except by the doctors involved.

The result of reporting hospital negligence can be a review and tightening up of hospital procedures, or staff retraining, which even if it comes too late for you, can prevent surgical errors, further illness and complaints, as well as other types of hospital negligence, happening to other people. You may also receive an apology from the medical practitioner in question where staff have been rude or uncaring, and perhaps an explanation of why the service has been poor.

Complaining is a start but rarely leads to a medical negligence compensation payment. For that you need to seek medical negligence compensation claim advice using a specialist medical negligence solicitor, who will usually be a member of the Law Society's medical negligence panel, or the referral panel of the charity AvMA.

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Proceeding with a medical negligence compensation claim

For a successful medical negligence claim you have to show that the medical negligence occurred as a direct result of the treatment (or lack of it). It needs to be proven that the medical negligence was caused by careless procedures, and fell short of generally accepted medical and surgical standards on the part of the medical practitioner.

Then - and this is often the hardest part - you have to show that the effect of this was definitely caused by the negligence, and was not something which would have occurred anyway as part of the illness or injury, or a rare medical complication of even very careful treatment.

For all medical negligence cases, doctors specialising in that detailed area of medicine are asked for professional medical opinions which are the evidence on which the medical negligence compensation claim is brought.

Compensation awarded in medical negligence cases is assessed by the courts based on an assessment of what has happened compared with what would have happened had the treatment gone according to plan. Many medical negligence cases are settled before they get to court based on an estimate of what a court would award, going by earlier awards in similar medical negligence cases. Clear Answers' solicitors provide expert medical negligence compensation claim advice and strive to achieve the best possible redress for damage suffered as a direct result of medical negligence.

Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim.

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Time limits for making a medical negligence compensation claim

Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury compensation claim, so please seek expert legal advice as soon as you think you may have a valid claim for compensation. Legal proceedings for medical negligence claims must begin within three years of the first known date that someone has negligently caused you injury or illness.

In the case of a child suffering due to medical negligence legal action must begin before the date of their 21st birthday.

Medical negligence compensation claims involve large amounts of work. Therefore it is advisable to seek medical negligence compensation claim advice from an expert medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible, in order to begin legal proceedings for a medical negligence compensation claim.

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Types of medical negligence compensation claims

Our specialist solicitors offer expert compensation claim advice for the following types of claims:

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Medical negligence compensation claim

Have you or a member of your family suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence on the part of a medical establishment? For more information about our service or for advice about whether we can assist you with medical negligence compensation claim advice, contact us today. 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our our online compensation claim forms.

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Clients we have represented

Clear Answers' expert medical negligence solicitors take on a variety of medical negligence compensation claims. Below are just a sample of the types of medical negligence claims that our personal injury solicitors have been successful with.

A medical negligence compensation claim was successful after two misdiagnoses resulted in patient paraplegia. Suffering with severe back pain and subsequently unable to lie flat, our client was twice admitted to hospital but despite x-rays and blood tests, doctors twice misdiagnosed her condition.

On both occasions she was discharged, but a short time after the second admission, she suffered sudden back and leg spasms and became paralysed from the chest downwards. Again, she was rushed to hospital and on this occasion, doctors sent her for an MRI Scan and correctly diagnosed her as suffering from an infection in the spine, which is a condition easily treated with anti-biotics.

However, at this point, the MRI also revealed that the damage to her spine was now irretrievable. The hospital eventually admitted that the care our client had received had been below standard, and that had she been treated for her true condition, she would have made a full recovery. She had to undergo a procedure for spinal fusion (laminectomy) initially, but was later transferred to another hospital for further surgery and rehabilitation.

She is now confined to a wheelchair and unable to live an independent life. Unable to take part in any of her previous hobbies, which included sewing, gardening, our client now relies entirely on her husband to carry out all daily household tasks. She also has a team of carers who attend to our client on a daily basis.

Despite extensive alterations to their existing property, it remains unsuitable for wheelchair access and the sum sought for this medical negligence compensation claim contained an element of damages to allow them to move to more suitable accommodation, which will allow a degree of independent mobility to our client. Following the defendant’s admission of liability, Clear Answers’ solicitors were able to secure a substantial interim compensation payment, which allowed our client’s family to deal with immediate necessities, whilst the case continued.

When no apology was forthcoming following her official complaint to the hospital, our client asked us for compensation advice. Clear Answers knew she had a valid claim for medical negligence and agreed to pursue her claim for compensation as a result of the misdiagnosis.

Although admitting breach of duty and causation, it was necessary for our personal injury lawyers, who specialise in all types of clinical negligence compensation claims, to issue Court Proceedings against the defendant. We were then able to negotiate an agreed settlement of £900,000 in compensation for this misdiagnosis, which had such tragic, permanent consequences for our client and her family. Of course, they would all have preferred to have their loved one fit and well, and would gladly return all the money to be able to turn the clock back to before the misdiagnosis occurred.

Following an accident where our client was knocked over by a young cyclist, our client was taken to hospital where an examination was carried out on her leg. The Consultant advised that there was no real damage, just swelling and bruising. She was advised to go home, take a commercially available pain killer and exercise the leg.

At home, our client was completely immobile initially and after a week was still only able to move the leg a little, and bare weight on it slightly, so she called her GP who came to do a home visit. He was concerned at the lack of follow-up and x-rays at the time of the accident and referred her back to the hospital where she was diagnosed with serious fractures. Because of the delay they had started to heal which meant more extensive procedures, including the insertion of a plate and pins.

Some years later, our client was still receiving physiotherapy and was only partially able to bear weight on the leg. Our solicitors were able to obtain £20,000 compensation for the client.

Another client who asked us to help had been suffering unusual discomfort following the birth of her first baby. The delivery required some intervention and stitching.

On returning home the pain became worse and when checked by the Midwife, she was advised that it was an infection and to take a commercially available painkiller. When this failed to improve things, she carried out a personal examination and found a swab had been overlooked.

She returned to the hospital where she had to undergo further surgery under General Anaesthetic. As well of her distress and discomfort at the time, the experience of having her first baby was ruined forever.

The hospital admitted not following correct procedures and our solicitors were able to obtain £5,000 compensation for our client.

A woman in her 70's lost the vision in one eye from a defective laser during eye surgery. Our medical negligence solicitors were able to settle her case for £20,000.

In a case in which a woman needed an operation to replace her ear drum, the surgeon pierced her inner ear. The woman suffered deafness, vertigo and tinnitus. Clear Answers' medical negligence solicitors successfully obtained the client £80,000 compensation as a result of her seeking medical negligence compensation claim advice and then proceeding with a medical negligence compensation claim.

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Clear Answers' Solicitors battle for Herceptin

Clear Answers' expert medical negligence solicitors have been at the forefront of the campaign to make the life saving breast cancer drug, Herceptin, available on the NHS to patients with a medical need for it.

Clear Answers' solicitors represented Elisabeth Cooke, a 60 year old nurse from Bristol after she contacted our expert solicitors for medical negligence compensation claim advice. Her case centred around the fact that Bristol North NHS Primary Care Trust refused to prescribe her with Herceptin even though it could have a life saving impact. Clear Answers' medical negligence solicitors submitted a Judicial Review application on behalf of Mrs Cooke and as a result of the work of our medical negligence solicitors the court ordered the Trust to prescribe Mrs Cooke with Herceptin.

Pending an appeal, Herceptin should be available to Mrs Cooke and any other woman with a clinical need for the drug in a matter of months. This is due to the resolute and dedicated performance of Clear Answers' expert medical negligence solicitors.

In addition to this, our personal injury solicitors have successfully campaigned for the drug Alimta to be made available to patients suffering from the asbestos related disease, mesothelioma, in the North East of England.

Clear Answers' specialist medical negligence solicitors are dedicated to assisting anyone wanting medical negligence compensation claim advice for a possible medical negligence compensation claim. Wherever you are in the country and no matter how complex the case, we will make every effort to provide you with the best possible legal representation. For more information about our service or for advice about whether we can aid you with a medical negligence compensation claim, contact us today. 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms.

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Medical negligence cases on the rise

It is estimated that every year in the UK 850,000 people suffer as a direct result of hospital negligence, of which 50 per cent of medical negligence cases are preventable. In addition to this, over 425,000 people a year are misdiagnosed as a result of primary care treatment administered by other medical practitioners; for example by GPs, practice nurses and health visitors.

In 1974-75 the annual NHS medical negligence expenditure was just £1 million, by the turn of the century this figure had risen to £446 million, a more than dramatic increase. In total five per cent of the population claim to have suffered some form of adverse reaction or injury as a result of medical negligence after receiving medical treatment and, according to the national audit office in 2004, over 200 patients died as a result of medical negligence. Combined, these medical negligence figures show that the number of preventable medical negligence injuries due to inadequate medical treatment and surgical errors are very high indeed.

The impact these medical negligence errors can have on individuals ranges from a serious problem that from the outset can have a devastating effect on the day to day life of the patient and their family, to an apparent 'small problem' that can nonetheless impact seriously on the lifestyle the patient leads and make even the simplest of day to day tasks near on impossible.

This is why the legal process in medical negligence cases is vital, as any medical negligence compensation secured by our expert medical negligence solicitors can go a long way to securing the future of our clients and enabling them to lead as ordinary life as is possible.

Clear Answers' specialist medical negligence solicitors recently represented a 79 year old man who had a strong medical negligence compensation claim from the outset. The client had undergone unsuccessful cataract surgery from a visiting French surgeon in an initiative to cut the NHS waiting list. The unsuccessful surgery had an overwhelming effect on the man's life and as a result our medical negligence solicitors were able to secure £30,000 in compensation in his medical negligence compensation claim.

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Complaining about medical negligence

Many medical negligence cases go unnoticed, patients and their families often accept elaborate and confusing explanations from the medical establishment involved, citing that they were normal complications of the treatment and that sometimes surgical errors and misdiagnosis cannot be helped. Medical negligence complaints are met with long descriptions of what happened but no answers to the real questions of why this went wrong.

Those refusing to accept these explanations seek specialist medical negligence solicitors for expert information about possible medical negligence compensation claims.

Things have been getting better. The NHS medical negligence complaints procedures require medical practitioners to provide answers to medical negligence complaints, and there is greater openness than before and less reluctance by doctors to criticise their colleagues if they feel they have provided a patient with a misdiagnosis and contributed to hospital negligence. However the approach of the NHS to patient health and safety and the eradication of hospital negligence is still years behind the reporting and prevention standards in the workplace. The reporting of medical negligence is vitally important as holding people to account for medical negligence can improve standards of care.

Over regulation of our hospitals is always a risk. However tighter regulations and increased reporting of hospital negligence can only serve to lessen the problem. Medical negligence is unacceptable as proper standards of care need to be met; hospitals exist to prevent and cure all types of illnesses in a professional and secure environment. If all medical negligence cases are reported to the relevant bodies then this will inevitably lead to increased hospital efficiency and a reduction of medical negligence cases in the future. The sad fact is that nothing will change and no-one will say sorry unless you complain.

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Medical negligence news stories

Clear Answers' lawyers deal with very many successful cases of all types of medical negligence and personal injury claims. We have teams of experts with a wealth of experience in your type of accident or injury, waiting to help you claim your rightful compensation.

Please visit our regularly updated Personal Injury News Section to view some examples of our successful personal injury accident compensation claims.

Below are just a few examples of medical negligence claims and news items. Please read the full story by clicking on the links.

Breast surgery review announced by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

An independent review into the breast surgery, known as cleavage sparing mastectomy, is to be set up by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. It will be chaired by Sir Ian Kennedy and is expected to report its findings in the summer of 2013. Evidence gathering will begin immediately and recommendations will be made to the Trust’s Board, as well as the findings being made available to the public.

The surgical procedures were carried out by Ian Stuart Paterson, contrary to national guidelines, during his tenure at several of the Trusts hospitals in the Midlands, including Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Good Hope Hospital. Mr Paterson was suspended by the GMC in October 2012.
More about Breast surgery review announced by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

Breast cancer surgeon under investigation

Ian Paterson, a consultant at the privately operated Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull and the Spire Hospital in Little Aston, is being investigated following allegations that he removed non-cancerous lumps from the breasts of up to 450 patients between 2004 and 2011.

Mr Paterson examined his patients by using ultrasound and mammograms, and advised them that they had pre-cancerous lumps. A simple biopsy would have confirmed that the lumps were in fact benign, and that further surgery was not necessary. This would have avoided the resulting scarring from invasive surgery and the potential risks involved in subjecting his patients to general anaesthetics.

One former patient of Mr Paterson only found out about her unnecessary surgery when she transferred from the private to the public sector for further treatment. She was advised that she was not a high-risk patient as had been advised by Mr Paterson.
More about Breast cancer surgeon under investigation

Widow receives medical negligence compensation after husband’s fatal discectomy surgery

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers recently acted for the widow of a man who tragically passed away during a discectomy - an operation on the spine to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.

The insurers for the defendant refused to negotiate an acceptable settlement and we were forced to issue court proceedings. However, we continued to negotiate and fight for the just compensation for our client’s loss and, before the trial date, were able to secure a substantial sum in medical negligence compensation.

Whilst this in no way compensates for the loss of her husband, it will ensure our client does not have the additional financial worry of a future without her partner.
More about Fatal discectomy surgery

Missed scaphoid fracture results in medical negligence compensation

Our specialist medical negligence compensation solicitors were asked to represent this client when he was left with ongoing conditions following negligent medical treatment by the staff at his local hospital.

We were able to secure substantial medical negligence compensation for our client following extensive negotiation with the representatives of his Healthcare NHS Trust.
More about Missed scaphoid fracture results in medical negligence compensation

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DePuy metal hip replacement patients at risk of complications

A joint BBC Newsnight and British Medical Journal investigation report has revealed that around 49,000 out of 65,000 patients who have received metal-on-metal artificial hips that are sized 36 millimetres or more and made of cobalt and chromium, may be at risk of complications. As parts of the ball and cup design rub together, minute metal fragments can be generated. These can seep into tissue, causing inflammation, destroying muscle and bone, and entering the blood stream.

The problems with such devices have been known for a long time and in relation to one specific type of metal-on-metal hip, the ASR which is manufactured by DePuy, subsidiary of global health giant Johnson & Johnson, a total recall was commissioned in 2010. However the MHRA have so far resisted issuing a recall on other metal devices made both by this manufacturer and others such as Smith & Nephew.
More about DePuy metal hip replacement patients at risk of complications

Medical negligence compensation for missed fracture

Our client suffered a fracture to her foot and when examined by medical staff on arrival at hospital, she was x-rayed and advised that she had not suffered a fracture. She was advised to keep her leg elevated but also to undertake gentle walking exercise.

When this diagnosis was subsequently found to be incorrect, and our client suffered considerable life-changing circumstances, she asked our specialist medical negligence lawyers about making a claim for medical negligence compensation. They were able to secure over £100,000 in compensation for her negligent treatment.
More about Medical negligence compensation for missed fracture

Medical negligence compensation for patient after negligent care

Our client in this claim for medical negligence compensation had suffered a very serious injury to her leg when she fell down the stairs. Although the nature of her injuries would have meant that her recovery would take some time, a series of negligent treatments delayed her recovery for almost two years, causing not only additional unnecessary pain and suffering, but also financial hardship.

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers were able to secure substantial compensation for her additional pain as well as ensuring she was not financially disadvantaged because of the additional time that she was unable to work.
More about Medical negligence compensation for patient after negligent care

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Medical negligence compensation after death of a patient

Our client in this claim for medical negligence compensation was a widow who had lost her husband whilst they were only in their 50’s. Both had been fit and active, and enjoyed an active and social lifestyle. His death occurred just days after he had been taken to hospital where they had failed to diagnose deep vein thrombosis.

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers were able to negotiate a six-figure sum in medical negligence compensation for our client, which whilst in no-way compensating for the loss of her husband, should ensure that she is financially secure following his premature and untimely death.
More about Medical negligence compensation after death of a patient

Medical negligence compensation after repeated failures to diagnose papilloedema

A student, our client in this claim for medical negligence compensation had been considered an academic high flyer with prospects of studying at Oxbridge. His parents asked for our legal advice when their son slipped into a coma and on recovery was left with cognitive dysfunction.

This will tragically have an effect on his future academic potential and our specialist medical negligence lawyers commenced a claim for compensation both pain and suffering and for the loss of his abilities, and the loss of earnings that his reduced cognitive capacity may dictate.
More about Medical negligence compensation after repeated failures to diagnose papilloedema

Medical negligence compensation after misdiagnosis results in leg amputation

A string of medical negligence errors and missed opportunities to correctly diagnose and treat this client resulted in the amputation of his lower leg. Despite repeated visits to his GP and his local A&E department, he was told on numerous occasions that the cause of the chronic pain in his leg was probably due to a torn or ripped muscle.

Even when tests were carried out, further errors were made. On one occasion, a DVT scan was carried out on the wrong part of his leg, naturally showing no sign of a problem.
More about Medical negligence compensation after misdiagnosis results in leg amputation

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Read about more of our medical negligence compensation claims and interesting news items by clicking the links below.

Medical negligence useful website links

For more information on all aspects of medical negligence clink on one of the medical negligence links below.

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Compensation claim for medical negligence

Have you or a member of your family suffered as a result of medical negligence? For more information about our service or for advice about whether we can assist you with a medical negligence compensation claim contact us today on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms. One of our representatives will contact you (without obligation) to discuss the matter further within 24 hours (48 hours at weekends).

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